Robert Ristuccia’s 2014 Pittsburgh Vintage GP

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix photo by Robert Ristuccia

Is there some way we can pool our money together to hire the committee that created the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix and ship them to cities around the country reviving true road course vintage race weekends? I just don’t know how they did it. Can you imagine the administrative dance required to gain approvals for this kind of thing? If we could only discover their secret for accomplishing this minor miracle in today’s litigious society, just think of what we could do.

I believe these visionaries could make flights of fancy like the Central Park Vintage Grand Prix, a revived Golden Gate Park Road Races, or a return to Bridgehampton’s or Elkhart Lake’s or Pebble Beach’s street circuits a reality. Hell, they even managed to get the state of Pennsylvania to issue a PVGP license plate!

Small bore grid at Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Photo by Robert Ristuccia

Thankfully, Robert Ristuccia’s beautiful photos from the 2014 running of the PVGP let us tag along on something more immediately real. Just seeing these lovely racing machines from a wide variety of classes running on the closed streets of Schenley Park passing by stop signs and approaching the curbs is a wonderful reminder that real road racing can still exist.

Check out Robert Ristuccia’s entire set from the weekend for more. Thanks Robert!

via Reddit.

13 responses to “Robert Ristuccia’s 2014 Pittsburgh Vintage GP”

  1. Stefan Vapaa says:

    The secret is actually no secret at all. Basically, the reason it exists today is because it was started 32 years ago. 32 years ago, things were different. The PVGP is an extension of that time and it runs largely on arrangements and agreements made then and perpetuated to today. It is fully volunteer staffed (by a veritable army), completely free for the spectators, and donates proceeds from the vendor sales to charity ($3.5 million to date). I’ve discussed this same topic with folks from the PVGP several times over the years and it is generally agreed that they couldn’t duplicate it if they had to start from scratch today. In many ways, its survival is precarious. So if you intend to attend or participate, don’t delay. It is always possible that the world of today will suddenly discover this interloper from 32 years ago and have some sort of hissy fit.

    By the way, that’s me in the 1959 Quantum 2 with the red #57.

    • Robert Ristuccia says:

      Stefan, thanks for the insight. I hope it doesn’t go away anytime soon.

      The Quantum 2 was my favorite car out there on the track. It’s so basic, so stripped-down. There’s nothing on that car that you don’t need. It almost looks like it belongs in a Mad Max movie.

      It must be a blast to drive.

  2. michael A Jacobsen says:

    Here, here! I’ve raced at PVGP 3 of the last 5 years because it is real road racing and a wonderfully organized event, even tho I tow 6000 miles to be there. Curbs, manhole covers, trees. Plenty of paddock space under old shade trees. And I have often pointed out that they annually give upwards of 200K to their charity despite having no admission fee for spectators (by terms of the land grant to the city from the Schenleys). Contrast that with Monterey Histerics, where spectators pay $70./ diem to watch guys who paid $700. to run, and they have a permanent track and a volunteer staff (except for those at the top)!

    • Robert Ristuccia says:

      That’s great to hear! What do you race?

      • michael A Jacobsen says:

        MG NA Magnette Spl–1934; raced from new by its German owner, imported by US Airforce officer Dick van Osten in 1947, bought by my Dad in 1953 & raced by him. Sat for 35 years, restored by me. Now raced by my son.

  3. Albert says:

    The best way to sum it up, is it takes 32 years of dedicated hard work to pull this kind of event off. Though the above article is a little one sided, literally. I say this because there are two VERY unique sides to the PVGP. The racing, and then the car shows that take part in and around the Schenley Park Golf Course that runs alongside the race track. The majority of the coverage you see each year is of the racing, but the car shows are always neglected, but is no less exciting as it includes every form of automobile that you can find, and the finest cars you will find anywhere. It is not uncommon to see cars that have appeared at Pebble Beach or Amelia Island, and cars covering almost every brand. From Allard to Yugo. Each show is divided up by country and then generally by make with large representation by Jaguar, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, and Ford. There is a marque of the year each year (Mini for 2014), a spotlight feature, a Jaguar Concours, a motorcycle show, a traditional concours featuring about a dozen cars with significant history or have attended events like Ameilia Island or Pebble Beach, and much more. The other secret to the PVGP’s success is that 100% of the event proceeds go to charity. Since 1983, there have been two benefactors of the event. The Autism Society of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Valley School. Since 1983, over $3.5 million dollars has gone to benefit these two great organizations. I have been attending the PVGP every year since 1996, and have been serving on various committees for the event since 2007. It truly is a world class event that gets larger every year, yet the park does not.

  4. Stefan Vapaa says:

    Hi Robert,
    You are welcome. I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed seeing the Quantum 2. You are right, it is an absolute hoot. Next time you see it, stop by and we’ll have a chat about it.

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