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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.

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

The Grand Ascent 2015

Every year a band of stunning vintage sports cars arrive at the grounds of The Hotel Hershey in Hershey PA. They test and tune in preparation for the run to victory up a hill that has challenged drivers since the 1950s. The setting is in the woods and provides beautiful vistas for viewers to watch these drivers race their cars up the hill. It’s a fantastic spectacle that is well worth the journey out if you’ve yet to attend.

Stunning pre-war Bugatti
Stunning pre-war Bugatti

 

Porsche 356 at the ready during The Grand Ascent
Porsche 356 at the ready during The Grand Ascent

Friday welcomes the arrival of the competitors and the air is filled with the sound of engines tuning. Preliminary runs are made up the hill and the dialing in continues in an effort to make the perfect run. It’s a somewhat relaxed setting with much friendly chatter and well-wishing throughout the field. There is still a strong desire among many to win, but the overriding feeling is to have fun and enjoy time with good friends. The driver’s reception in the evening continues that sentiment.

David George's Bear Special Indy Champ Car
David George’s Bear Special Indy Champ Car
1941 Oldsmobile Special owned by Steve Moskowitz
1941 Oldsmobile Special owned by Steve Moskowitz

The morning light on Saturday reveals a similar scene with cars being readied and getting into position based on their grouping. The runs up the hill begin early and run into the afternoon as each driver chases victory. This year Wayne Carini was a guest and fielded his Triumph TR4. He made some great runs, as did some outstanding contenders in the Pre-war group.

Wayne Carini in his Triumph TR4
Wayne Carini in his Triumph TR4
1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 during The Grand Ascent
1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 during The Grand Ascent

Once again, it was a superb event. One that will long be on my calendar of events to attend. Check out the shots accompanying this article and follow this link to view the full gallery of images from the weekend.

David George's Bear Special Indy Champ Car
David George’s Bear Special Indy Champ Car

Counting Down The Days

It’s never too early to start counting down to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. It’s one of those events that you look forward to attending shortly after the last one ended. If you could experience sensory overload from too much automotive exposure – which is impossible by the way – this would be the event to subject you to it. You have everything from black-tie and casual parties to rallyes, shows and full on racing. It literally has everything. With that in mind, it only makes sense to take a look back at last year’s Kick-Off Rallye as that is the event that gets the giant wheels of this machine rolling.

Righthand drive Mini
Righthand drive Mini
Inside the 1961 Chevy Impala
Inside the 1961 Chevy Impala

The Kick-Off Rallye is a great way to start things off. It’s casual fun that offers participants a way to socialize and admire each other’s cars as well engage in some spirited competitive driving. Everything on wheels is acceptable for this event. The 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. I think there was even a delivery van one year. The streets fill with everything and it makes for great fun and much conversation from participants and spectators alike.

Stunning MGA
Stunning MGA

Driving the course is always a mystery. The clues are clever and keep you on your toes as you try to stay on track while answering questions along the way. If that gets to be burdensome, you can always skip right to the end, get comfortable with a beverage and watch everyone as they roll in. Since the cars are all numbered, it’s a bit fun to see what order they arrive. I guarantee it’s never in order. Not even close. I try to shoot this throughout the event and use the numbers as a gauge to determine how far along things are. That is always a mistake. The route invariably gets people turned around at some point and that includes me, but honestly, that’s part of the fun. Oh and as a side note, should you see me along the route and decide to follow believing I know where I’m going, big mistake. I generally don’t know where I’m going and never get advance notice as to the route. Plus, I often double back as I bounce around trying to photograph everyone.

The large and incharge Dodge Monaco
The large and in charge Dodge Monaco

So do join in 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 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 as we get closer to this year’s start and will be posting throughout the Grand Prix once it is underway. Enjoy and hope to see you on the road!

The Jag
The Jag
The perfect livery for this Mini
The perfect livery for this Mini
Triumph TR4
Triumph TR4
Austin Healey 3000
Austin Healey 3000
Porsche 550 Spyder
Porsche 550 Spyder

Concours D’Elegance at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens 2014

There is a new show in town and its first time out of the gate looked pretty impressive. The Concours D’Elegance at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens boasted beautiful grounds, elegant cars and bikes as well as some great food. This show has also filled a void, for many including myself, that was left with the departure of the Glenmoor Gathering. A show that was held at the same time of the year and had a marvelous run of 18 years. David W, Schultz, along with many others responsible for the Glenmoor Gathering, made this new event possible. Once again, they have done a sterling job picking a wonderful venue and then covering its grounds with some of the most beautiful machines you will ever see.

This first year for Stan Hywet focused on Pierce-Arrow. A company that got its start manufacturing delicate, gilded birdcages of all things. The company then added bicycles to their line followed by the automobile.

1936 Pierce-Arrow Model 1601
1936 Pierce-Arrow Model 1601

The earliest Pierce-Arrow example represented was a 1909 Model 36 producing, as you might have guessed, 36 horsepower. By the time this car was introduced by the company, they had already gained a reputation for building premier motorcars. No less than a dozen or so Pierce-Arrows were on display from 1909 through 1936. It was a very impressive array of some of their finer creations.

Sharing the grounds with Pierce-Arrow were greats like Dueseberg, Packard, Cord, Lincoln, Alfa Romeo, Allard, and Maserati. That just names a few and does not do justice to the breadth of manufacturers on display this year. I could have spent far more than the allotted time for the show examining each and every car. Nothing presented could have been considered mundane.

1922 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8
1922 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8

It was a very special event that attracted highly desirable cars along with a group of very knowledgeable judges. On hand to lead the charge in this difficult task was Chief Judge Paul F. Sable. He along with his erudite automotive team made their way through the vehicles to make the tough decisions that someone like myself would have great difficulty doing. In settings like this, I’m much like a child running from car to car easily distracted by shiny things.

I encourage all to find room in your busy schedules to attend this event. It is a brilliant location to showcase some of the finest cars man has put his hand to. I eagerly look forward to next year and well imagine it will be equally as stunning. I again will no doubt run about in an effort to take it all in while trying to look as professional as possible. Do take the time to look through my gallery of the event to see just how remarkable this year’s event was.

1931 Franklin Series 15
1931 Franklin Series 15

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

This year’s Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix featured a number of events that should not be missed. If you have never attended, it should be on your list of summer car show activities. There is really no reason to have not attended yet or to wait any longer.

Porsche 911 on track at Schenley Park
Porsche 911 on track at Schenley Park

 

The weather cooperated, for the most part, save for Saturday at Schenley. The rain that day nearly prevented the show cars from taking to the grass and at the start, you actually might have been better to arrive in a boat. As luck would have it, though, things settled enough that everyone was able to get into position and enjoy the rest of the event. Some of the finest cars were on display from vintage British greats like Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and Aston Martin to all American heavies including Ford GT40s, Corvette, and Shelby Mustangs. The Germans and Italians were well represented as well with impressive displays from Porsche, BMW, Ferrari, Maserati, and Alfa Romeo just to scratch the surface. It was a feats for the eyes with some of the finest curves in automotive history on display.

Ford GT40 MkIV at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix
Ford GT40 MkIV at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

To experience all that the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix has to offer, I have attached a gallery link to this text that will enable you to see the eye candy that was on display at all the events from this year. Do enjoy and feel free to navigate your way through the other galleries I have featured on my site. Until next time!

A beautiful when wet Lancia
A beautiful when wet Lancia