NEMPA Hosts First Ragtop Road Rally

Lisa Brock

NEMPA has been putting on the Ragtop Ramble for more than 20 years. This two-day event typically starts with a Boston Harbor cruise the night before and culminates with a drive from the Larz Anderson Automotive Museum all the way to the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine. It’s a taste of New England for our of town OEM reps and a celebration of some of our favorite things from a gorgeous sunset, to a best of Brookline food truck breakfast. There’s the gorgeous vehicles on the manicured lawn of the Larz Anderson Museum and the sun drenched drive up 95 to take in the ocean vista while dining on lobster, corn on the cob, and the most delicious blueberry pie you’ll ever taste. All this in a days work!

Only one year during this time has the event ever been canceled and it was during a hurricane. 2020 has been a challenging year with COVID-19 and we were forced to pivot a bit to present the 2020 NEMPA Ragtop Road Rally. This event enthusiastically continued the tradition of the Ramble in a way that was safe, but still celebrated the spirit of the annual event. 

NEMPA Vice President, Clifford Atiyeh, sporting a vintage Ragtop Ramble t-shirt competes in the 2020 NEMPA Ragtop Road Rally in the Mercedes-AMG Roadster.

Participants, both OEM representatives and journalists started the rally at their homes or offices and “rambled” as the rally challenges dictated.  Everyone’s route and experience was different, and we shared them together across multiple social media platforms. Participants were asked to post their responses to challenges that earned them points as they shared their experience on their social media platforms that were evaluated by a panel of judges.

Ford Bronco Chief Designer, Paul Wraith talks open air for the NEMPA Ragtop Road Rally on the 2021 Ford Bronco

The challenges mirrored the original event giving points for driving the usual distance of 144 miles, giving product safety or technology information about their vehicle, taking a picture of their vehicle in front of a food truck, body of water, auto museum, with a lobster and more. It was all in good fun, but the rally participants did not disappoint.

The event ran from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, August 11. Participants sported vintage NEMPA Ragtop Ramble shirts from past years and some even made it a family event.

FCA’s Lisa Barrow and husband Jack kick off their day with the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport AWD.

At 2 p.m. the winners were announced via a NEMPA hosted Zoom call. The top 3 finishers in the Road Rally won the famous Colony Hotel Blueberry Pies. The first four participants to publish a post received a gift card from Dunkin compliments of Ford Motor Company. The next four finishers got to choose a special gift from the FCA prize closet.

A great day was had by all. You can see the day’s events unfold on the NEMPA Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter. Search #NEMPARagtop.

Craig Fitzgerald and his co-pilot play it safe with face coverings. He did receive 40 points for this picture with a lobster. He has also worn that shirt every year for too many years.

Thanks to Automotion and the vehicle manufactures for their support and donations. Thanks to everyone that participated.

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