Driver: Walter Lawson, Co-Driver: Nancy McConnell Car: 2017 Jaguar XE
I'm Walt Lawson, driver/owner of a British racing green 2017 Jaguar XE. I'm a member of the Delaware Valley Jaguar Club. My co-driver, Nancy McConnell and I have known each other for over 40 years. She was my neighbor, dear friend of my late wife, and my tennis mixed doubles partner. Since moving to Florida, Nancy has taken up golf. I'm still playing tennis but I may switch to golf when I'm old enough. This is our first ABRR so the only thing we ask is that everyone, in the timeless words of Austin Powers, "behaaave, baby!"
Driver: David Ehret, Co-Driver: Peter Roberts Car: 1966 Austin Healey 3000 MK3
I saw my first Healey while in high school. At the time I had a 1956 Plymouth Savoy – well used and abused. I always wanted an Austin Healey so after I graduating college, I bought my first one. I currently have two Healeys - a 1955 100 with the M package and a 1966 3000 MkIII. I did most of the work with help from my navigator Pete and AHSTC club members.
Pete Roberts is the navigator and also a member of AHSTC. He currently has 4 Healeys – 3 100’s and one 1966 BJ8. He acquired his first 100 in the early 1960’s and has been adding to the collection ever since. He built an AH 100 - Buick Healey complete with V6 and automatic transmission – a real Bad Boy.
This will be our first ABRR.
Driver: Trip Arnold, Co-Driver: Georgia Arnold Car: 1973 MGB GT
This will be our third Reliability Run. We enjoy traveling in the MG for the fun and adventure it offers, and the camaraderie experienced with other LBC owners. We participated in the Rally to Reno, runs to numerous NAMGBR conventions, NC Mountain runs, and a run to and through the Cabot Trail. We live at the NJ Shore and are looking forward to this mountain run through PA which will take us near my hometown of Houtzdale, PA.
Keep Calm And Motor On
Driver: Bill Goble, Co-Driver: Sandy Goble Car: 1967 MGB
I have owned at least one MGB for the last forty-seven years. I just love the shape - the lines and the proportions. But I wanted a nicer interior like the Jaguar XKE owned by the old fellow up the street. Drawings were done in 1970 describing what the new interior might look like. That first MGB seemed to be rapidly rusting away from Western PA salt and my wife Sandy bought our second MGB from a junk yard for my birthday in 1973. I thought that was the perfect car for the new interior. But it was hard enough just keeping it running. That one and another have all rusted away and we got the current one sight unseen from eBay in 2008. A miracle occurred. It was structurally in great shape. But not so much otherwise. After seven years of slow resto-mod progress and much help from Ragtops and Roadsters, our MGB was declared “finished” last year with a new custom interior, re-designed electrical system, and new paint. It was intended to maintain period correctness but not original.
Driver: Ray Psulkowski, Co-Driver: Linda Psulkowski Car: 1966 Lotus Cortina
Ray and Linda have owned the LoCort since the mid-70’s when it was an un-loved faux Lotus. Linda commuted to work in the Cortina and in the winter it was fitted with four snow tires: two studded snows on the back and non-studded on the front. Since then the Cortina has been on and off the road, emerging from a long hiatus in 2013. The car’s still not restored but it has been fixed a lot!
Ray earns a living selling parts for Lotus cars – r.d. enterprises, ltd. began in 1974 as a part-time business and became a full-time enterprise in 1976. We’ve been located in Quakertown PA since 1990. As Dave Hutchison says, “Parts in a barn”. The “Racing Duck” has been with the business since the beginning.
This is our second ABRR. We had a great time last year and we are proud to participate in another ABRR. Hopefully the fund-raising will continue to grow and help kids.
Driver: Richard Ippoliti, Co-Driver: Frank Dapiran Car: 1959 Austin Healey BN4
Frank and Richard are two retired Healey owners representing the Austin Healey Sports and Touring Club making their first Reliability Run. Richard’s first Healey was a 1959 BN4 purchased in 1965 and sold two years later (if I only knew what I had then). Always having the sport car desire he drove two Fiat 124 Spiders over the years but still longed for another Healey. The current 1959 BN4 was purchased in 1993 and over the years restored to its current condition. Frank Dapiran purchased his first Healey in 1968 after seeing an ad with a terrific price and also sold it after owning it for 2 years. Frank currently owns a 1960 BT7 which he purchased 5 years ago. He has done most of the restoration work at a local Vocational Tech adult Body Shop course. This was a great deal and highly recommend it.
Driver: Charles W. Olson, Co-Driver: Grace Smith Car: 1994 Jaguar Convertible
We’re the Jaguar Team. Grace and I ARE a Jaguar team. She owns a 2017 F-Pace and I own a 94 XJS! I’m a long time sports car enthusiast having owned several MGB’s, but not all at once. A Father & Son restoration of a ’66 MGB resulted in a year of Dad’s enjoyment, when it was learned that Freshmen were not allowed to have cars on campus at Penn State. I had more fun driving that car than my current Jag which is a real cruiser with all the creature comforts. This is a feature Grace enjoys most and to replace her 2004 Buick Rendezvous, she purchased the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace and joined the DVJC. It was Jaguar's first attempt at a performance SUV. We both enjoy driving our Jags and swapped driving from home to Amelia Island and back in 2016. For the first time we are joining the ABRR and experience 300 miles of safe and reliable driving and fun filled camaraderie with other British car owners. In addition we will be contributing to a very worthwhile charity.
Driver: Robert Sayre, Co-Driver: Dorothy Bryan Car: 1970 Rover 3500
This is 1/2 of Team Mulligan’s 3rd ABRR. This year brings a new co-driver as the regular co-driver is unavailable with work commitments. One Half of the Team and the car participated in last year ABBR as Team P-6. Unfortunately a catastrophic rear failure on the last day left Team P-6 125 miles short of completion.
Perhaps with a new co-driver the results will be substantially improved.
The team owns a number of Rover 3500S’s, A Rover TC and a P-5. The team hails from Riverton, NJ.
Driver: Paul Merluzzi, Co-Driver: Irena Merluzzi Car: 1969 Jaguar E-Type FHC
I cannot remember a time when I was not interested in cars. It is not genetic because my parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles had no interest other than having a reliable four-wheeler to get them from Point A to Point B. During high school in the late 50’s and early 60’s I drove my Dad’s 1958 Rambler (I told you he wasn’t a car guy) on dates. Not exactly what you would call a Babe Magnet.
In my teens I was fascinated by automobile designs and would spend hours sketching ‘futuristic’ cars. Then in the mid-fifties when I was in my early teens, Chrysler came out with the ‘Forward Look’ designs of Virgil Exner and I didn’t think anything on earth was more beautiful (except my sixth grade teacher, Miss McAvoy with whom I made a fool of myself with my school-boy-crush behavior).
The fanaticism with cars developed into a model-building hobby. My room was cluttered with Revell plastic models and home-made balsa wood models. My friends and I would carve out race cars from blocks of balsa wood, mount wheels on them, screw an eye-hook underneath, and drill a hole in the rear. We would then run a 20 or 25 foot string through the eye-hook and stake each end of the string on pavement. The hole in the rear was used to mount a CO2 capsule. At the start of the race we would puncture the CO2 capsule which would propel the cars along the string. Great fun!
My first exposure to British sports cars happened in 1961 after I started college and was working on a co-op job in my home town. My supervisor, Dave Jones, was a young engineer just a year or two out of college. He had a white TR3 roadster that he drove year-round in Connecticut. We became friends and I got to ride in (and occasionally drive) the TR3 when we hung out together. It was interesting to see the little snow-drifts building up inside the side curtains during a typical Connecticut winter. I swear it was colder inside the car than outside.
Since I was pretty much working my way through college, I didn’t have a dime to my name – let alone 10’s of thousands of dimes to buy a car. So I had a mission to date women with sports cars. One of them had a Triumph Spitfire and worked at the same place I did when I was home on the co-op job. One day I went over to have lunch with her and she said she was being taken out to lunch by a company salesman who was in town for a meeting. She told me I should take a look at his car. So I walked out to the parking lot with her and there was the most beautiful piece of machinery I had ever seen in my life. She said it was a Jaguar XK-150 roadster. It was white with a black interior. From that point on, whenever that salesman was in town, I didn’t exist as far as my friend with the Spitfire was concerned. Thus began my love-hate relationship with the Jaguar marque.
As I was nearing completion of my engineering degree in the mid 60’s, I began to dream about owning a sports car – with Jaguar at the top of the list. But with no savings and a small college debt, I became more practical and fell in love with a 1966 TR4 with a British Racing Green exterior and biscuit interior. But I decided to go to graduate school instead, further depleting my financial resources. During that time, while working on the Masters and PhD degrees, I met my lovely Irena and we had our beautiful daughter (and future gear head) Ericka. Trying to raise a family on a $330/month research assistantship removed all thoughts of buying sports cars from my brain, but the visions remained – especially those of the Jaguar.
It was not until 1987 that I bought my first sports car – a 1957 Porsche 356. A year later I bought a 1959 Mercedes 190SL. Irena and I had a lot of fun with those cars and especially enjoyed the International Mercedes 190SL Group where I eventually became Vice President and ran the 10th anniversary Concours and Convention in 1994 (held in Lancaster). Car buying was put on hold once again for a few years while I built my engineering consulting business. I purchased our 1958 XK-150 FHC in 2002, the brown 1969 E-Type in 2003, the red 1979 Ferrari 308GTS in 2006, and the green 1995 XJS convertible in 2009.
The Jaguars, like the other vintage cars we owned, have given us lots of pleasure and fun, as well as some anxious moments when they decide to stop running at the most inopportune time. Most of all, they have given us the opportunity to make new friends through clubs like the DVJC – which to me is the most important by-product of ownership.
The Birkin Boys
Driver: Dave Hutchison, Co-Driver: Dave Baughn Car: 1962 Lotus Super Seven by Birkin
This is the fourth ABRR that the "Birkin Boys" have run the Lotus Super Seven. This all started when Dave had a beer with Blake Discher ten years ago at the 2007 VTR in Valley Forge. Blake had run several successful ABRRs out of Michigan. Dave brought the idea to run a PA based ABRR to the the local TR club, and the DVT ran their first ABRR to LimeRock and Watkins Glen in the fall of 2008 with Dave in his 1969 Spitfire. Over the years, the DVT has brought together a dedicated planning committee that has organized the seven ABRRs each with increasing success! Now there are four ABRRs in North America! More states are expected in 2018!
Dave's passion for sports cars began over 40 years ago when he bought his first LBC, a 1964 BRG AH Sprite while in school. In 1977 he bought a Vignale bodied 1961 Triumph Italia 2000 GT and commuted with it to and from work. (more on that later). Back in the day, Dave was the "final user" of many cars and thankfully the Italia survived! It went on to be restored by Mike Engard at Ragtops & Roadsters in the mid 90s. Dave joined the Ragtops team as Operations Manager in 2001 and he has driven the R&R chase van and trailer on several ABRRs. Each ABRR has been a challenge and lots of fun to drive.
This year, Dave Baughn, Dave's buddy from school and co-driver in the Spitfire in 2008 joins the Birkin Boys Team! During their senior year, Dave Baughn purchased a 1961 Triumph Italia from a used car lot in South Plainfield, NJ, while "Hutch" was driving his 1964 Austin Healey Sprite, resulting in many spirited drives through the back roads of Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Dave started racing Formula Fords a few years later, and following an unplanned off-track excursion (crash) at Lime Rock in Connecticut, Dave needed to raise funds to repair the race car. Hutch and Dave shared an apartment at the time and a late night beer-fueled plot was done with a handshake and a $1.02 deposit to sell the Italia to Hutch to cover the cost to put the Titan Mk. 6 back on the track. Fast forward 40 years, and Hutch still owns the Italia, Dave has occasional visitation (driving) rights, and the two have remained life-long friends!
Both Daves are looking forward to running out twisty county roads with bright sunny weather! If the weather goes south and it rains, they will be equipped with helmets and headsets and personal rain gear! Most of all, their goal is to finish this ABRR while staying off the roll bar!
Driver: Cliff Besett, Co-Driver: Debra Lipp Car: 1974 Triumph TR6
This will be our second ABRR run. We live in Staten Island, New York. I am the Vice President of the New Jersey Triumph Association and Debra is the secretary. My 1974 TR6 is a Junior & Senior AACA National Champion. We enjoyed the ABRR run last year and we enjoy driving the TR6, doing runs and overnights with our club. I also own a 1960 Triumph TR3A. This year the NJTA will have 4 cars in the ABRR run. Looking forward to meeting new people and enjoying a great run for a good cause.
1972 Triumph TR6 Impulse buy in 1998 on seeing car in front yard of house on road between Yardley and Morrisville. At the time knew absolutely nothing about Triumph cars. So I was very lucky! Don't know much more now! Always now recommend new buyers to join a club (DVT of course) first.
When originally bought, car was painted non Triumph red and the overdrive had been removed. It was a runner, bodywork was marginal, interior well used, engine had one cylinder compression poor. It used more oil than gas! Club members required us to always be at the rear of a caravan. The first major restoration was to have the bodywork repaired, stripped and painted. We decided to return it to its original color, jasmine. The excellent work was done by a body shop in Pendell, Scrappies. The next major work was done by Power British. The work included rebuilt and upgraded engine, new clutch, overhauled gearbox, and installation of overdrive unit. The body was removed from the frame and while the engine compartment was repaired and painted, using my sweat equity I cleaned, primed and painted the frame. When completed, we were first prize winners of the Early Triumph TR6 concourse award at the Richmond VTR in 2006. Over the years we have had major work done to the car by Ragtops and Roadsters, Triumph Rescue and Bill Thomas Restorations, all to an excellent standard.
Clive and Maggie Thornes Members of Delaware Valley Triumphs since 1998. We were first made very welcome by existing members including Ed and Linda Aucott Aat the monthly GTRs at Rathbones. Subsequently Clive was Membership Board member for Mambership and when under his stewardship the club achieved 200 members for the first time. Maggie was Newsletter edditor of TRundlin’ TRiumphs and won an award for the Newsletter at a VTR convention. Both played major parts (along with many others) in the very successful 2008 VTR Convention at Valley Forge hosted by DVT. Maggie was responsible for the excellent Conference Manual, and Clive as Vice Chairman assisted Bob DeLucia in his many tasks as Chairman, notably as organising the Fralinger String Band for the finale of the Awards banquet to end the Conference with a bang. We have partipated in several ABRSs and Weekend Getaways over the years and we have attended many other functions and even won the trophy once for the bi-annual DVT v MG rally.
Nowadays we are not as active as we would like because we spend our summers in the U.K. At our cottage in Brantingham, East Yorkshire but we do manage to go on the weekend getaways, get to meetings and go on their monthly runs (unfortunately with a modern Honda) and annual fish and chip run with the local EasTRiding Triumph Group of the Triumph Register.
Team Furocius 2.0
Driver: George Sweeper Car: 1968 Jaguar E-Type Roadster
This is my first time running the the ABRR, and since my decision was made at the eleventh hour I won't have the luxury of imagining too much about the experience before the date is here. I just returned from the Vintage Car Weekend at Watkins Glen, which is always a great experience, so this seems like a natural extension of enjoying great sports cars, great people and another wonderful driving experience.
I began my sports car ownership with an Austin Healey 100 (6) as a college graduation present to myself. I next moved on to a '64 Healey 3000, and both cars I enjoyed immensely. My current (and forever) classic is a '68 Jaguar E-Type which I've owned since 1971.
A few (of many) of the most notable driving experiences with the Jag, were two trips to California I took in the mid seventies. The first covered 10,200 miles in six week, all top down. The second, a few years later, took me and my Co-Driver from the Georg Washington Bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge in 58 hours; and the return trip three weeks later in 56 hours. Needless to say, I love and enjoy driving, with a passion, I love fast cars, and I have a weakness for convertibles.
Ragtops Recovery Van
Driver: Bill Murphy IV, Co-Driver: Eugene Toner Car: 2004 Ford Van
Bill Murphy IV: Since I was old enough to stand next to my Dad in our '53 Chevy, I have always been obsessed with cars. I read everything I could about cars and was fortunate enough that my Dad took me to the Custom Car Show in Philly in the '50s and early sixties! He was not a car guy, but he knew of my love of same, and frequently took me to Langhorne Speedway starting in the '60s! I will never forget the impression that those giant steering wheels in the front motor Indycars made on me!
My love of cars and racecars has led me to be part of factory Chrysler Drag Teams at the age of sixteen, a career spanning fifteen years at TEAM PENSKE starting as an IROC mechanic in 1977 and fourteen years as a fueler on the Indycar team! I was lucky enough to be on three national championship Indycar teams, two Indy 500 wins in 1984 and 1987 and twenty one race wins as a fueler for Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Al Unser Sr. and Johnny Rutherford.
As a driver, I have competed in Sprint Cars, Enduro Karts and more recently Nostalgia Superstock drag cars both as an owner/driver and more recently as a "hired gun"! I recently retired as a driver for 422 Motorsports in Oaks Pa.
I am well versed in the history of all forms of motorsports and it is my prime educational interest.
My first LBC was a '67 Midget that I drove back and forth to Camp LeJeune while a young Lieutenant in the Marines! I have owned the Midget, a !960 Mini and my present car, a 1961 TR-4.
My son Bill runs dirt 600cc midgets and I am deeply involved with his racing! Bill has been racing since he was nine and he is now thirty-four years old.
My involvement with Delaware Valley Triumphs has been a highlight of my car life and I have cherished the great times and friends that I have made as a result of British cars! Amazingly the LBC community has been able to tolerate me these past five years!
Eugene Toner: I'm 26 years old and when I was young man my dad was always working on old British cars. He brought me to Ragtops & Roadsters several times which may have influenced me to choose to attend Pennsylvania College of Technology for the 2 year program in automotive restoration. I was the production manager/public affair manager in the classic cruisers club at the school. I worked as an intern at R&R during the summer of 2015 then finished my last year and received my restoration degree in May of 2016. Between school and work I drove the chase truck and trailer to support the Freedom Rally through Virginia with a classmate from school. We did manage to lend a hand and make a couple of roadside repairs to keep some classics on the tour. I started full time at Ragtops in June and I enjoy the daily challenges that we find working on vintage cars. I just finished a full mechanical rebuild of a right drive MGTD. My daily driver is a Jaguar X Type. This is my second ABRR.