Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix 2017 – Report and Photos

The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix 2017 was held July 7-16 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An estimated crowd of more than 300,000 spectators visited the 10-day festival that culminated with the 35th annual races staged on the scenic, yet technically challenging circuit at Schenley Park.

The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (PVGP) is unique in America, as it’s the only vintage car race staged on public roads amidst the public 456-acre Schenley Park. The 2.33-mile circuit is comprised of 23 turns, complete with two lane roads, bridges with stone walls, curbs, manhole covers and telephone poles.

A field of nearly 150 vintage race cars participated in the 2017 Pittsburgh Vintage GP, grouped together by engine size and year of manufacture in six race classes and two featured races. There were practice warm-up sessions each morning, with qualifying races on Saturday and the featured races staged on Sunday. The top finishers pull into the Winner’s Circle immediately after each race and share their stories about the race in live interviews with the PVGP’s Ted Sohier over the PA system. Fans get a chance hear each racer being interviewed and are part of the celebration. All three top finishers along with the racer selected for the “Best Drive” are rewarded with medals and and 5 Litre mini-keg of Hofbräuhaus Bier.

The featured ‘Axis versus Allies’ race saw Joey Bojalad’s 1960 Elva Mk VI take the victory over the 1970 Porsche 914/6 of Chuck Kelly and the 1972 Porsche 914/6 of Gary Schultz. Other race winners at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix 2017 included Michael Barstow’s 1953 MG TD (Group 1 and 2 Pre-War, Select MG T, Preservation and Under 1-Litre); Charlie Dolan’s 1957 MG A (Group 3 Production Under 1.5 Litres); Dennis Wilson’s 1962 Lotus Super Seven (Group 4 Sports Cars Under 2 Litres); Perry Genova’s 1970 BMW 2002 (Group 5 Sports Cars Over 2.0 Litres); Joey Bojalad’s 1960 Elva Mk VI (Group 6 Vintage Sports Racers, Formula Vee and Formula Junior) and Christian Morici’s 1971 Lotus 69 FF (Group 7 Royale FF Challenge Series).

PVGP Chairman of the Board, Dan Taylor, was pleased with all 10 days of events and as the races concluded said, “I hope everyone will stop for a moment and savor the taste of victory. Thanks to all involved in this great race.”

Celebrating its 35th year, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix raised “hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School” in 2017, according to PVGP Executive Director Dan DelBianco.

Similar to 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Sports Car Digest also documented the 2017 PVGP, with photographer Michael DiPleco offering the following pictures showing the field of historic race cars and the unique setting of the Schenley Park track.

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix 2017 – Photo Gallery (photos: Michael DiPleco)

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[Source: PVGP; photos: Michael DiPleco]

Show Comments (8)

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  1. michael, your photos of the race are unbelievable. you are a photographer. are you using filters on your lens for the soft dreamy look? angles and placement are uncanny. guess that is why i fix cars and not take photos. will you post the cars from show in the online magazine or other places? thanks for turning me onto SCD, cheers, jefft

  2. Wow, it’s great to see a large website do a write up on the PVGP. I’ve gone for the last three years and enjoyed each time more and more. The races are great, they feel much more classic on the park circuit, where the cars really can shine! Keep on doing this and make it a national event, not just a Pittsburgh thing.

    1. Ethan – I agree, this is a world class national event that should be on everyone’s bucket list. As vintage racer, it is a fascinating experience to come through the park”s tree covered shady roads and pop out into bright sun of the golf course with thousands of fans lining the fences. Each lap it impresses. The whole thing is an experience level that is unmatched anywhere else. 300,000 people, vintage racing, city streets, two weekends of racing. it is vintage racing at its best.

  3. Beautiful cars and beautiful photography! This looks like an event that should be on everyone’s bucket list. In fact, I think this article may have provided the stimulus to finish my Sunbeam Tiger vintage racer, that has been apart for 20 years now. Hope to come play next year.

  4. I wish that you could have seen it about a decade ago. It was truly great then. Things have changed in the last six or seven years. VSCCA was removed and PVGP trying to take its place. Sadly, I have seen it become a mere shadow of its former self. Racing entrants shrinking alarmingly every year. This year groups had to be combined I am told. Sad. Hopefully, PVGP will get back on solid footing and be the great event that it once was.

    1. We ran 8 race groups, which is normal for the PVGP at Schenley Park. True that the first Sunday race did combine pre-war and MG-T series groups, but it comprised 20 cars. Group 3 ran 23 cars; Group 4, 28 cars; and so on. I count 116 cars finishing the races at Schenley, nearly exactly the number of cars that ran the event ten years ago, in 2007. And, don’t forget the weekend before, at Pittsburgh Int’l Race Complex, where we had 160 cars that completed races. And, my numbers don’t include DNS and DNF, frequently a notable number at vintage races. The PVGP is bigger than ever, and its 35th year proves the point.