Tag Archives: lotus

Vintage Motoring

The accompanying video from Petrolicious focuses on vintage supercars of the 70’s and what it is like to drive them. It demonstrates the joys of owning and running such cars and what about them creates the attraction, and addiction, for many. It’s a video that can be applied to the entirety of vintage car ownership in general.

I have great admiration for cars in general – old and new – but my true love tends to reside in the past. I find vintage cars much more engaging and rewarding to drive and if you know me, you know I chat about this fact ad nauseam.

Today’s cars are far safer and well ahead in terms of technology and usability, but they tend to create a situation where some of the passion is lost rendering the automobile as just a way to get around. They lack a voice and a distinct personality. You have to reach pretty high up into the world of super cars and hyper cars to find anything that can stir the emotions, but even then, I don’t think they captivate or engage like a vintage car.

Take any country road and drive it in a modern car and then a vintage car. I would wager you will end the trip having a more eventful experience in the vintage car. You will have driven the road and have been focused on it and engaged in the drive. I feel this is true even if you take out the most modern sports car. I love the style and technology packed into the new examples, but dislike the disconnect from when you could feel what was going on and thus, become a better and more attentive driver each time you went out.

 

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 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

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

2015 Pittsburgh International Auto Show

If you’re a car nut, the intro photo is pretty much all you need to know about this year’s Pittsburgh International Auto Show. It was a highlight display giving attendees some unique cars to drool over and fantasize about that they otherwise would likely never see. Not even on a great day. But another highlight to the show was a somewhat unnoticed event that takes place every year the night before the show opens to the public.

The Auto Show is put on by the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealer Association and before the public comes through the doors; their foundation holds a Red Carpet Gala that allows a sneak peek of the show as well as entertainment and fundraising for a select charity. This year the event featured the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. The GPADA became the presenting sponsor of the PVGP last year and used this event to showcase their involvement as well as to present a check to the PVGP and the charities supported by it – The Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School. The result of everyone’s involvement and hard work last year was a check totaling $360,000.00! Quite an achievement and a new record for the PVGP. It was a great way to kick-start an evening of celebration, good food and lively entertainment.

PVGP Check Presentation
PVGP Check Presentation

PVGP Group shot
PVGP Group shot

The new poster design for the 2015 PVGP
The new poster design for the 2015 PVGP

The next day left no evidence as to what took place the night before. The show was ready for the public well before opening with all cars, save the rather pricey ones, awaiting potential buyers’ abuse. New to the show this year was Algar Ferrari. What a welcome sight they were! This area, as illustrated by the Cars & Coffee display, is eager to purchase fine sports cars so it was great to see them make the trip in from Philadelphia. Sad to see local dealers that carry Bentley and Maserati absent, but perhaps that will change next year. If nothing else, they bring more people through the doors.

In the end, it was a very well attended show and for those out to buy a car, there was much to climb in and check out. So enjoy the few images posted here and for a full on sensory attack, follow this gallery link for all of the event images. Enjoy!

The mighty McLaren P1
The mighty McLaren P1

Lamborghini Aventador Anniversario
Lamborghini Aventador Anniversario

Lincoln display
Lincoln display

You can't have enough McLaren P1
You can’t have enough McLaren P1

Ariel Atom
Ariel Atom

Chevy Camaro
Chevy Camaro

Corvette Z06
Corvette Z06

Lexus RC F Sport Coupe
Lexus RC F Sport Coupe

BMW i8
BMW i8

Chasing a sale
Chasing a sale