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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.

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

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