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Vintage v Modern Motoring

The original Mini Cooper
The original Mini Cooper

There are many choices in motoring, these days. For me, I tend to be a very nostalgic person. I love most vintage things and though I have a great appreciation for modern cars, I tend to gravitate to the elder ones more often than not. I find them very engaging to drive and delight in their analog qualities. It’s a personal choice, but one that I recommend many enthusiasts try as I believe you will feel the same after driving one and living with it for a time. At the end of it all, you’ll emerge a better person for it.

Vintage Ferrari
Vintage Ferrari
Shelby Cobra
Shelby Cobra

If you are a casual user of the automobile, or view them as not much more than appliances, you might not understand this, but I invite you to read on. There are qualities in these cars worth noting; particularly in the older ones. Owning and driving one can change you in many ways. You will become adept at conversing with a wide range of people and will develop an appreciation for the finer details that can be found in places where you would least expect it.

Vintage Jaguar S Type
Vintage Jaguar S Type

Some of my favorite vintage cars are the ones that are very well used. They have a wonderful patina and the many blemishes tell a story about the car’s life. Well-worn paint often brings to mind the many times a caring owner polished it. A cracked and soft leather seat lets you know how many countless times someone sat in it and drove off on untold adventures. The worn pedals display the miles driven as much as the numbers on the odometer do.

There is much to love about the feel and sound of driving one as well. The experience goes well beyond the aesthetics. Every shift, every turn of the wheel and every press on the accelerator connects you to the road and the driving experience. You hear the exhaust note and feel the road in the seat of your pants and through the wheel. It guides you as you make demands of the car.

Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Austin Healey 100M
Austin Healey 100M

Every stop during your travels, be it a stop light or fuel stop, will no doubt result in countless conversations with admirers and like-minded individuals. For many, seeing a vintage car out and about brings back great memories for them and most are more than willing to share. If you’re the type to shy away from people, owning and running a vintage car will cure you of that. It won’t be long before you’re more than comfortable talking to almost anyone.

Jaguar XK120
Jaguar XK120

At the end of the day, living with and driving a vintage car makes you a much more well-rounded and appreciative person. That’s a good thing. We can all use a step back into the past every now and again. It’s an excellent way to get back into touch with reality and the people around us as we get more connected in a tactile way, rather than an electronic way.

Vintage dash and instruments
Vintage dash and instruments
Riley Brooklands Special gains a new admirer
Riley Brooklands Special gains a new admirer
Lamborghini Countach
Lamborghini Countach
Out and about in an MG GT
Out and about in an MG GT
Porsche 356 Convertible D
Porsche 356 Convertible D

Driving in the snow – It’s not just for 4x4s and AWD

Driving in the snow, it’s that time of the year again. A time when large amounts of snow fall from the sky bring visions of impending doom and end of the world scenarios. These situations are so cataclysmic, only toilet paper, milk, and bread can save your life. Yes, its winter and life may call upon you to drive during its duration. Or, you can just sit it out at home, which is fine as well.

BMW i8 winter driving
BMW i8

If you do venture out, all is not lost. Mankind has found within itself the ability to evolve. Over time we have adapted to, and overcome, many dire events and situations. This shall be no different. So read along and perhaps you too can survive the winter driving months. Before you know it, it will be time to complain about how it’s too hot.

Ferrari 458 Spider pausing for a photo-op GTspirit
Ferrari 458 Spider pausing for a photo-op GTspirit

Firstly, let’s all try to realize that when it starts to snow, slowing down can be a very good thing. You don’t have to stop, mind you, or creep along at a speed that would make a Hoveround suddenly a competitive sports car. Just drive with some caution and anticipation of what driving inputs might be required of you. No point in standing on the go fast peddle, or the brakes, when road conditions are slick. As with most things in life, use moderation.

Maserati Ghibli Q4 getting along just fine driving in the snow - by Motoroids
Maserati Ghibli Q4 getting along just fine – by Motoroids

Gently make requests of the accelerator and gas to increase or decrease speed. You’ll get there and very likely without hitting another car, curb, trash can, small rodent, or even a building. When possible, and if it’s safe to do so, use the old rolling stop to avoid situations where it might be difficult to get underway again. This is very true of hills. Stopping on a hill makes it very difficult to get rolling again when the roads are snow covered. Oh yes, and for the love of all that is holy, allow some space between you and others. Don’t run up and sniff the tailpipe of the driver in front of you. It will likely end badly. Try to stay about 8 seconds behind the vehicle you are following. Doing so will allow you time to adjust as needed.

Vintage Porsche 911 Carrera RS - by flatsixes driving in the snow
Vintage Porsche 911 Carrera RS – by flatsixes

Getting the proper shoes for your vehicle can also make all the difference in the world! Quite a few all-season tires just don’t cut it. You need to be mindful of the average conditions where you live and buy accordingly. A good snow tire is always best. If you’re going to throw caution to the wind and just hope for the best, do the rest of us a favor and at least make sure you have SOME tread on your car. Nothing less than 6/32 of an inch should be on your vehicle. All too often people wait until that first real snowfall to make changes in their tires. At that point, it could be too late and you might make others suffers the consequences of your life choices.

Lamborghini in the elements - by supercar kids driving in the snow
Lamborghini in the elements – by supercar kids

Lastly, you’ll find that a number of winter driving schools are available all across the nation through many different organizations. They are offered at a variety of locations from tracks to open lots and can be very helpful for every level of experienced driver. Check them out and sign up.

At the end of the day, it’s not so much what you’re driving, but how you’re driving it and how you’ve prepared yourself for the situation. I’ve seen very high end sports cars navigate the winter roads just fine and that includes cars like Ferrari and Lamborghini. Several of my friends, in fact, use their Porsches year round because they can and they do it like champs!

The Glenmoor Gathering Reunion 2015

1950 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan
1950 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan

Not that long ago, there was a tremendous event held in Ohio that featured some of the finest automobiles in the world. This celebration was The Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles and it entertained thousands for 18 years. Each one of those years was a great one celebrating everything from the rarest cars ever made to a wonderfully impractical Russian boat. It was sad to see it all end after the 2012 season as it had become a favorite stop on the ever growing concourse schedule for many. I’ve missed that show quite a bit, so when I was told there was going to be a “Reunion” this year, it made my day and was a no brainer as far as getting out there to attend.

1954 Gullwing Mercedes-Benz 300SL
1954 Gullwing Mercedes-Benz 300SL
1972 Mazda Cosmo Sport
1972 Mazda Cosmo Sport

The location on the grounds of the Glenmoor Country Club always suited the original show very well and I looked forward to visiting again. The weather was perfection and the turnout impressive with a wide array of motoring greats on hand for the viewing. At that moment, it was probably the only place on earth where you could look at a 1954 Gullwing Mercedes one moment and then step down the field a bit and find yourself standing in front of a 1988 Yugo GVX. Quite a range in what was on hand for those in attendance and certainly something for everyone.

1953 Chevy Two-Ten Sedan
1953 Chevy Two-Ten Sedan

I hope there will be more events like this in the future. It’s a great way to celebrate the show that once was as well as catch up with old friends and make new ones. Enjoy the accompanying photos and please follow this link to find the full gallery of images from the day. Keep your eyes and ears open for a future event, too as you won’t want to miss it! Enjoy!

1988 Yugo GVX
1988 Yugo GVX
Ferrari 458 Spider
Ferrari 458 Spider
Interior detail of Ferrari 458 Spider
Interior detail of Ferrari 458 Spider
Ford Hot Rod
Ford Hot Rod
1982 Talbot Matra Murena
1982 Talbot Matra Murena
1950 Custom Oldsmobile "The Polynesian"
1950 Custom Oldsmobile “The Polynesian”

2015 PVGP Downtown Parade and Show

Looking up at PPG
Looking up at PPG

It’s been a very damp year here in Pittsburgh. Most car related events have required the inclusion of umbrellas, shammies, and other necessary wet weather gear. The ongoing joke has been that it has rained just twice this year, once for 76 days and then again for 68. This day, however, was a pleasant deviation from the norm. Though it did drizzle lightly early, the day got much better and was a brilliant one from late morning on for the 2015 PVGP Downtown Parade and Show.

Saab Sonett ready for show
Saab Sonett ready for show
The Dodge Viper of Jim Stout
The Dodge Viper of Jim Stout

Most of the participants formed up in Station Square which is a charming little business area just across the river to the south of the city. It boasts some great shops, professional offices and restaurants as well as a new soccer arena. It’s a great setting to form up for the parade into town and offers some great views of the city while you wait.

Payload display in a vintage Ford Truck
Payload display in a vintage Ford Truck

With a police escort provided by Pittsburgh’s finest, the participants for the day’s parade and show left the staging area for their various locations throughout the city. Many would head to Steel Plaza at the base of the old US Steel building while the rest would scatter throughout town at Market Square, PPG Plaza and Point State Park. All locations provided beautiful settings and a party like atmosphere. It’s an all too short event, but well worth the trip even just to spectate.

BMW Isetta packed and ready to go
BMW Isetta packed and ready to go
Beautiful vintage VW Bug
Beautiful vintage VW Bug
Fully in the mood for the day
Fully in the mood for the day

Try to join the fun next year if you have not been down. It’s great fun and you’ll be glad you did it. Enjoy the rest of the photos and follow this link for a full gallery of images from the day and remember, any print or merchandise purchases help to support the PVGP charities!

Roush Mustang
Roush Mustang
Steel Plaza display for PVGP
Steel Plaza display for PVGP
BMW i8 and others gathered in Market Square
BMW i8 and others gathered in Market Square
Alfa Romeo racecar at PPG
Alfa Romeo racecar at PPG
Ferrari 458
Ferrari 458
Austin Healey 3000 at PPG
Austin Healey 3000 at PPG

The 2015 PVGP Walnut Street Invitational

This quite possibly might be my favorite event of the week. I should note that that sentiment has nothing to do with the fact that as I age, I get less enthusiastic about walking great distances to see things. Writing that just made me tired. I like to think I enjoy this event because the show has everything from great shopping, food, people, atmosphere, and oh yes…marvelous cars. The setting is well suited to the wide array of automotive history on display that is curated by one of the finest automotive junkies I know. He never disappoints and always makes sure there are cars that will appeal to a broad range of people. If you can’t find a car at this show that speaks to you, then I would suspect that you have no interest in cars.

Alfa Romeo Spider
Alfa Romeo Spider

This year was as brilliant as ever with vintage powerhouses and modern sports cars to racecars and hot rods on display. Even American and British classic were on hand to dazzle and delight with their shiny bits and pieces. Though it rained, which it has done quite a lot this year, the crowds were still strong as was the turnout of cars. I’ll let the photos do the talking with this one as they easily show the breadth of the significant cars on display. It was a fantastic show that was very well attended and boasted a great display of Italy’s finest.

On the corner with a Lamborghini Countach
On the corner with a Lamborghini Countach
A lovely Moto Guzzi
A lovely Moto Guzzi

I think if I had to be pinned down to pick a car from this display it would have been the MG Midget “Rat Rod” but then that likely has more to do with my mood at the moment than anything else, but that was a very cool car. I have a very long and eclectic list of cars that interest me so my answer to that question changes frequently. In reality, if my life depended on it, I probably couldn’t come up with a top favorite car. I could give you my top 5, though…or 10.

"Rat Rod" MG Midget
“Rat Rod” MG Midget

At any rate, it was a superb evening. Eyetique had a party going well into the evening and most hung around to the bitter end. For a full gallery of the event just follow this link. You should get your fill there. Enjoy and the next show is in just a few hours!

Excellent live entertainment
Excellent live entertainment
Beautiful Jaguar E-Type
Beautiful Jaguar E-Type
The mighty Lamborghini Countach
The mighty Lamborghini Countach
1960 Cadillac
1960 Cadillac
Beck Porsche 904
Beck Porsche 904
A very distinguished Franklin
A very distinguished Franklin
Alfa Romeo Giulia SS
Alfa Romeo Giulia SS

The 2015 Historics at Pitt Race

Well, it’s another year down, but much has changed for this one. The Historic races at Pitt Race are still quite young when you look at the history of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. It’s just entering its 11th year now, but in that short time period, the facility has brought a new dimension to the overall celebration and experience. It’s, now 2.8 miles of asphalt ribbon goodness further expands that experience and adds an entirely new look and feel to the racing that goes on.

Skydivers helped with the South Track opening celebration.
Skydivers helped with the South Track opening celebration.

The track is situated on a wonderfully secluded plot of land in Wampum PA and boasts some challenging turns, elevation changes and blind turns. The facilities are ever expanding with more support facilities added in just the past few years. The opening of the South Track now increases the challenge and interest even more.

Awaiting the parade start
Awaiting the parade start
The South Track is open!
The South Track is open!

This weekend hosted everything from sky diving ribbon cutting fanfare to the high adrenalin racing we love to watch. Big bore ground pounders and very light weight and diminutive open wheel racers were all over the track and paddock. It had everything for the truly afflicted car addict to occupy his/her time. Another way to put it, your senses got a full on attack from the sights, sounds and smells. A pretty fantastic weekend, in all.

Taking in some parade laps on the new track.
Taking in some parade laps on the new track.
Big Bore action on track.
Big Bore action on track.

The racing was as intense this year as ever with drivers working twice as hard as they learned to master the new track while trying to work their way to the top of the podium. Each group witnessed great battles as well as a few miss steps. It was an even better event than anticipated so be sure to make it out next year if you missed out this time around.

One of the more stylish ways to get around the paddock.
One of the more stylish ways to get around the paddock.
BMW race action
BMW race action

It would be very difficult to get everything posted here, so please follow these links for full galleries from Friday, Saturday and Sunday as much was going on. Sometimes it’s easier to let the photos speak for themselves. Enjoy and stop out at the new facility some time. You won’t be disappointed!

Close quarter racing
Close quarter racing
Some sound advice
Some sound advice
Never hurts to have a sense of humor
Never hurts to have a sense of humor
A little Ford Mustang power
A little Ford Mustang power
Heading down into turn 5
Heading down into turn 5
A Lotus carving its way through the course.
A Lotus carving its way through the course.

2015 PVGP Blacktie and Tailpipes Gala Recap

The Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala – It’s the place to be seen and an event that ushers in the first race weekend of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix with a high degree of speed, beauty and style. And why? Quite simply, you just can’t usher in a huge automotive event like this without an elegant gathering that champions charity and the automobile. Every year, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix does it in style with the Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala.

Guests pose next to an Austin Healey 3000 at the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala
Guests pose next to an Austin Healey 3000 at the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala

PVGP Blacktie guests

 

Bob at PVGP blacktie

 

A Rolls-Royce Corniche navigates its way through the crowd
A Rolls-Royce Corniche navigates its way through the crowd

This year the South Hills Country Club hosted the event and did another beautiful job of it. The PVGP celebrated there in 2013 and the club did such a superb job hosting, it just made sense to go back and do it all again. It’s a great venue and the turnout was again, superb as you can see by the attached photos.

Guests during the PVGP blacktie gala

The PVGP Ambassadors pose for a photo with Miss Pennsylvania
The PVGP Ambassadors pose for a photo with Miss Pennsylvania
One of two BMW i8s in attendance
One of two BMW i8s in attendance

The cars – and one big 1960 Peterbilt – arriving at the event were showcased and focused upon as much as the well-dressed guests they transported. It was the whole package and the evening was filled with wonderful food, people, conversation, and charity. A combination that always works and did again this year.

Guests gathering at the PVGP Blacktie Gala

The mighty 1960 Peterbilt
The mighty 1960 Peterbilt

Enjoy the images posted with this article and as always, follow the link for more. You can always purchase images from the site and with a portion of the profits going to the PVGP; you will be helping the charities. Enjoy!

F Type Jaguar Pacecar provided by Bobby Rahal
F Type Jaguar Pacecar provided by Bobby Rahal

Blacktie Gala guests

Stunning Austin Healey 3000
Stunning Austin Healey 3000
A refined Bentley Continental GT
A refined Bentley Continental GT
BMW i8
BMW i8

2015 PVGP Kick-Off Rallye

Another Kick-Off Rallye is done and in the books. It’s the first event for the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix and comes up very early in the calendar each season. This year it fell the day after the 4th of July so we like to think things got started with a bang. It’s a great way to get the ball rolling and is a fun way to get in the mood as this ultimate celebration of all things automotive gets underway.

The original Mini Cooper
The original Mini Cooper

The rallye is casual fun and offers participants a way to socialize and admire each other’s cars while engaging in some spirited competitive driving. Everything on wheels is acceptable for this event as you can see from the photos. Past rallyes have hosted the quick and nimble like the MG Midget and Porsche 914 as well as giants like the 1936 Packard and a very impressive 1973 Dodge Monaco. This year proved to be no different with an equally wide range of vehicles poised to contest for victory. Of note this year was the Mazda club that showed up with a nice array of 9 roadsters. The streets fill with everything and it makes for great fun and much conversation from participants and spectators alike.

Zoom Zoom
Zoom Zoom
The diminutive Lotus
The diminutive Lotus

We had a new course this year that sent competitors on an elaborate and winding trip through the city and some of the nearby communities. The route included a few quick timed checkpoints and a flurry of questions surrounding historic items passed along the way. The clues were clever and kept you on your toes as you tried to stay on track while answering questions along the way. The route invariably gets people turned around at some point including me.

Mt Washington
Mt Washington
Saab Sonett passing the Log House
Saab Sonett passing the Log House
Team Clarks making good time
Team Clarks making good time

The competition was close with the day ending in a three way tie. It took some work, but a tie breaker was worked out and the top three teams were awarded their plaques. Team Clarks represented by  Greg Joseph and John Williams took top honors for the celebrity class, but quickly shared that honor with Vinnie Richichi and Bonny Diver of CBS who were very enthusiastic participants this year.

CBS and The Clarks represented during the Rallye
CBS and The Clarks represented during the Rallye
Three way tie for first...sort of
Three way tie for first…sort of

If you missed it this year, be sure to get involved in the next, if you are able, as you won’t regret it. Check out the rest of the photos in this posting and follow this link for more. All shots from the day are available for purchase and a portion of the proceeds will be going to the charities that benefit from the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Also, keep checking in as I will be featuring other events throughout the Grand Prix. Enjoy and hope to see you on the road!

Getting ready for the start
Getting ready for the start
PVGP MINI Track Ride car
PVGP MINI Track Ride car
An excellent way to represent the Italians. A fiat 500 Abarth.
An excellent way to represent the Italians. A fiat 500 Abarth.
Our PVGP Ford sponsor truck
Our PVGP Ford sponsor truck
I can't think of a better advertisement to see along the route.
I can’t think of a better advertisement to see along the route.

The Elegance at Hershey 2015

I’ve only been attending The Elegance at Hershey for the last three years now, but since it’s only in its fifth year, that’s not too bad. During that time, the show has grown in relevance quickly. It’s definitely one of those shows that you should not miss if you have a great appreciation for rare and significant automobiles. The exclusive cars on display are showcased beautifully on the grounds of The Hotel Hershey and are easily some of the finest in the world.

1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster by Derham
1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster by Derham

The Elegance is the penultimate event of this three day celebration with the first two days centered on The Grand Ascent and a new event celebrating some rather curious automotive creations during Saturday’s Concorso Bizarro. Those two events are a great lead into the main attraction and provide quite a bit of entertainment on their own.

1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B Mille Miglia Superleggera Coupe by Touring
1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B Mille Miglia Superleggera Coupe by Touring

Sunday’s show field for The Elegance welcomed attendees with a wide range of brilliant automotive offerings from the early 1900s through the 1960s. All manner of coachwork was on display featuring the height of luxury to the essence of speed. The garden party like setting made for a very relaxed atmosphere and suited the elegant lines of the cars quite well. It was a great event that offered a lot to take in visually.

1938 Bugatti T-57C Atalante Coupe by Gangloff
1938 Bugatti T-57C Atalante Coupe by Gangloff
1928 Rolls-Royce "Springfield" New Phantom
1928 Rolls-Royce “Springfield” New Phantom
Unrestored 1969 Lamborghini Miura 400S
Unrestored 1969 Lamborghini Miura 400S

Best of show went to Mark Hyman’s spectacular 1948 Daimler DE36 “Green Goddess.” There are simply not enough words to describe the beauty of this car. That said, there were probably a half dozen other strong contenders for the same honor. The field was, and typically is, that strong at The Elegance. Check out the accompanying photos for more evidence of how stunning the cars were and follow this link for the full event gallery. Enjoy and be sure to add this event to your calendar!

1948 Daimler DE36 Green Goddess Drophead Coupe by Hooper
1948 Daimler DE36 Green Goddess Drophead Coupe by Hooper
1964 James Bond Aston Martin DB5 "Goldfinger" Coupe
1964 James Bond Aston Martin DB5 “Goldfinger” Coupe
1933 Ford-Auburn "Louis Special" Roadster presented by Wayne Carini
1933 Ford-Auburn “Louis Special” Roadster presented by Wayne Carini
1923 Bentley 3-Liter Speed Sports Touring by Chalmer & Hoyer
1923 Bentley 3-Liter Speed Sports Touring by Chalmer & Hoyer

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Goes High Style

PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes gathering
PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes gathering

You can’t have a huge automotive event – eighth largest in the world – without kicking it off in a big way. Every year, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix does it in style with the Black Tie and Tailpipes Gala. A new location is selected each year and a large number of donations are made to help the auction raise money for the charities.

Lincoln at the PVGP Black Tie Gala
Lincoln at the PVGP Black Tie Gala
Lotus at the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala
Lotus at the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala

This year the host for the event will again be the South Hills Country Club.  The PVGP celebrated there in 2013 and is looking to exceed the success that event had. It’s a great venue and the turnout is always superb, so I would expect things to go rather well. There should be an abundance of well-dressed attendees and some stunning cars.

Guests at the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala
Guests at the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala

Enjoy the images posted with this article and as always, follow the links for more from previous years. You can always purchase images from the site and with a portion of the profits going to the PVGP, you will be helping the charities. Enjoy!

Guests enjoying the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala
Guests enjoying the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala
Jaguar Pace Car at the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala
Jaguar Pace Car at the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala
Maserati Ghibli at PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala
Maserati Ghibli at PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala
PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala guests
PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala guests
You can't have a party without an Alfa Romeo
You can’t have a party without an Alfa Romeo

P.S. As I write this, there are still tickets available. Head on over the PVGP site and buy yours now!

Mustangs at the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala
Mustangs at the PVGP Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala