Tag Archives: pittsburgh vintage grand prix

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

The Janis Joplin Porsche 356

Though not as rare as seeing Halley’s Comet, catching a glimpse of Janis Joplin’s 356 out in the wild is pretty high on the list of rare occurrences. That fact made the cars appearance at this year’s Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix quite special and a moment not to be missed.

Uncovering the Janis Joplin Porsche 356
Uncovering the Janis Joplin Porsche 356

The cars arrival to Pittsburgh was a long one starting about 5 years ago when its acquisition was initiated as part of Porsche being the Marque for the 2011 event. While on display at another venue, the Joplin 356 was damaged and required repair that prevented it from making the trip to Pittsburgh. The damage to the car also made it that much more difficult to obtain as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum was even more reluctant to let it outside its facility for view. It took quite a bit of work, but the dedicated effort of a few key members of the Allegheny Region of the Porsche Club of America pulled through and secured the car for display.

The Janis Joplin Porsche 356 ready for the show field
The Janis Joplin Porsche 356 ready for the show field
Rolling the Janis Joplin Porsche 356 off the transporter
Rolling the Janis Joplin Porsche 356 off the transporter

Seeing it for the first time was a special moment. It’s an iconic car with mass appeal to car enthusiasts, music lovers and history buffs alike. Seeing it arrive quietly in an understated transporter was a delight as it offered time to study the car at a moment that would be short lived. The car would soon be covered again after unloading as it awaited thousands of viewers over the race and show weekend.

The Janis Joplin Porsche 356 ready for show
The Janis Joplin Porsche 356 ready for show

The unloading was handled quickly and carefully by members of the Allegheny Region of the Porsche Club as they were the caretakers of the car while on display in Pittsburgh. As the cover was pulled back from the car, the bright paintwork was reviled to the sun light making for quite a marvelous sight. It was then gently removed from the transporter and pushed into its resting spot for the show. Though restored, the car does is not run so as to save the engine and other mechanical parts. As a result, it must be pushed into position whenever moved. So gloves were the order of the day to protect the paint which is never polished or buffed – neither are the tires. The soft ground added an extra challenge to moving the car around, but all went smoothly.

For the next two days, spectators would be treated to the rare gem and were offered a very close view of the fascinating and mesmerizing paint work. Its imagery offers great insight to a significant period of modern US history and can keep you transfixed as you study it endlessly.  All manner of imagery is spread across the body of the car capturing portraits of the singer, her band and Dave Richards who helped Janis paint the car originally as well as political statements and choice psychedelic imagery.

Fender detail of the Janis Joplin Porsche 356
Fender detail of the Janis Joplin Porsche 356
Detail of the driver's door on the Janis Joplin Porsche 356
Detail of the driver’s door on the Janis Joplin Porsche 356
Rear view of the Janis Joplin Porsche 356
Rear view of the Janis Joplin Porsche 356

Having this car on display was a huge win for both the Allegheny Region of the Porsche Club of America and the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. It added one more element to an event that continues to grow in local and global significance and has helped raise awareness for the charities that benefit from the event represented by the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School.

More information about Janis Joplin and the car can be found here and many more images can be found by following this link. Enjoy!

Right rear quarter detail of the Janis Joplin Porsche 356
Right rear quarter detail of the Janis Joplin Porsche 356
Hood detail of the Janis Joplin Porsche 356
Hood detail of the Janis Joplin Porsche 356
The Janis Joplin Porsche 356 under the tent
The Janis Joplin Porsche 356 under the tent

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.

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

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