The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix is well known for the beautiful posters created each year…so we thought that would be the best way to tell our story …
Each poster captures the beauty and excitement of our event. We have been fortunate enough to have the artwork donated each year by local and national artists. Each of these posters are available to purchase here.
The first event was the brainchild of Art McGovern and Mary Beth Gmitter who, in 1982, carpooled together. Art dreamed of holding a race through the streets of Schenley Park.
The first meetings were held in Alan Patterson’s garage in Shadyside. A group quickly formed, comprised of racers, Sports Car Club of America members and other interested parties. Myron Cope of WTAE, Dan Torisky of The Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Rege Champ of Allegheny Valley School were also involved in establishing the event.
In 1982 the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Association was founded and designated a nonprofit organization incorporated for the express purpose of sponsoring the race. They, along with many other volunteers to follow, set out to run the first vintage race in Schenley Park, made available for the event by Pittsburgh Mayor Richard Caliguiri. and CitiParks’ Louise Brown and Carl Mancuso.
On Labor Day, 1983, some 80 entrants – including 14 from Canada – came to race on what would become a hallmark vintage racing track that wound through Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park. Alan Patterson served as our first Race Director and helped recruit the racers. A small group of dedicated volunteers worked furiously to stage the event and create the race circuit. Five races were scheduled along with a parade of patrons to start the day of racing. All events were held on one hectic September Saturday. Proceeds of $25,000 were more than expected and were shared equally by the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School. An amazing feat for a one-day event with no gate! We did not know that the Marine Corps Reserves serving as track security were expecting lunch, so when they walked off at 2:30 – the races were over.
Vintage Motorsport Magazine’s review of 1983 claimed, “if race organizers can get the bugs out of the system, the PVGP could become a staple on the vintage racing calendar.” Luckily we learned many things that first year and continue to make improvements, even today.
With only one year under our belts, the growth began. For vintage racers and car buffs, the August 25-26 event offered two full days of racing. 84 cars, including 11 Canadian entries, vied for victory on the challenging course. They tested their mettle in five Sunday races under a fierce August sun with the intense, but gentlemanly competition. Added to the ambiance of the 2nd year was the first Saturday Invitational Classic and Antique Car Show staged on the plaza at the Frick Fine Arts Museum. There was an impressive showing of Pre-World War I Brass Cars, Classics, Antiques and Sports Cars. On Sunday, the Golf Course bloomed with the tailgate parties of the Patron Parkers who drove their autos in the Patron Parade – something that has become a staple of the event. The donation increased to $40,000! The poster was illustrated by Paul Schifino and featured a Jaguar XK-120.
Growth, city-wide enthusiasm and more attractions marked the 3rd Annual PVGP. In 1985, we became the largest volunteer managed and operated event of its kind in the nation, and have held onto that honor to this day. In addition, visitors and spectators reached 40,000-plus at the mid-August event. The Saturday Classic and Antique Car Show expanded to include exotic and special interest cars. Another innovation was the Marque of the Year. The featured club was Lotus. On Sunday, Patron Parking expanded on the golf course. There were four races that year followed by an all-class Handicap Race. This was the longest racing day the PVGP ever had with the Handicap Race finishing at nearly 6:00 PM. The charitable donation increased to $45,000.
Jaguar was the designated Marque of the Year and the proud British cruised onto the scene with an impressive history. Pleased owners interacted with the curious, socialized or visited the Jaguar tent and display to see the new Tulius race car driven by Chip Robinson. Expansion was the theme at the Car Show. Along with Classics and Antiques, members of the Rolls Royce and Cadillac Car Clubs joined the display at Frick Museum and the Corvette Club of Western Pennsylvania ran their own car corral on Flagstaff Hill.
On the track, the itinerary expanded to six classes of vintage racing. The Sunday schedule was modified to three dual races, with the winners meeting in a featured Handicap Race. $55,000 was split between our charities, the fourth straight increase.
1987 was the beginning of what has become the familiar formula of our Race Week. Our 5th successive year brought a date change from mid-August to July 25-26. A pre-race Kickoff Rallye, run on local streets to publicize the upcoming Race Weekend, was added. Some 50 teams participated in the July 17 road event. Another milestone was the creation of British Car Day, sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Triumph Association. This new show immediately added 350 British cars, much to the delight of spectators and participants. This British flavor was reinforced by the designation of Morgan as Marque of the Year. Sunday’s events followed the successful format developed over the years. Final statistics indicated a sharp increase in spectators to over 60,000. The year-end donation was $52,000.
This sixth year saw our Race Week format blossom with a variety of unique automobile-related events throughout the week. The growing Kickoff Rallye added a Media Challenge for members of the press, further enhancing our visibility in Pittsburgh. The Saturday Car Shows, British Car Day and new German Car display.
The Marque of the Year was Lancia, with a unique assemblage of the Italian marque on the golf course. The donation topped $58,000, a new high. Finally realizing the need to develop new processes to ensure further growth, the Operating Committee was formed. This committee would mentor the future successes of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix for years to come.
Attendance at the week-long bill of activities approached 100,000, with a considerable increase at all Race Week events. Marque of the Year, Mercedes-Benz, had a stunning tent display, setting a new standard for all future Marques to achieve or exceed. Volunteerism set a new high with some 1,100 men and women sacrificing their weekend.
The volunteer Operating Committee surpassed expectations in coordinating the event. The poster, one of our most popular ever featured Andy Moore in his red ’62 Jaguar XKE and Richard Freshman in his blue ’59 Morgan +4 as they crossed the finish line in a tie for first…holding hands in tribute to the memorable race they had just completed. Illustration by Barry DeBone of Pittsburgh. The donation reached a new high of $75,000.
Our first wet year ever provided numerous challenges, which the resolve of our all-volunteer ranks proved merely irrelevant to the event’s success. By 10:00 AM Saturday, 120 race cars started their qualifying trials and over 750 show cars were being directed to new areas. Traffic plans were altered, a new spectator shuttle route established, and despite intermittent showers, the 8th Annual PVGP became a reality. Sunday morning was wet. Patron Parkers had new assigned spots on asphalt with tailgating allowed on the grass. The Marque of the Year, Alfa Romeo, was given a new position and the pre-race parade around the track was a success. Grand Marshal Bob Bondurant, an ex-Formula One driver and head of the Bondurant School of High-Performance Driving, delighted both crowd and media with his presence and his hot laps around the track. The charities shared $75,000 – the same amount as the previous year.
1991 was a significant year for the PVGP as new race sponsor, Buick, brought distinguished guest Indy driver Jim Crawford and his Lola/Buick Indy V6 fresh from the Indianapolis 500, as well as a spectator display from the Buick Motorsport Division. Marque of the Year, the MG, was an amazing addition to race weekend and the perfect complement to British Car Day.
The New England MG T Series Register, LTD., organized the largest and best display of MG T cars seen in the United States. TV hit MASH’s Father Mulcahy, otherwise known as William Christopher served as a very popular Grand Marshal as he took a lap of the track in a genuine Jeep from the Korean War. Our $80,000 donation raised our grand total to over $500,000!
10 years and still growing! Two new additions to the Race Week activities drew still more participants and revenue for our charities – PVGP Jazz Night at Rosebud and the first PVGP/West Penn AAA Classic Car and Automotive Memorabilia Auction at Motor Square Garden, East Liberty. In addition, special guest driver Jim Crawford, Honorary Race Director Sam Posey, and Vintage Driver Emeritus Rene Dreyfus, were all on hand Race Weekend to meet spectators, sponsors and drivers.
A spectacular display on the golf course of our 1992 featured Marque, Ferrari, was one of the best ever. Rare Ferraris – some of them literally museum pieces – gathered to wow everyone with their beauty and panache. A special Ferrari exhibition race was run on Sunday and brought another level of excitement and beauty to the festivities. A record $90,000 was donated to the PVGP charities, bringing our cumulative donation over the half-million-dollar mark.
The poster, designed by Mike Savitski/Landesberg Design, features Marque of the Year, Ferrari with Phipps Conservatoryin in the background. Winner of the 1992 Pittsburgh Ad Club award “Best four-color poster”.
Race Week of ’93 was hectic for many reasons. Start/Finish and the pit/paddock areas were relocated. Manufacturers’ Row, now Vendors’ Village, was a successful venture but required a lot of land. Finally, the loss of a bridge further challenged our event management. But with 10 years behind us, we to pulled it off without a hitch. World Champion Driver Phil Hill was our Honorary Race Director. As Marque of the Year, a spectacular display of Corvettes enhanced the weekend’s mood.
Enthusiasts were thrilled to have two of Corvette’s most famous designers on hand, former designers Zora Arkus-Duntov and Larry Shinoda. Race Weekend saw the addition of a Featured Marque race, and the roar of race-prepared Corvettes echoed through Schenley Park. Our poster was designed by Randy McCafferty, of Pittsburgh. This stunning colored pencil features a vintage Bugatti and driver sporting the number 11, for the 11th Annual PVGP. $90,000 was donated to charity.
Grand Marshal Elliott Forbes Robinson, otherwise known as the winningest driver in America, not only honored us with his presence but complemented the PVGP by calling it, “the most challenging vintage racecourse in the country.” Marque of the Year, Porsche, put on one of the most spectacular Marque displays to date.
Over 130,000 spectators came to Schenley Park to take in the weekend’s festivities, further cementing our position as one of the most popular annual events in Pittsburgh. Our 12th-anniversary poster, a beautiful design by Randy McCafferty, features a Porsche Spyder. For the third straight year, $90,000 was raised.
Austin-Healey was honored as the Marque of the Year in a spectacular poster designed by Michael Ley – mixed media featuring the Marque Austin-Healey and Schenley Park background and the spirit of the PVGP. Myron Cope, who is one of our founders, was honored us as Grand Marshal. Pittsburgh Mayor, Tom Murphy joined us as Honorary Race Director and got the races underway after the opening ceremonies. A new record of $110,000 was presented to our charities.
Buick joined us as Presenting Sponsor and the presentation of another beautiful Race Weekend. Buick’s involvement raised the bar for sponsors at this level by providing new resources with which to develop new growth and new revenue for our charities. The Jaguar Club of Pittsburgh and Jaguar Cars of North America were instrumental in the coordination of our featured Marque of the Year. The Marque display area was filled with Jaguars, E-Types, 120 & 140’s, Mk. II’s, and others made a very handsome showing of the Jaguar mystique.
With the continued growth of Race Week activities and the generosity of our sponsors, our donation to the PVGP charities was $105,000. The poster, designed by Michael Ley, was a colored pencil illustration of a Jaguar “C Type” and “XK 140” celebrating Jaguar as Marque of the Year. It also featured the various race flags we use at the races.
Spectators and volunteers were thrilled to find National Geographic Explorer’s Boyd Matson – and film crew – entered in the race. Boyd drove a 1958 Morgan +4, with a camera attached, and turned in some very respectable times. Later in the year the PVGP was a feature of the popular television series.
Driver Lyn St. James joined us as Honorary Race Director. Lyn is a very accomplished racer and one of only a few women to race in the Indy 500. With her pleasant and charming demeanor, Lyn was a great addition to the growing list of PVGP honored guests. Rick Ley created this crisp and colorful poster features the Marque of the Year and racing great Allard driven by our own Alan Patterson. Our best-ever record donation of $110,000 was matched.
179 race cars and drivers, plus over 1000 show car owners, took advantage of perfect weather, transforming serene Schenley Park into one of the nation’s best motorsports parks. Our Marque of the Year feature, BMW, was highly visible throughout the park and the entire event. Special races were scheduled for BMWs of past and present. A spectacular Marque display on the golf course was complemented by the beautiful BMW tent showing an overview of their racing heritage. This would prove to be the genesis of a great, enduring relationship between PVGP and BMW.
1998 was also a million-dollar milestone. With the financial generosity of Buick and our other sponsors, monies raised through other Race Week events, PVGP merchandise sales and the donations of British Car Day and BMW, $100,000 was donated to our charities. Rick Ley once again created our poster featuring Schenley Park as a background and a vintage BMW 328 regularly seen at our races.
Spectators were treated to an outstanding showing by 1999’s Marque of the Year Mercedes. Racing simulators, M-B merchandise, and some of the most stunning cars to ever carry the Mercedes nameplate – including a 540K and 300SL fresh from restoration, and the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen Model #1 Replica – adorned our event. Bobby Rahal was Honorary Race Director and guest speaker at a black-tie dinner sponsored by the Mercedes-Benz Club of America, Pittsburgh Section, where art and memorabilia were sold by silent auction.
The Mercedes Club presented a total donation of $46,167 to the PVGP, a significant part of the record $140,000 donated to our charities this year. Our 16th annual poster was designed by Rick Ley, and features Mercedes-Benz as Marque with an illustration of racing great, Juan Fangio at the wheel.
Wet was an understatement for our Y2K foray. However, our Marque, Audi, proved German engineering excellence cannot be submerged. Amazingly, our steadfast drivers surfaced from the wet trials on Saturday to storm through all the races on Sunday – a tribute also to our race side management. So, what else could you throw at us? How about a City hook-and-ladder fire truck, en route to Oakland, mixing it up with the over-2-litre class? The truck was disqualified after it blew through the chicane – literally. And how about our mud-splattered security people and waterlogged merchandise volunteers, selling wet T-shirts to thousands of equally soaked spectators? Finally, there was the bargain restoration by Allegheny Greenery of the integrity of the Schenley Park golf course – and the creation of golf course damage control committee – to ensure its protection. Though wet behind our ears, we came out far from washed up. 2000 was our best to date financially, with $126,000 turned over to our charities. The poster was designed by Rick Ley and portrays images of our Marque; Audi and their racing heritage.
So, what do you do after making a good thing better for 19 years? Make it better still. 2001, in many ways, made fundamental changes while keeping the successful formula in place. SHOP ‘n SAVE became our presenting sponsor, the beginning of a partnership that has proven fruitful for everyone. Street rods of all types, including roadsters and Little Deuce coupes, grew our car show ranks. Thunder Run, with scores of motorcycles leading the Sunday parade, roared to life. 12 Allards – British bodied autos with American horsepower – raced around the park – the most Allards in a single race anywhere in over 25 years.
Participants from around the globe, including a compelling display of Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche graced the golf course. Bentley, one of the most revered names in automotive history was our Marque. The highlight of the week, naturally, was the races. We had 8 feature races, more than any other year, with over 180 cars making it America’s greatest presentation of vintage auto racing ever. $40,000 was split between our charities.
Like so many years prior, our 20th continued both our growth and recognition within the Pittsburgh Community. The move of our black-tie gala to the Saturday prior to Race Weekend netted us the best attendance yet. Miss Pennsylvania graced us with her presence throughout the week, and record numbers of cars came out at all of our Race Week activities. Our spotlight Viper show brought a new dimension to the Saturday shows, further growing the American presence in this international affair.
The Thunder Run also grew in attendance. However, just like Year One, it was the hundreds of volunteers who show up all week that make this event happen. That genuine desire to be a part of something that serves others is what keeps this event successful, and one of the most unique in the country. A record-tying $140,000 was donated to our charities. The poster was designed by Greg Farrell using his Porsche and some of his friends!
The throbbing heart of the Grand Prix will always be wheel-to-wheel vintage auto racing, and Race Director Mike Connolly reported that our 21st anniversary event was a record setter–190 vintage sports cars in eight races thrilled spectators as never before. The combined car shows were up to their usual excellence. BMW and Porsche remained solid, according to car show coordinator Greg Farrell, with Mercedes-Benz hosting a national event that attracted several 300SL gull-wings. Marque of the Year Vettes spanned three fairways. 2003 ushered in the tremendous talents of Dan Holmes of Bradley Brown Design Group who created the poster and race program – one of our most unique and popular ever.
Pittsburgh artist Mark Bender utilized acrylic paint on an oak plank to achieve the affect of a posted vintage image of a 1959 Corvette. During Race Week, Ken Merusi’s Walnut Street invitational car show sustained its tradition of quality and exclusivity. Astounding was the word for Joe Janosky’s Tuesday car cruise, moved from Squirrel Hill to the vast Waterfront in Homestead. Over 600 cars were on display–more than the Shady-to-Murray block of Forbes Avenue could ever accommodate. The Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala kicked off Race Week netting a cool $16,000, while SHOP ‘n SAVE’s first-ever Pro AM golf tournament – netted another $30,000. Praise from everyone on race side went to Rocky Farrar, Jeff Farrar, and Bill Seaman. All told, $110,000 was raised for the charities.
Our event saw many changes and many improvements with new corporate sponsors, American cars exhibited on the golf course, public parking on Flagstaff Hill and full color race program. The growing event brought on a full-time Executive Director, Dan DelBianco, to help steer the organization’s growth and improvement. On Saturday, fans endured the “scattered showers” to take in the British Car Display and see hundreds of show cars. Several prototype cars were showcased on the fairways including a 2005 Mustang GT, a 2005 Audi A6, a Cadillac CTS -V and the country’s first MINI convertible.
SHOP ‘n SAVE spokesperson Rich Haeflein was thrilled with the turnout at the hospitality tent, saying “We exceeded our previous high for donations to the charities. The size and enthusiasm of the crowds, despite the rain, shows why this is the nation’s premiere vintage automotive event.” Race Director Mike Connolly thanked the 186 drivers for braving the elements and bringing out their toys to entertain the crowd”.
The new Historic Races at nearby BeaveRun race track provided a different kind of thrill and promises to be an exciting new venue to showcase the VRG’s American thunder and muscle cars 2004 poster, illustrated by Pittsburgh’s Greg Valley, depicts a colorful new Mini-Cooper racing through the streets of Schenley Park during the Marque parade. $120,000 was donated to our charities.
SHOP ‘n SAVE was our presenting sponsor for the fifth straight year, adding excitement and extra donations through their hospitality tent at the center of the golf course. A new single year record of $150,000 was donated to charity, bringing our 23 year total to $1.9 million! The Neighborhood Ford Store stepped up to host the Mustang as Marque of the Year, including a “Mustang Stampede” of 100 new red pony cars through Pittsburgh and into Schenley Park. 2005 Mustang designer and CMU graduate Hau Thai-Tung served as the Grand Marshal and Public Works Director Guy Costa took the Grand Marshal role, representing the city of Pittsburgh.
David George chaired the races for the VSCCA, our sanctioning group at Schenley since the beginning. 150 drivers competed in six groups at Schenley Park. The new Crown Royal Winners Circle recognized the top finishers with a trophy presentation. Ambassadors we selected to represent the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School. The 2nd annual Historic Races at BeaveRun were a smashing success. VRG sanctioned 6 race groups with 123 racers. The BMW/Porsche Challenge added 21 drivers to this growing kickoff weekend. Barry Rowe of England donated his famous artwork for our poster – it depicts race legend, Juan Manuel Fangio, driving his Maserati 250F to a win at the 1957 German Grand Prix.
In 2006 another record was set when $160,000 was donated to the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School breaking the $2 million barrier! The weather was beautiful and the crowds were tremendous. Over 200,000 people blanketed the fairways of the golf course to watch seven exciting races. A new event was added that provided an opportunity for spectators to catch a ride in a vintage race car around the track.
Jaguar was the Marque of the Year and the Grand Marshal was Bibiana Boerio…Managing Director of Jaguar Cars in London and a Latrobe native. Auto Aficionado’s Larry Crane came across country to serve as the Honorary Race Director. A Tune-Up at Bossa Nova and a Poverty Neck Hillbilly concert at the Hard Rock Cafe were added as new events during Race Week to raise money and awareness for our event. Our poster was designed and illustrated by Dan Holmes honoring Jaguar. An XK-120 C-Type is shown entering the serpentine at Schenley Park. The number 24 signifies the 24th year of the PVGP. The event has grown so much that the Race Program had to be expanded to a whopping 80 pages!
2007 – 25th Anniversary
Our 25th year celebration was fabulous. The weather was perfect and the crowds were the biggest ever…so was the donation to our charities; a record $170,000 donation. Presenting Sponsor Shop’n Save really gave the event a boost by bringing in a baker’s dozen of TV and Radio partners to help promote the event. Mercedes-Benz was the 2007 Marque of the Year with the 50th anniversary of the 1957 300 SL Roadster coinciding with our event.
The poster, illustrated by Don Henderson of Pittsburgh and designed by Dan Holmes, shows a 1957 SL Roadster as it crosses the finish line. 1986 Indy 500 champ Bobby Rahal did a tremendous job serving as our Honorary Race Director, appearing at several events including our Press Conference at the Western PA Sports Museum where Mayor Luke Ravenstahl unveiled a plaque to be installed in Schenley Park. This permanent plaque recognized our anniversary and marked 2007 as the “Year of the Volunteer”. NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon came in for our Wednesday Car Cruise at the Waterfront and our blacktie gala was held at Oakmont Country Club only three weeks after hosting the U.S Golf Open. The Downtown Car Display was enhanced with a Grand Prix parade from Heinz Field into three separate locations. Thanks to Paul MacIntyre and his crew the Kick-Off Rallye had a tremendous turnout as the Celebrity Challenge returned. Dave and Pam Finney continue to make the Thunder Run motorcycle event bigger and better.
The 2008 Marque was all Italian automobiles and the 26th annual poster was brilliantly illustrated by Mark Bender, who also created our 2003 poster. Our Historic Races at BeaveRun celebrated their 5th anniversary. This kick-off weekend gets better each year thanks to our friends at VRG. Speaking of anniversaries, the VSCCA, the group that organizes our races at Schenley Park, marked their 50th year during the second weekend with a special driver’s reception at the Carnegie Museum. Pittsburgh Steeler legend Rocky Bleier kicked off our year long tribute to founder and friend Myron Cope who passed away in February, 2008. Yellow t-shirts were given to all volunteers and there was a special Terrible Towel waving parade during our opening ceremonies. A severe storm dropped in late Sunday afternoon at Schenley Park but did little to dampen the spirits of another huge crowd. $171,000 was raised for charity – our third straight record year.
Having Burton Morris create our 2009 poster is further proof that the PVGP is a world class event. Building on the legacy of Pop Art masters of the 1960s-70s, In his post-Pop style, Morris boldly projects an enticing mood of happiness, high energy and fun.The Marque of the Year was BMW and the poster showcased a 1938 BMW 328 that races at our event. It is now owned by Oscar Davis and finished 3rd in it’s class at the 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Our 27th annual event was one of our finest ever. The downturn in the economy kept new sponsorships low, but thousands of race fans decided to spend their summer vacations at the Grand Prix. Throughout Race Week we shattered attendance records at BeaveRun, Walnut Street, the Waterfront and Bossa Nova. The Schenley Park weekend was jam packed and the crowds stayed until the very end. Our volunteers stepped up in a big way as our spectators and guests complimented us on the quality of our event. Despite difficult economic conditions, we donated $110,000 bringing our total to over $2.5 million!
Our 28th event honored Audi as the Marque and Corvette as the Spotlight Car. Longtime volunteer and renowned racer Donna Mae Mims passed away in October, 2009 and was remembered as our Honorary Race Director. There was a display and parade of Corvettes and Yenko Sportscars – her two favorites. Pittsburgh artist James Burke created our poster – he illustrated it in only 30 minutes! It depicts and Auto Union (now Audi) Type D racer. Jim is a gifted artist and enthusiastic ambassador for the Grand Prix who has been sketching our races for decades…thanks Jim!
The 2010 event was well attended despite the weather challenges. The temperature rose into the 90’s almost every day with a high chance of sudden thunderstorms at any moment. Race weekend was blistering hot on Saturday and it rained during the parade on Sunday. Our racers, volunteers and fans persevered through it all and the reward was a healthy $150,000 donation to our charities. For the 10th straight year SHOP ‘n SAVE was our Presenting Sponsor, overseeing a tremendous decade of growth and success.
Porsche was our Marque of the Year and they left an indelible mark on our event. The Allegheny Region of the Porsche Club of America celebrated their 50th anniversary at the PVGP and brought a record 525 Porsches to cover the fairways of the golf course. The Cars of Carroll Shelby were selected as the Spotlight Car and brought a wide variety of Cobras, Mustangs and GT-40’s. The event was a sell-out! Sponsorships and Vendor Village at Schenley Park along with the black tie gala sold out in advance. Record crowds were seen at many events. Thanks to Porsche North America and local dealers Sewickley Car Store and Auto Palace, the donation to our charities was a record $200,000. Presenting sponsor SHOP ‘n SAVE returned for the 11th consecutive year and were joined by new major sponsors: UBS, Suzuki, Lotus, Chevrolet and Orr’s Jewelers.
World renowned auto artist Randy Owens created our poster, artfully fitting four different Porches making the turn into the serpentine. The Black Tie Gala was held at the beautiful Longue Vue Club. A massive tent was needed to help house the 300 guests who helped raise $75,000 for our charities.
The PVGP took a more active role in the Schenley Park races by assuming full sanctioning responsibility to help increase entries and welcome a wider variety of cars. It resulted in an impressive field of 159 racers and 24 Porsches. Many people stepped up to help with the transition and our races were safe and enjoyable.
2012 – 30th Anniversary
The Grand Prix celebrated its 30th anniversary with a record shattering performance! Both race weekends were exciting, the car shows were full of incredible cars and nearly every support event leading up to the race weekend was sold out. The result? A incredible record of $250,000 was donated! That’s 25% more than the previous record and takes the 30 year total over $3 million!
Wayne Carini, host of “Chasing Classic Cars” served as our Honorary Race Director and raced in his 1958 Tojeiro-Climax MkII. Wayne also led the parade of racers into Squirrel Hill on Friday night in the new “Forbes Avenue of Speed” parade. Another new event was the Countryside Tour that took place on Thursday.
MG was the Marque of the Year with over 200 entrants on the show field and 40 on the race track. The MG is the the official car of the PVGP and is the centerpiece of our logo. A MG-TC and MGB were illustrated on the poster by Pittsburgh artist Ron Mahoney.
The weather was nearly perfect except for the rain that soaked our downtown car show and made Friday set-up a bit challenging. Race Weekend was warm and breezy. PVGP Board Chairman George Jacoby called it our “best event ever”It was a great celebration!
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix shattered all previous records with a 31 year high donation of $350,000! The total donated to these two worthy charities since the PVGP’s 1983 inaugural year now totals $3.5 million. A great amount of credit also goes to the 1,200 volunteers, over 70 sponsors, 25 media partners, the City of Pittsburgh and 300 vintage racers who put on the show. SHOP ‘n SAVE’s Rich Haeflein, in its thirteenth year as presenting sponsor summed his organization’s involvement. “The dedication of Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix volunteers shows year in and year out as the event continues to break records. A “Cars & Guitars” concert at the Hard Rock Cafe and a Countryside Tour were added to Thursday of Race Week – completely filling the schedule.
The Ford Mustang was the 2013 Marque of the Year and the pony car had a major presence at all of our events. A total of $75,222.00 was raised through the Neighborhood Ford Stores and PVGP Marque of the Year participants, representing a new Marque fundraising all-time record.
Pittsburgh artist Tom Mosser created a massive oil painting that shows classic Mustangs in the car show at Schenley Park.
In our 32nd year we welcomed the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation as our new presenting sponsor. This is an exciting partnership that should help guide our event to even greater heights. With their help, another record was set with a $360,000 donation.
Our 33rd year was fantastico! All the “Marques of Italy” were honored throughout the Race Week and we hosted the Fiat Freak Out filling the 18th fairway taking our total to 350 Italian Cars. The Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation returned as our new presenting sponsor and helped us set another record with an astounding $400,000 donation that was presented at the 2016 Pittsburgh Auto Show.
Our opening weekend of racing at Pittsburgh International Race Complex was the first event run on the expanded track. The addition of the 1.2 mile South Track stretched the facility out to a heart-pounding 2.8 miles. 171 racers competed – a new record. The following weekend at Schenley saw 130 vintage cars provide spectacular racing. The races were broadcast on cable and streamed online.
Automotive artist and award-winning author Dwight Knowlton created our poster featuring the iconic Ferrari 250 GTO leading the pack around the Schenley Park road course followed by a 1964 Fiat Abarth 1000TC, a 1972 Alfa Romeo Spider, and a 1955 Maserati 300S. Dwight came to town and served as our Grand Marshal – he has become an ambassador for us through the international automotive community!
By most accounts, 2016 was one of our best events ever in terms of attendance, sunny weather and donations! We donated a record of $405,500 – this was the sixth year in a row and the 10th time in the last 12 years that a new record has been set, bringing our 34 year charity donation total to $4,752,000.
The weather was flawless throughout July and for all 10 days. A record 3,200 cars were on display at Schenley Park and all events were full.
The racing was exciting on both weekends. For the first time, we expanded the Historics at Pitt Race to a 3-day race. that saw some great racing. We introduced the “Legends of Schenley Park” program to recognize racers who have competed in the Park for 15 or more years. Look for this to become an annual gathering.
Jaguar was the Marque and graced our beautiful poster created by Tavis Coburn. The Jaguar on the poster is the actual 1961 E-Type belonging to Alan Patterson. Alan was a founder of the Grand Prix and our first race director when it all began in 1983. He is followed closely by the 1955 Jaguar XK140 Fixed head Coupe raced by Tivvy Shenton.
2017 – 35th Anniversary
2017 marked our 35th year. The poster was created by local artist Jim Zahniser honoring the 50th anniversary of the Camaro. A 1967 Camaro is depicted crossing the Roberto Clemente Bridge, where our Tune-Up event is staged.
PVGP Chairman of the Board, Dan Taylor, was pleased with all 10 days of events and as the races concluded exclaimed “I hope everyone will stop for a moment and savor the taste of victory. Thanks to all involved in this great race.” Click here to see recent press coverage on the event and here for race results.
The efforts of our volunteers were evident at all events. Rain or shine, our family of volunteers worked tirelessly to make each segment of each event a success while raising funds for charity. Thank you to everyone who attended our events including the Black Tie Gala, the Historic Races at PIRC, the Walnut Street Invitational Car Show, the Waterfront Car Cruise, the Downtown Parade & Car Display, the Tune-Up at Atria’s, the Countryside Tour, the new Passport to Elegance Jet Center Party, the Forbes Avenue of Speed Parade and Race Weekend in Schenley Park.
The new “Passport to Elegance” Jet Center Party celebrated our 35th Anniversary and exceeded all expectations. Susan Gera, co-chair with Eric Zagrocki said “our mission was to plan a “can’t miss” fundraising event in Pittsburgh unique to anything the PVGP has ever done. I am thrilled to say we not only accomplished that goal with this inaugural event, but based on guest responses have created a first-class experience unique to boundaries well outside just the PVGP and the Pittsburgh area.
We were blessed with a wonderful 10 days of sunshine, smiles and large crowds – making for a very successful event! Most Race Week events were either sold out or full and Race Weekend at Schenley Park was teeming with cars and spectators.
With the BMWCCA Oktoberfest joining us, there were Bimmers everywhere you looked. 72 Racers turned up at our Historics at PIRC and 30 2002’s raced in Schenley Park and hundreds of enthusiasts filled our Race Week events, including 750 BMW’s on German Hill at Schenley Park. Our Honorary Race Director, Bill Auberlen, is an American race car driver known for his affiliation with BMW racing for 20 years including 58 career IMSA wins! He took his BMW Z4 GTLM for some thrilling exhibition laps through the park – we appreciate that the BMWCCA brought their annual party to our event and added excitement to our races on both weekends.
The Kastner Cup, a national vintage Triumph race, was held during our Historics and brought 33 Triumphs and national acclaim. Happily, PVGP chairman and racer Jim Dolan won the Cup!
We set an all-time record with 383 total racers, 237 at PIRC and 146 at Schenley. Our Race-side team did another phenomenal job constructing the racecourse at Schenley and running smooth operations on both weekends. The Bob O’Connor Golf Course was bursting with cars on the weekend, including a large contingent of Subaru’s – the Spotlight Car.
Guy Allen created this year’s striking portrait of a BMW 2002 Turbo introduced to the U.S. 50 years ago this summer. Guy is a successful international artist and a full-time illustrator, and is a regular contributor to Classic & Sports Car magazine, amongst others. Guy lives in Kent, England, not far from Goodwood, where he regularly attends its Festival of Speed, the annual hillclimb featuring historic race cars and drivers.
The Shelby Convention came to town, starting with the Historics at Pitt Race and stayed all week long. The Neighborhood Ford Store and Ford Performance staged events all week long including unveiling the 760 horsepower 2020 GT500 during our downtown Car Show and then bringing it to all of our shows and featuring it at an incredible display at Schenley Park. Together, Ford Mustang and Shelby raised $132,500 to set the record for Marque fundraising!
Dan Holmes, the PVGP’s resident creative director, created the poster of the iconic Mustang Shelby GT350 and it’s project engineer, Chuck Cantwell, spent the entire week at the PVGP appearing at all of our events, always with a smile and great stories from his days at Shelby American.
The local Alfa Romeo club hosted the Alfa Romeo Owners Club National Convention at Schenley Park called the Cortile Della Corsa – featuring historic Alfas including the beautiful red 1953 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM that raced and was totaled in the park back in 1984. There was an impressive showing of Alfas including a show within the Italian Cortile. Artist Kelly Telfer created a special poster and was on hand for Race Weekend.
The 1972 Dodge Charger that was awarded to the Pirates Roberto Clemente as the MVP of the 1971 World Series was on display and retiring Pirates announcer Steve Blass made an appearance thanks to Hefren-Tillotson
The weather was hot all 11 days with a few showers mixed in, but they did not dampen the spirits of our patrons.
While there is no poster representing the races in 2020 the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix did hold their 38th annual event. Like many large-scale events, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix was greatly affected by the pandemic. Ten days of car shows, races and motorsport parties were canceled, but that didn’t stop the Grand Prix from delivering a meaningful donation for our charitable partners.
In May, 2020 the PVGP announced it was canceling its 2020 Race Week events and “Shifting Gears” to encourage its car club partners to get out on the road in the safety of their own cars. The result – more than two dozen events were held throughout the summer and fall, raising $60,000!
We applaud our racers, volunteers, car club partners and event participants who got involved and made incredible efforts to keep the Grand Prix spirit alive. From staging events to donating their 2020 registration fees, the response was overwhelming and vital to our charity mission.
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix got ”Back on Track” this year. We were very fortunate to be able to hold most of our events, free from any Covid restrictions and the crowds were both large and enthusiastic. The weather cooperated for the most part and we had seasonably cool dry conditions. Corvette was the featured Marque and they showed up in mass – 325 at Schenley Park to be exact. Car counts and gates were near record levels at all events with many people attending for the first time. We instituted a $5/person suggested donation at Schenley Park and the additional funds will be much appreciated by our charities.
Vintage Indy brought in a stable of historic Indy 500 cars. Mike Lashmett organized a trackside paddock and was joined by 2-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr. who also was our Honorary Race Director.
The posters were created by Dwight Knowlton, who also created our poster in 2015. The poster on the left features a red 1957 Corvette racing past Phipps Conservatory in Schenley Park while the one on the right shows a race significant 1963 Corvette Z06 owned here in Pittsburgh by CJ Titterington. The split window was present at nearly every event!
You’ll have to wait until February to find out how much money was raised when we reveal the check at the Pittsburgh Auto Show on Saturday 19, 2022 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Come see if we can break the $6 million all-time level!