Start your engines! The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix is back for its 40th anniversary.

For those new to the city who may not know, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix is the largest vintage street race in the U.S. But there is a lot more than just the premier race. The festival started Sunday with a sold-out Kick-Off Rallye — a competitive, mystery course in Houston, Washington County — and runs through July 24 this year, featuring two weekends of racing and plenty of automobile-themed events in between. Each event is ticketed individually.

A portion of proceeds from the events goes toward charitable organizations that help provide care and support for autistic and intellectually/developmentally disabled people in the Pittsburgh region.

Whether you know a little or a lot about cars, there’s summer fun to be found at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Here is everything you need to know about it this year.

Photo from the 2021 Kick-Off Rallye courtesy of Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.

Thursday, July 14 – Sunday, July 17: Historics at Pittsburgh International Race Complex

Listen to the roar of Mustangs to Alfa Romeos from the 1960s and ’70s racing on a 2.8-mile track. View the races from several vantage points, or try your own hand at racing at the karting track. Admission is $20 per day, and there will be food/drink available for purchase.  

Friday, July 15: Black Tie and Tailpipes Gala at Grand Concourse Restaurant

They will be wearing their best duds for a night of grandeur at the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Station. This event is sold out.

A 1963 Jaguar E-Type on Walnut St. Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.

Monday, July 18: Walnut Street Invitational Car Show

More than 130 rare, classic and exotic cars are coming to Shadyside. All of the featured vehicles were selected by invitation only, so this free show promises only the best.

Tuesday, July 19: Waterfront Car Show

Every vehicle from old to new, Chevrolet trucks to motorbikes, is included in this free car show. Cruisers will be asked to make a $10 donation to the Grand Prix autism charity partners

Wednesday, July 20: Downtown Car Display

If you work Downtown, take a long lunch break to see vintage cars parked among the skyscrapers. There will be two displays: one in Market Square and another in PPG Place on the plaza surrounding the fountain. The cars will begin parking at 10:30 a.m. and leave by 2 p.m. 

Shiny Corvettes take center stage at the PPG Plaza. Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.

Wednesday, July 20: Tune-Up Party at the Southside Works

This street festival begins outside of SHOP 412 and the Southside Works Towne Square. Feature your car as a part of the Tune-Up Party for $40, which includes two drinks.

Thursday, July 21: Countryside Tour 

If driving classic sports cars through beautiful scenery is more your pace, come and travel through the Laurel Highlands on twisting back roads. Registration is $80 and is limited to the first 50 cars to sign up. The course begins in the historic town of Ligonier. There will be both morning and afternoon tours, plus lunch and refreshments at Jamison Farm. 

Thursday, July 21: Passport to Elegance Party

This high-flying party will take you back through years of automotive and air transportation history at the Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport. The evening will include silent and live auctions, big band music, plenty of food and two open bars. Tickets are $375 per person, but there are group discounts available. 

Friday, July 22: Forbes Avenue of Speed – Race Car Parade

This evening in Squirrel Hill is one of the best opportunities to get a close look at race cars before the Schenley Park Race Weekend. Vintage racers will parade up and down the street before parking along Forbes Avenue. The free event is open to the public and will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. 

Saturday, July 23 – Sunday, July 24: Schenley Park Race Weekend

Schenley Park Race Weekend is the signature event of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix with more than 3,000 cars competing. The races are “reminiscent of the sports car road racing that started back in the ’40s and ’50s at Watkins Glen and Elkhart Lake,” according to the website. This is the nation’s only vintage race held on city streets with 22 turns, 11 elevation changes — and about 100 telephone poles.

Watch the action from the Bob O’Connor Golf Course, the site of the International Car Show. Stock up on snacks from the Vendor Village. Spectators are asked to donate $5.

For more things to do in July, read 13 top things to do in Pittsburgh in July from the Furries to Picklesburgh.