The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (July 13-23) has announced that Ferrari and N.A.R.T., North American Racing Team, will be honored as Marque of the Year at the 2023 event. The two entities have a rich and fascinating history inextricably intertwined to Pennsylvania, and their association has led to some of the most memorable moments in the world of motorsports.
Ferrari, one of the most iconic and successful brands in motorsports, has been a timeless symbol of speed, power, and passion. Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the company, began his career as a test driver for a small car company in Milan and later worked for Alfa Romeo as a racing driver and team manager. In 1929, he established the Scuderia Ferrari racing team to support and develop race driver talent, which quickly became one of the most successful teams in the sport.
After dissolving Scuderia Ferrari in 1937, Enzo Ferrari founded Auto Avio Costruzioni, which produced the first Ferrari-badged car in 1947. Ferrari quickly established itself as a dominant force in racing, winning numerous races and championships in Formula One and other international motorsports events.
Luigi Chinetti Sr. played a significant role in Ferrari’s early success in America. He was appointed as the official importer of Ferrari cars to the United States in the late 1940s, and his passion for the brand and belief in the potential of American drivers and teams led him to establish the North American Racing Team (NART) in 1958.
NART was the only American team to ever compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and it was involved in other international motorsports events such as the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Daytona. NART’s partnership with Ferrari was essential in promoting Ferrari in the American market, and it had a lasting impact on the sport.
NART’s most famous achievement was winning the overall victory at Le Mans in 1965 with a Ferrari 250LM driven by Jochen Rindt, Masten Gregory, and Ed Hugus. Coincidentally, Ed Hugus was born in Pittsburgh and raced at Le Mans 10 times and later opened a Pittsburgh auto dealer that built the first three Shelby Cobras. He also helped establish the Steel Cities Region of the SCCA. The team also won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1968 and 1970, and its drivers included notable names such as Pedro Rodríguez, Mario Andretti, and Phil Hill.
The 2023 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix will showcase the rich history and legacy of Ferrari and N.A.R.T. Many chapter members of the Ferrari Club of America from throughout North America have already committed to congregating in Pittsburgh for Tifosi-centered events. The events are expected to attract a vast number of motorsport enthusiasts and will feature a wide range of activities, including car shows, races, and exhibitions.
The 2023 event promises to be another successful and memorable occasion, with Ferrari and N.A.R.T. taking center stage.
About the PVGP Begun in 1983, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Motorsport Festival features two weekends of racing action. The first weekend is the PVGP Historics at Pitt Race. The second weekend is racing on a 2.33-mile road course set on the streets of Schenley Park. Between the race weekends there are car shows, parties, car shows road rallies, and more. The PVGP is a volunteer driven event with 1,200 volunteers. The PVGP is a volunteer driven 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with a mission to provide residential care, treatment and support for people with autism and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Since 1983, $6.4 million has been donated locally to Autism-Pittsburgh and Merakey Allegheny Valley School.