Share This Page

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix moves annual party to street in front of PNC Park

| Sunday, July 20, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

“It took 50 minutes to park these cars,” said Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix executive director Dan DelBianco as he surveyed a makeshift parking lot of 120 classics and contemporaries that lined Federal Street. “We didn't have to use any chairs. Maybe we will next year.”

Native space-saving tactics aside, the evening of July 16 proved to be another brilliant move by the PVGP, which took a fresh approach to its annual Tune Up party by closing off the street in front of Atria's at PNC Park. Designated parameters included the Sixth Street Bridge, much to the delight of a crowd that swelled by the minute.

Early on, John Bechtol, with Dotti, showed off the official club jacket of the newly formed Hartwood Association of Racing Drivers, whose fellow members weren't shy about disclosing the nature of its origins.

“We founded it at the Hartwood Club during dinner,” Jim Southwood said.

“And a bottle of wine!” Jim Dolan chimed in.

Meanwhile, a chorus of “I want one!” was heard echoing through the crowd, followed by photo-op consolation prizes of sitting in the driver's seat of dream cars. The opportunity came with an added bonus: bragging rights.

“I keep sending my grandson pictures,” said Michael Barbarita with his wife, Debbie. “It's killing him!”

Well after the crowd had officially cleared, DelBianco caught some air as he floored the highly coveted, 2015 Jaguar F-Type with the Union Jack paint job back across the bridge.

Colby Schindel had to contend with some curious looks as a few good men pushed his 1975 BMW 2002 down the street. “There's no motor in it,” he said, steering it toward an open trailer.

On the list were Joe and Rosemary Mendel (honorary co-chairs along with the Bechtols), co-chairs Lynne Figgins, Michelle Polaski, Bob Speer, and Helen Wylie, board prez George Jacoby, Jake Zoller, David and Janet Campbell, Mark Helgerman, Gigi Saladna, Dr. Bill Schwartz, Dan Taylor, Steve Bokor, Merrill andMiroya Stabile, Bernard Martin, and Stan Geier and Ruth Dennis.

The event raised a record $30K.

Kate Benz, the social columnist for Trib Total Media, can be reached at kbenz@tribweb.com, 412-380-8515 or Twitter @KateBenzTRIB.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.