FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MAY 23, 2016
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix is preparing to launch and celebrate its 34th consecutive year of racing this July. Below you will find a summary of some of the highlights, interesting facts and history about this very unique event.
How it got started – There is an interesting story about how the event got started, including the first meeting in a Shadyside garage in 1982. Several dozen volunteers who attended the first meeting are still with the Grand Prix today. The first event in 1983 was a 1-day race held on Labor Day weekend…the Grand Prix has now grown to a 10-day festival spanning two counties and 9 separate events. History
One of a Kind – The PVGP is the nation’s only vintage race staged on public roads. Reminiscent of this country’s first sports car racing in the 1950’s, 2.33 miles of Pittsburgh city streets in Schenley Park are closed over the July 16/17 weekend where approximately 150 vintage cars are raced on two lane roads and bridges with stone walls, curbs and telephone poles. With an average value of $50,000 per race car, that equates to nearly $10 million on the track! Many unusual and rare cars are raced. No garage queens here. See a list of the Entries from 2015
Poster – Each year the Grand Prix’s poster, which most always features the Marque of the Year, becomes the visual signature for the event and is featured on billboards, the race program cover, event merchandise and in event advertising. The process of choosing an annual artist and original work of art is a fascinating story in itself and over the years we have collected an impressive gallery that any car enthusiast or art collector would be excited about. This year, artist Tavis Coburn has created a masterpiece that will go down as one of our best ever. Details
Jaguar Honored as Marque of the Year – Each year the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix selects a marque, or car manufacturer, to honor. In 2016 all models of the Jaguar will be recognized as the marque. They will be visible at all PVGP Race Week events including a huge party on race weekend at Schenley Park on July 16/17. Details
Spotlight on Mazda Miata – The PVGP is shining the light on the Mazda Miata as the 2016 Spotlight Car. The Spotlight designation is given to a car that is featured and will be represented in mass attendance at the International Car Show at Schenley Park. Mazda, and in particular, the Miata, are well represented by owners and car clubs. Details
Special Races at Schenley Park – In addition to our standard race groups, annually we feature a few special races to give our racers extra track time and to attract specialty racers who typically may not race at this event. There are three special races this year: Formula Junior North America, Royale Formula Ford Exhibition sponsored by Morrow Park and South Side Works City Apartments and a Porsche BMW Challenge sponsored by Sewickley Car Store.
Legends of Schenley Park – The success and longevity of our event depend heavily on the participation of our racers. To acknowledge those drivers we have created the “Legends of Schenley Park” that honors racers that have competed with us for 15 or more years. Forty Nine (49) racers currently qualify and another 10 qualify to be inducted this year. The ceremony will take place Saturday night after the races in Schenley. Details and List of Legends
Course Set-up – A public golf course and a 2.33 mile stretch of public streets of Schenley Park is transformed in just a few days, by volunteers, to a stage over 2,000 show cars and a race course with 22 death-defying turns for about 150 vintage race cars. In the construction of the temporary track, 243 tons of concrete Jersey barriers, 2 miles of snow fence with 1,300 fence posts, 1,700 hay bales and 4,000 zip-ties are used. This is a feat nothing short of spectacular. Map
13th Year of PVGP Historics at Pitt Race – In 2004 the PVGP introduced a second weekend of racing at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in nearby Beaver Falls, PA. This venue allows fans to see American muscle cars and big-bore racers that are too big and fast for Schenley Park’s tight road circuit. It’s a loud and exciting start to a weeklong celebration of the automobile. This year our Historics Race has been expanded an additional day to three full days of racing on July 8 through 10 with a Test & Tune day on Thursday, July 7. Last year the PVGP was the first official race on the new 1.2 mile South Track extension and when combined with the North Track it encompasses 2.6 thunderous miles of heart-pounding racing. Details
Charity – The PVGP has raised $4.3 million since 1983 for the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School. Staff and families of these charities are an integral part of the PVGP volunteer staff. $400,000 was donated last year…our largest donation to date. Our charities
Ambassadors – To help put a face on the race’s charities, five unique and deserving individuals from each charity are selected each year to serve as Ambassadors of the Grand Prix. Their presence at the events and stories help to define what each charity does and how the PVGP donations greatly impact the charities. Ambassadors
Volunteers – There are over 1,200 individuals who volunteer time each year to stage, run and tear down the Grand Prix. Race side job functions include corner workers, course crew, timing/scoring officials, pit/paddock directors and food preparation. On the show side volunteers manage 50 sponsor tents, direct traffic, empty trash, manage car shows, sell merchandise, take donations and direct the parade. The PVGP is the largest volunteer-based event in vintage racing. In 2016 our 1,000 volunteers will consume 3 tons of ice, 300 cases of soft drinks, 400 cases of water. List of Volunteers
Car Shows – The weekend’s International Car Show at Schenley Park attracts 2,000 show cars on the golf course with their respective car clubs. The largest club is the Western Pennsylvania Triumph Association, marking their 30th year as the sponsors of “British Car Day” which brings 600 British cars on Saturday, July 16. There is major support from the BMW and Porsche Clubs as well as participation from clubs representing MINI, Jaguar, VW, Mercedes-Benz , Subaru, Mustang, All Italians and Audi. Details There is even a Vintage Motorbike Show.
Yenko Sportscar 50th Reunion – Don Yenko helped spur the growth of American muscle cars right here in Western Pennsylvania. The Yenko Sports Car Reunion is coming home with a special display of Yenko Camaro’s, Chevelle’s, Nova’s, Corvair Stingers, Vegas and racing Corvettes. The tent will be located on the 18th hole of the Schenley Park Golf Course during our International Car Show on the July 16/17 Race Weekend. Details
Forbes Avenue of Speed – We are thrilled for the return of our Friday night “Forbes Avenue of Speed” Parade and Car Show in nearby Squirrel Hill on July 15. Our vintage racers parade through Squirrel Hill and park on Forbes Avenue for a car show. The event runs from 6:30 until 8:30 pm. While the cars on on display the drivers are welcome to attend a private reception inside Orr’s Jewelers on Forbes Avenue for our racers and their crew. Details
Free Family-Friendly Public Event – Since the PVGP is held on city streets amid a 456 acre public park there are no gates or admission fees charged. Race Week attendance is estimated at a quarter million people with over 200,000 attending the Schenley Park weekend alone…making it our country’s largest vintage racing spectator event.
Sponsors – The Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation (GPADF) is the Presenting Sponsor of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. The GPADF is the independent philanthropic arm of the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Association (GPADA). Many of our sponsors have additional special displays and events to enhance the Grand Prix experience. 2016 Sponsors
Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Association
1000 Gamma Drive, Suite 106, Pittsburgh PA 15238
Office/Cell 412 559-3500