As I cruise down the streets of Pittsburgh in my beat-up Mazda, I see more and more cars I’d like to own in the future, especially this time of year. Why, you ask? Because it’s the 2nd week of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix!
Ever since I was little, I remember going to car shows with my Uncle on my Mother’s side in the Midwest. He also had a 1968 Ford Mustang in my late Great-Grandma’s garage for upwards of 20 years. In 2003, he decided to fix it up, with completion in 2005, and now he brings it to car shows, winning awards and getting accolades all around the tri-state area of Minneapolis, MN. We used to go to car show after car show just checking out all of the old muscle cars, and some nicer European ones every once a while, too. The engines revving and the smell of the gas, burnt tires, and motor oil still get me excited to this day. But, these car shows have nothing on the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.
Italian, German, English, and, of course, American cars are on display all over Schenley Park here in Pittsburgh this upcoming weekend, along with events leading up to it for two weeks every year in July. We are on the second round of events right now, leading up to the big race this weekend.
Now, to give you some history: the PVGP’s first race was in 1983, and the PVGP Association began the year before that in 1982. Myron Cope was a big help in the beginning of this monumental event, approving this car show as long as they agreed to donate all proceeds to charity, which they have every year since the start of this great race. By the late ‘80s, there were black-tie events and car cruises added by the year. The PVGP is still the nation’s largest vintage sports car racing event, and the one-and-only event run on city streets. It’s estimated that the spectator count is around a quarter of a million these days.
Here are some more events leading up to the big race this weekend:
-Countryside Tour: Thursday, July 17 from 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
The name says it all with this one, which also includes a luncheon.
-Hard Rock Cafe-Cars and Guitars Concert: Thursday, July 17 from 7:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m.
This event features artists The Gathering Field and Maddie Georgi.
-Schenley Park Qualifying Heats Race Day and British Car Day: Saturday, July 19 from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
-Race Day: Sunday, July 20 from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
For more information on the history of the event, the PVGP has this page to offer up:
And for more event info: