June 2016


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Through the Windscreen

Cars & Motorcycles of England

Saturday, June 4, 2016

This is a rain or shine event and day of show registration is available!
Cars and Motorcycles of England returns to the historic Oakbourne Mansion again in 2016, featuring an all-British marque judged motorcar and motorcycle Concours, and a nationally sanctioned Jaguar Concours d'Elegance. The combined show fields represent one of the largest British Motoring shows on the East Coast with over 250 cars and motorcycles. The show field opens at 8:30 AM and Judging begins at 10:00 AM. Prizes will be awarded beginning at 2:30 PM.

Delaware Valley Triumphs sponsors the All-British show. Our show field will include the following marques: Aston Martin, Austin, Austin Healey, Bentley, Daimler, Innocenti, Jaguar, Lancester, Lotus, MG, Mini, Morgan, Peerless, Rolls Royce, Rover, Sunbeam, and Triumph and all other British Marques. Motorcycles included BSA, Norton, and Triumph and more. In 2016 there will be 40 award classes for automobiles and four for motorcycles. Special awards will also be given for Diamond in the Rough, the Best of Show - Participants' Choice and the Best of Show - Judge's Choice. Please click on flyer for more information.

The Delaware Valley Jaguar Club also hosts the nationally sanctioned Concour d'Elegance. This is an opportunity to compete with and view some of the finest Jaguars on the East Coast, in both Champion and Driven Divisions. The 2015 show had nearly 100 entries, and included cars from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C. and North Carolina. Please visit the DVJC Club Website for more information on registering for the Concours d'Elegance.

British Motorcar Festival

June 9 – 12, 2016

We will be showing both of our Triumph Italia 2000s at this event on the extended weekend of June 9th - 12th, 2016. This event will prove to be “A Most Significant Event” for British Lifestyle Enthusiasts and Anglophiles alike. This "Motorcar Festival" is presented by the event team of the British Invasion of Stowe, VT (the largest All-British Motorcar & British Lifestyle Event in the Eastern United States). The festival offers one of two All-British Invitational Concours d’Elegance for British Motorcars that are 25 years old and older. (The British Invasion in Stowe, VT is the second one.)  New this year to the Concours d’Elegance, is the addition of a Preservation Class. The purpose of the preservation class is to encourage the preservation of British automobiles in as close to the original condition as possible. Click here for more information.

America's British Reliability Run

October 14 – 16, 2016

America's British Reliability Run is on the calendar again for 2016! Last years' ABRR (featured in Hemmings S&E Feb 2016 ) was the best yet, so the ABRR planning committee is pleased to announce the 2016 three day event will be held on Oct 14-16th. Sponsored by Sunoco, Hagerty, Motorcar Garage and Ragtops & Roadsters this is quickly becoming a driving event not to be missed! This year they have planned a route starting in southeastern PA heading into the Shenandoah Valley through Maryland and the Virginias. 

This back-roads run will a visit a major private British car collection, run a couple of parade laps at Summit Point Motorsports Park, visit White Post Restorations and more! The ABRR Teams are still "Driving for the Kids", as this year's beneficiary will be the  Synergy Project, an out-reach program to help homeless teenagers. Registration will open very soon and space is limited, so like America's British Reliability Run on Facebook and check out the website at www.britishreliability.org for more information! Don't miss this ABRR!

Technicians Needed

Ragtops & Roadsters, specialists in the restoration and repair of classic British vehicles, is accepting applications for skilled technicians. We have recently celebrated 26 years in business, with a growing client base of repeat and new customers (and their cars!). The work we perform is constantly varied, and provides interesting projects and challenges year-round. Our reputation for top-quality work is built on the talent of our team, and we are seeking that same high level of excellence and work ethic in the candidates for this position.

Our ideal candidates will have recent experience in mechanical assembly, fitting, repair and tuning. Must have very good mechanical ability and knowledge of engines, suspension, steering and carburetors. Fabrication and interior fitting skills are desired but NOT REQUIRED. We offer both full-time and part-time opportunities for skilled technicians who possess:
  • Strong Mechanical Aptitude
  • Great Attitude
  • Well-stocked Toolbox
  • 5+ Years Professional Experience
Please contact the Shop Manager or any of our management staff here at Ragtops & Roadsters – by email at shopmanager@ragtops.com, by phone at 215-257-1202, or stop by and see us!

British Car Calendar of Events

6/1–6/5   GOF MK 99 MG Gathering of the Faithful, Groton, CT
6/3–6/4   AACA Annual Grand National, Williamsport, PA
6/3–6/4   Greenwich Concours, Greenwich, CT
6/4   Cars and Motorcycles of England, Westtown, PA
6/5   Motors for Music, Doylestown, PA
6/5   Rose Tree Italian Festival, Media, PA
6/5   21st Annual Red Mill British Car Day, Clinton, NJ
6/5   39th Original British Car Day, Adamstown, MD
6/5   29th British by the Sea, Waterford, CT
6/9–6/12   British Motorcar Festival, Bristol, RI
6/11   "LeMans 50th Anniversary" Simeone Museum, Philadelphia, PA
6/11   “A Touch of England” Hermitage House, Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ
6/11   “The Spaced Out Italian Car Show”, Hellertown, PA
6/11–6/12   The “Elegance at Hershey”, Hershey, PA
6/12   23rd Annual British Motorcar Gathering, Hellertown, PA
6/12   39th Ault Park Concours, Cincinnati, OH
6/12–6/18   Austin Healey Club Conclave, Cincinnati, OH
6/13–6/16   MG 2016 “All MGs”, Louisville, KY
6/15–6/19   42nd Annual TRA National Triumph Meeting, Painesville, OH
6/17–6/18   Minis on Top, Mount Washington, NH
6/18–6/19   24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans, France
6/18–6/26   Hemmings “The Great Race”, Fleetwood, MO
6/19   Eurocar British Car Festival, Cazenovia, NY
6/19   “Cats in the Garden IX” Jaguar Touring Club, Montclair, NJ
6/23–6/26   Goodwood Festival of Speed, Goodwood House, UK
6/24–6/26   SVRA Vintage Grand Prix, Lexington, OH
6/24–6/26   46th Annual Morgan Car Club Meet “MOG 46”, Gettysburg, PA
6/26   Concorso Ferrari & Friends, Hartford, CT

Complete 2016 calendar PDF now available HERE!

We make our best attempt to provide a thorough and accurate listing of relevant events; however, changes in the details may not always be reflected in time. Please always double check the organizers website as you make your plans. 

Tech Tip

DON’T Connect the Dots!

by: David Jago

It happens, from time to time, that we may forget things we’ve done. We’ll remember in the spring to change the fluids in our cars to ready them for driving, but darned if we can find the last bottles we used. No big deal, unless you’ve forgotten (or worse, disregarded) what TYPE of fluid it was. Mixing of DOT brake fluids is a concern we have addressed recently with several clients who brought their cars in for spring service.
We have seen a number of brake reservoirs filled with a combination of DOT3 or DOT4 mixed with DOT5. What do the numbers mean, and why is this a problem?  DOT3 and DOT4 (and DOT5.1) are polyethylene glycol-based fluids, which are hygroscopic and absorb moisture from the environment over time. DOT5, by contrast, is a silicone-based fluid and is hydrophobic, which repels moisture. The DOT3, DOT4 and DOT5.1 may be used interchangeably, without concern.  However, mixing the DOT5 silicone fluid with any of the others can cause the brake fluids to gel, or to entrap any moisture in the fluid and cause localized corrosion of the hydraulic systems. They are incompatible fluid types and can cause brake failure, the obvious worst-case situation.
You can recognize the issue pretty clearly. In the photo you see globs of purple resting among otherwise fairly clear fluid. This is your visual warning that the fluid is a mixture, and the resolution is to change the fluid with a full bleed, flush, and refill.  We recommend that the entire system be flushed and replace all seals at a minimum. It may be wise also to replace any brake lines to ensure that they are not compromised. Flushing the system thoroughly is required before standardizing on either the silicone or DOT3, DOT4, or DOT5.1.
It may be a good idea to keep a small log book or journal with the car, identifying the fluids used at the last interval. Unless you show the car frequently, placing masking tape with key information (“Positive ground”, “silicone ONLY”, etc) will help in the event you need to make a roadside or otherwise unscheduled repair, and remind you or your technician of the current state of the car.

In the Rearview

Ragtops & Roadsters Open House

by: Dave Hutchison

We were fortunate to have a clear dry morning for our 22nd Spring Open House.  The bright sunny day brought out about 250–300 British Motorcar enthusiasts to see our latest work.
On display was the finished 1957 A.C. Ace with its current and past owners, a 1971 Mercedes 280 SL, and the 1958 Ferrari 250 TdF in fresh paint. Many projects were here, in various stages of restoration and repair. The Aston Martin, Lotus, Jaguar and Triumph clubs all stopped to take a peek and grab a scone or two...
America’s British Reliability Run had its unofficial kick-off introducing the “The Synergy Project” as this year’s benefactors of the ABRR. Rob and Tim gave a presentation about their work in helping teens find alternatives to being homeless. Their Synergy Jeep was on display showing all of the survival equipment and supplies they carry. More information about the Synergy Project can be found at www.valleyyouthhouse.org.
Later in the day, Lorraine McKiniry, a locally-based, now national celebrity from “What’s My Car Worth” came to our shop and met our staff. She has represented Ferrari, Lotus and Jaguar to name just a few marques over the past ten years. She and her fiancé enjoyed the tour through the shop and just as they were ready to hit the road, I offered her the opportunity to “test drive” a Jaguar XK 120 DHC. She hesitated at first but then I asked her, “If not now...When?” With that being said, she could not resist and she stepped up to the challenge. She had driven a number of E-Types over the years during her work with Jaguar, but never the earlier, heavier, “less refined” predecessors.  I am happy to report that she did exceptionally well and quickly adapted to the very heavy clutch and steering. We think she had a good day!
Our brief window of sunshine in May came to a close and many made a dash for home just before rain moved in shortly after 4 PM.  It was nice to see everyone who stopped by!  We hope to see you again next year…

Carlisle Import and Performance

by: Michael Engard

Ragtops attended the 2016 Carlisle Import and Performance Nationals with a 1974 Datsun 260Z that had just completed a full restoration. Predictions of rain for two out of three days persuaded us to take advantage of an indoor spot for this year’s event.  We saw many familiar faces and, because we had a Japanese car, had the chance to talk to some of the large number of young people attending the event.
A surprising number of people brought their cars out in the rain on Saturdayand the owner of the Datsun was pleased at the positive response that his car received from attendees both old and young. The 240, 260 and 280 Z-cars were very popular in their day, probably contributing to the demise of the British sports cars on our shores. Ragtops & Roadsters is repairing and restoring more of these ‘modern classics’ (only 40 years old!) all the time.
Ragtops & Roadsters is here to help out in the spring and summer seasons. Maybe it's time to take care of those maintenance, restoration, preservation, and upgrade needs on your car's wish list? Click here to send an e-mail to dave@ragtops.com or call us 215-257-1202 to schedule an appointment. We are now scheduling appointments in July and August.  Click to see our Works In Progress page on our website. Also, we have recently listed more of our client's British cars looking for new homes, see current listings on our For Sale page.

Happy Motoring!
Dave & the Staff at Ragtops & Roadsters.
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