PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — Goodwood, Monterey, Sebring. These are places steeped in racing history. The mere mention of these venues brings to mind power, passion and speed. Another city known for sports, but not necessarily motorsports, hopes to evoke some of that same sentiment — Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix has since 1983 grown into a premier event. It routinely draws more than 200,000 spectators to a 10-day event that includes everything from a track day at Beaverun to rallies, cruises, shows and a vintage grand prix run on city streets.
The 160 racers that participated in this year’s run were an eclectic group ranging from pre-war machines to 1960s-era sports cars and open-wheeled race cars. Most of the major marques were represented from Jaguar and Porsche to Bugatti and Allard.
These teams traversed the legendary Pittsburgh topography on a 2.33-mile course covering 20 turns through blistering heat and pouring rain. The spectators braved it alongside the drivers, who didn’t seem to mind the weather. Elan Daniel of Columbus, Ohio, described it as “awesome, I have never experienced any thing like this before.”
There was just as much vintage iron parked on the lawns as there was tearing up the track. Thousands of cars dotted the Schenley Park golf course. Each years event celebrates a different marque, and this year was Audi’s turn. There were of course several of the best from Ingolstadt, including the awesome R8.
Although there’s a lot of racing, bench racing and bragging going all, it’s all in fun and for a good cause. This year’s event raised more than $2.5 million for the Pittsburgh chapter of the Autism Society of America and Allegheny Valley School.
Main photo: This GT40 was a show stopper at Beaverun’s track day with it’s imposing style and Le Mans winning performance.
Photos: Jason Kambitsis / Wired.com. More after the jump.
Race cars like this Jaguar are mainstays at every grand prix. Owners come from all over the world to challenge themselves and their machines on the streets of Pittsburgh.
The pristine interior of this 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300C typifies the caliber of vehicles featured at the annual event.
The Jaguar E-Type remains one of the most beautiful cars ever.
This Brabus-modified Mercedes E-Class offers the utility of a wagon and the performance of a sports car. What’s not to love?
It may be called the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, but the event draws a lot of modern exotics like this Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
No vintage event is complete without a solid showing from Porsche and the venerable 356