PVGP founder Alan Patterson passed away on Friday, June 30. Alan was a vintage racing legend and served as our first race director in 1983, and the organization’s first meetings were held in his Shadyside garage.
Alan Patterson raced vintage sports cars at some of the most prestigious tracks in the world — from the streets of Watkins Glen, back in 1952, and Sebring to Monterey and the top historic races in France, England and Monaco. But the challenging street course that winds through Schenley Park, just miles from his residence, was Alan’s home track and his personal favorite.
Alan was proud that his family shares his enthusiasm for vintage cars and racing. Three generations of Patterson’s raced together over the years. As many as six Patterson’s have raced together at the PVGP. “It was the first time ever in the world to the best of my knowledge,” he said.
Besides Alan, the Patterson team includes his sons, Alan III, Christopher, his nephew, Peter, and Peter’s daughter Kelsey and son Spencer.
Longtime friend and fellow racer Andy McSwigan penned an article for the 2016 PVGP Race Program that says it best. “If there really is a legend of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, it’s Alan Patterson. No one else comes close. Alan got started around 1950 as part of the Buzzy Kountz Racing Team at Watkins Glen. He was holding meetings on the subject of a vintage race on the city streets of Schenley Park well before 1983. That was before there was even a PVGP organization or the very first race. Every year since then would find him competing in one of his truly classics, the Allard J2X or Elva Formula Junior or some other Marque racer…whichever was running well at the time. Alan was racing cars that he purchased new since the fifties…an amazing feat!
Today, it’s Alan, chairman of the “Racing Pattersons”, who also brings us a team of bagpipers to serenade us in the paddock…a perfect compliment to go with squealing, screeching race engines.”
Alan will be missed by our family of volunteers and racers. Once details are available on a memorial service, they will be posted here.