VINTAGE CARS & MOTORCYCLES TAKE OVER SCHENLEY PARK
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, now in its 36th year, is all by itself an incredible event. You get to see automobiles of a certain age running wide open on actual city streets inside of Schenley Park during the heat of a Pittsburgh July. This aspect of the event is likely exhaustively covered elsewhere, and with this being Pittsburgh Moto, we’re going to discuss the subjectively cooler portion of the show known as the Motorbikes at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.
Since 2012, the Motorbikes at The PVGP has brought together some of the most amazing vintage motorcycles assembled in one place at one time. Initially started by Tip Paul and the Moto Guzzi Club, the event torch has since been passed to The Ton Up Pittsburgh Club for the sixth year.
A $10 donation to the PVGP’s cause, The Autism Society of Pittsburgh, gets you motorcycle parking for the day on the greens. “All are welcome, of course vintage bikes and scooters are preferred,” says Patrick Martin of the Ton Up Pittsburgh Club. “Saturday we had beer, food and water included. You also get the best view of the races, as well as an extremely convenient entrance point on Darlington Street. It’s a great deal to benefit a great cause.”
This year’s marquee machine was BMW, a motor company that has been as successful making cars as it has been making motorbikes. There were quite a few very nice examples of this success displayed on the Shenley Park greens. This, particularly, because all of these vintage motorcycles were ridden in and not dropped off of a trailer.
As always, the show was stolen by the Ohio Valley BSA Owner’s Club and Bud Kubena. Inside their Union Jack roped off area you will find beautiful examples of vintage British iron from Triumph, BSA, Vincent, and an extremely rare 1923 Douglas Model W 348cc. In its time, Douglas was a common British flat tank motorcycle. Produced during WWII, this was what the British troops would ride, so you can imagine that not a lot of these had survived. Also, Douglas never pursued sales in the States, so there aren’t very many of these stateside. The bike originally belonged to a friend of Kevin Hillyard, its current owner. Kevin had to sell a couple of his own bikes from his collection to take on the project. The motorcycle was nearly complete, but was missing some of the levers. Kevin managed to machine them by looking at another Douglas that resides in the Barber Museum.
If you were unable to make it this year, we’ll be back again next year on July 13-15, 2019 for the seventh time. Don’t miss it.