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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

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 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.

U.S. Vintage Grand Prix Watkins Glen 2014

I always love going to this event. The vintage racing at Watkins Glen never fails to produce some great memories and there is almost always some very special cars in attendance. This year I was drawn to a stunning 1968 Alfa Romeo T33/2 Daytona. This is a car that gets its name from the fact that it won its class at the 24 hours of Daytona. Not a minor achievement.

Alfa Romeo T33/2 Daytona adding additional class to the garage at Watkins Glen.
Alfa Romeo T33/2 Daytona adding additional class to the garage at Watkins Glen.

Equally impressive, though, was the Bentley Mulsanne that joined us in the camp grounds. Not sure I can think of a more interesting car to show up in. I tip my hat to that individual for sharing his car with us while at the same time raising our aspirations. The Campgrounds never disappoint when it comes to seeing unique cars and campers.

Bentley Mulsanne at Watkins Glen
Bentley Mulsanne at Watkins Glen

The track action was what you would expect with a bit of everything going on. There is always the group running at the front pounding away for victory. Not to suggest the rest are just out there doing parade laps, though. No, there was still good racing through and through for every group and with vintage cars, I’m just glad to see them out there. It’s a far better way to experience these cars and it trumps a museum nearly all the time. Hearing many of these cars at full chat will stay in your mind for a long time. Which is good as some of them will cause you to go deaf.

1965 Ford Mustang HiPro at Watkins Glen.
1965 Ford Mustang HiPro at Watkins Glen.
1959 Lister Costin exiting the Boot at Watkins Glen.
1959 Lister Costin exiting the Boot at Watkins Glen.
1996 Fabcar 911 exiting turn 1 at Watkins Glen.
1996 Fabcar 911 exiting turn 1 at Watkins Glen.

This will always be an event that is well worth your time if you have not been. I highly recommend attending and if you have budding car enthusiasts, do take them along. I have no doubt they will enjoy every minute of it.

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