Drivers will take to the streets of Pittsburgh this weekend for the city’s 35th annual vintage grand prix races, which will start on Saturday in Schenley Park. The 10-day event includes car shows, parades and the main event, vintage car races through the park.
Dan DelBianco is the executive director for the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. He said he expects 250,000 spectators and car-lovers at the events this year. The grand prix also helps raise money for the Autism Society of Pittsburgh, as well as the Allegheny Valley School. Last year, the vintage grand prix raised more than $400,000.
But, DelBianco said he believes the grand prix’s impact extends beyond the course to the city itself.
“The economic impact of a quarter of a million people is quite significant,” DelBianco said. “I think the fact that it’s a world class event that has such national and worldwide attention, not only from vintage racers, but from car collectors and folks that make this a destination to come to Pittsburgh.”
DelBianco said he enjoys witnessing the kinship between the amateur racers.
“It’s great to see the drivers jump out of the car and as they great each other and tell stories about the race,” DelBianco said. “They all know each other and race together, and we’re so glad they bring their cars out to share with us.”
Colby Schindle, 24, has raced in the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix since he was 18. He said he always looks forward to the event, especially because his father, Michael Schindle, is a part of the competition.
“It’s definitely a father-son (event)," Colby Schindle said. "I mean, I started going to race tracks with him when I was 8 years old. As soon as I went to the first one, I was like, ‘I have to start doing this.”
“He has a lot to learn,” his father, Michael, said, joking as they stood in front of his vintage Porsch 911, which he plans to race on Saturday.
The qualifying races will begin Saturday afternoon. The qualifiers will then race on Sunday in the main event. The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix ends Sunday with the International Car Show.