The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (PVGP) selects a specific automobile model to honor during their Race Week in July. This chosen car is called a “marque” and is featured on the Grand Prix’s poster, billboards, t-shirts and race program – becoming the brand of the event for the entire year.
The July 11-20, 2008 the Grand Prix will honor more than a single automobile model or manufacturer, by paying tribute to the automobiles of entire country…Italy! Bernard Martin, the new PVGP Marque Chairperson, explains ” There are so many significant and awe-inspiring Italian sports cars that it would take decades to honor them individually so we decided to host one enormous party and acknowledge them all at once. In addition to the well known Italian marques of Ferrari, Alfa-Romeo, Maserati, Lamborghini, FIAT and Lancia there are dozens more, many which race at Schenley Park or appear at the car shows each year. It will attract some of the finest examples of Italian cars through the years, and enthusiasts will flock to the event to get an up close look at them, and to get a chance to talk with and meet the owners.”
“The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious automotive events in the country. Italian car clubs and enthusiasts from all over have been contacting me for information about this event,” said Martin. “Italian cars stir such passion, they are an icon that spans all age groups. It’s especially gratifying to know that energy and enthusiasm will benefit our charities at the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School.”
“This is the first time that a country, rather than a single manufacturer or specific model, of car has been selected as the marque. It will be a challenge to coordinate with dozens of different car clubs and owners, but we look forward to, as they say in Italian, a “grande” weekend” said Bernard.
Visit www.pvgp.org/marque for entry forms, schedules and a full listing of Italian cars slated to appear next summer.
History of the Marque
A marque (pronounced like the name Mark) refers to an automobile manufacturer’s model or brand. “Vintage races and car shows traditionally honor an automobile marque each year, and the owners and fans of that particular car show up in force to celebrate the car’s heritage and racing lineage. The meaning of the word marque started out as an artist’s signature or mark impressed in silver and later became the term for the metal ornament placed on a car to identify it,” explained Bernard Martin, PVGP Marque Chairperson.
In 2007 the Grand Prix’s marque was the Mercedes-Benz which followed the Jaguar in 2006. The Grand Prix has selected an annual marque since its third year in 1985.
2008 Marque Schedule
Look for new and vintage Italian cars at the three car shows during the week – Monday July 14 on Walnut Street in Shadyside; Tuesday July 15 at the Waterfront in historic Homestead; and Wednesday, July 16 in downtown Pittsburgh.
“Wednesday, July 16 will be a very special day for the Italian cars” declared Bob Speer, the Grand Prix’s Car Show Chairman, continuing…”the downtown Parade and Car Display will feature a dozen Italian marques from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Many of them will make the short drive over to 7th Street for that evening’s PVGP Tune-Up at Bossa Nova – a happy hour complete with race cars and racers.”
The July 19/20 weekend at Schenley Park features a distinctive Marque of the Year area on the Bob O’Conner Golf Course that will be home to several hundred Italian cars. Owners that participate in a two-day show for only $125 will be served an Italian lunch each day and have the unique opportunity to take their cars for a parade lap on the track before the featured vintage races on Sunday, July 20.
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix presented by Shop ‘n Save is the country’s largest vintage race event and the only one staged on city streets. This past July the Grand Prix celebrated its 25th anniversary with over 250,000 people attending the 10-day festival of car shows races and motorsport activities.
Proceeds from the Grand Prix provide residential care, treatment and support for developmentally disabled individuals at the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School. Since 1983 $2.25 million has been donated to help individuals here in western Pennsylvania.
For event information, entry forms and great pictures from our events visit the website at www.pvgp.org.