We caught up with Steve Lebrun at the 2017 PVGP Historics at Pitt Race where he talks about his beautiful recreation of an Alfa Romeo GTAm and the heartbreak that can come with racing.
About the ALFA ROMEO GTAM CARS
The GTAm (1969–1971) could produce up to 240 PS (180 kW; 240 hp) in the 2000 cc car—a car usually related to the GTA, but unlike the GTA derived from the GTV 1750 (US version). The 1750 GTAm (later called 2000 GTAm when the 2000 GTV was introduced) was created in 1969.
There are two schools of thought about the "Am" moniker, neither one ever having been officially confirmed by Alfa Romeo: One expands Am to Alleggerita Maggiorata (Italian: lightened enlarged), the other America Maggiorata. The car had a full steel body modified with aluminium and / or plastic parts. Because of an increased minimum weight in 1971 (up from 920 to 940 kg), the GTAm's had less need for aluminium and / or plastic parts.
The base for the GTAm was the 1750 GTV with a SPICA mechanical fuel injection system. The majority of the genuine GTAm's built by Autodelta have a chassis number starting with 105.51.XXXXXX. The European market 1750 GTV with dual carburettors from Dell'Orto or Weber carburetor and chassisnumbers starting with 105.44.XXXXXX was also used as a base.
The same goes for the 2000 GTV and the 1300 GT Junior bodyshell that was lighter. Note that some racing teams and private workshops ordered the parts from Autodelta and other tuners and assembled the cars themselves on a new or existing bodyshell.
The original 1750 engine block (actually 1779 cc) was used and by inserting a monosleeve instead of four individual cylinderliners, received 1985 cc and later to 1999 cc to participate in the 2000 cc class, explaining the "maggiorata" (enlarged).
According to the sources, some 40 GTAm's were built by Autodelta and by private workshops. This number is difficult to verify as the GTAm's didn't have their own specific chassis number series. In the second revised edition of the book `Alleggerita` (written by Tony Adriaensens & Patrick Dasse), published in 2012 by Dingwort Verlag, you will find the most complete list available of GTAm's.
Dave Lebrun takes a few minutes for an interview about his 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTV right before the Group 4 Race on Sunday during the 2017 PVGP Historics at Pitt Race.
written by Bernard Martin
Vincent Vaccaro, from South Salem NY has vintage racing for a little over 9 years. He purchased his current racer, a 1972 Alfa Romeo GTV five years ago. Prior to this car Vince raced a 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta which he campaigned in Pittsbrugh for 4 years when the track was called Beaverun.
The 1972 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000, which hits a top speed of around 130 mph has got a 2 litre engine and twin Weber 45s. It's sports a red and black livery that features the Captain Lawrence Brewery Logo, the brewery that's owned by Vince's son Scott and located in Elmsford, NY.
When we asked him about his favorite section of the newly expanded Pitt Race course he got a big smile! "The Downhill corkscrew is just incredible!"
In 2014, Vince was treated to a tour of the newly re-opened Alfa Romeo Museum and he told us that the racing history of Alfa Romeo on display was something that each and every Allfisti should some day make a visit to see.
Vince goes on to explain that the Alfa Romeo racers are a very close community who really support each other during the races.
Ralph Gilles is the Head of Design at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Ralph spent some time going through the history of the Alfa Romeo marque, discusses the development of the 2017 Alfa Romeo Guilia, and finishes up the interview with an thank you to the Alfisti Vintage Racing community for keeping the brand alive in the North America during their 20+ year hiatus by admiring Brandon Adrian's very rare and early 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce Spider 750F.
This is the actual car that won (1st in Class Winner) at the F.I.A./ARCF 12-Hour 1957 Sebring, Florida International Grand Prix of Endurance for the Amoco Trophy and was 2nd in class in the 1958 Sebring 12-Hour the following year. This is one of if not the most significant Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce Spider's in the world with a early F.I.A. competition history and it was the FIRST Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce Spider with a International racing win at a majior International F.I.A. event in the world. (F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship). This car is the 'Real' and only original 'Sebring' Spider
Below are some close up shot of the new 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia as well as the 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce Spider 750F
On Thursday February 11, 2016 the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, along with Presenting Sponsor, the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Foundation, handed over a $400,000 check to the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School.
The large check was initially unveiled and showed $390,000. GPADA president Paul Schimizzi stepped up to the microphone and said that the dealers wanted to round up the donation to $400,000 and promptly took out a marker and generously wrote in the new total of $400,000. This amount is $40,000 more than last year and takes the event over the $4 million mark!
These funds were a combined total from the 2015 Grand Prix and the 2016 Auto Show Red Carpet Premiere held that night. The GPADF hosts the party for 1,000 people as the opening preview of the Auto Show. PVGP Executive Director Dan DelBianco accepted on behalf of the Grand Prix and thanked all of the automobile dealers and PVGP volunteers for their yearlong efforts. PVGP Chairman Dan Taylor thanked the ambassadors Anita/Autism Society and Liz/Allegheny Valley School for the inspiration they provide.
This is the 9th time in the last 11 years that a new record has been set, bringing our 33 year charity donation total to $4,300,000.
This was the second time the check was presented with the help of presenting sponsor GPADF and it was thrilling that the presentation was done at the David Lawrence Convention Center in front of 1,000 attendees. The efforts of our volunteers and sponsors were on display for the entire city to see. Thank you to everybody involved.
This is one of the first times there has been an edited video that has the announcements by Ted Sohier and race footage. This video is from the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix: Group 8 Italian Marque Race on July 19 2015 at the Marques of Italy celebration.
Joe Parlanti was kind enough to share his Race Cam footage from inside his 1958 Alfa Giulietta Zagato Abarth GTV Duetto TC 1000 Double Bubble PVGP Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. You can click on the links above to learn more about his car. This will keep your warm for the Holidays!
I had the pleasure of attending the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion following a day at Concourso Italiano. It is described as a museum springing to life. The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is the largest event held during the famed Monterey Classic Car Week, and is the only event where cars are doing what they were originally intended to do…race just like in Pittsburgh's Vintage Grand Prix but this time on a race course.
The event relives motorsport history at the iconic circuit, which has been the scene of America’s golden years of sports car racing since its inception in 1957. The 2015 racing reunion took place August 13–16. It was first established by Steve Earle in 1974 as the Monterey Historic Automobile Races. Earle organized the meeting for his friends to race their cars at Laguna Seca. The event acts as a part of Monterey Car Week, which includes the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Concorso Italiano and other events
Roughly 550 race cars are invited to compete in the event, and are accepted based on the car’s authenticity, race provenance and period correctness. Although celebrities and professional drivers do attend, the Reunion is not a professional event, and has no awards or prizes for finishing position.
Each Saturday and Sunday afternoon race has a Rolex Award winner voted by committee. Two of the morning races each day honor a Bonham's Cup winner similarly chosen. There are special Awards for best paddock display, best Ford-powered car, outstanding craftsmanship, etc. The highest honor is the Rolex Spirit of Monterey Award, A Rolex watch and original Bill Patterson painting, presented to the entrant who best embodies the spirit of the event in his presentation and competition drive.
Please enjoy the slide who below of some of the iconic Italian Racer cars I found in the Paddock. Hidden amongst the rows of race cars was Nuvolari's Alfa Romeo!
Sunday July 19 2015: Time 1:00PM estimated
Each year we stage a special race to honor our marque of the year. With all Italian Cars being recognized we are anticipating a large contingent to battle for the honor of Italy. This race will be the first race after lunch on Sunday afternoon. See full race schedule. It will be 8 laps or 20 minutes. Participants must be enlisted to race within one of our vintage race groups for the weekend. Italian cars will be honored throughout all 10 days of the 2015 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Click here for details and links to our other Race Week events. We hope to see all of Italy’s great racing cars: Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Abarth and Lancia as well as some of the rare brands like Isotta Fraschini, Bandini, Siata or Stangueillini.
The major renewal of the Westinghouse Memorial started in 2011 in Schenley Park is now complete!
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy partnered with the City of Pittsburgh in 2009 to renew this remarkable space with the financial help and support from members of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix's Cortile Italian Car Show participants. The fully restored Westinghouse Memorial includes a reestablished lily pond; renewed memorial sculpture; native plant landscape; new nighttime lighting; and stormwater management and we will be celebrating on the newly completed restoration this July 15- 16!
About the Westinghouse Memorial
Located near the entrance to the Steve Faloon Trail, this memorial to George Westinghouse has been a distinctive feature of Schenley Park since its dedication in 1930. Originally financed by small donations from over 55,000 Westinghouse employees, it encompasses history, art, and natural beauty.
The memorial was originally financed from $200,000 in donations made by approximately 55,000 workers of Westinghouse companies in electricity. It was dedicated on 6 October 1930. There opening ceremony was attended by over 10,000 people, including U.S. Representative James F. Burke and Pittsburgh mayor Charles H. Kline, and a celebratory dinner was held the night before at the William Penn Hotel. The memorial was on the original site of the Pittsburgh Zoo.
The Westinghouse Foundation paid for the memorial's restoration in 1986 in honor of the centennial of Westinghouse Electric.
About Schenley Park
Schenley Park began as "Mt. Airy Tract," which was property willed to Mary Elizabeth Croghan by her maternal grandfather, General James O'Hara. In 1842, 15-year-old Mary created an international scandal by leaving her Staten Island boarding school and eloping to England with the 43-year-old Captain Edward Schenley (Pronounced "Sheen lee"). Distraught by the news, Mary's father initiated a lengthy legal battle over her inheritance, successfully winning the title to all her property. Mary and her father eventually reconciled, and she received her inheritance upon his death in 1850.
Edward Bigelow, Pittsburgh’s Director of Public Works, envisioned a grand park system for Pittsburgh, and no piece of land was more desirable than Mt. Airy Tract. When Bigelow learned in 1889 that a real estate developer's agent planned to travel to London to convince Mary Schenley to sell them her land, he sent an East Liberty lawyer who hopped a train for New York and then boarded a steamer for England - beating the real estate agent by two days.
The appeal to Mary paid off, and in 1889 she gave the city 300 acres of Mt. Airy Tract with an option to purchase 120 more, provided the park be named after her and never sold. The city bought the extra acres in 1891, and later purchased some adjoining land to complete the park.
While two of the three bridges remain, many of the attractions to which they provided access in the 1890s have disappeared. Among them: a 120-foot circular electric fountain on Flagstaff Hill that offered nighttime light shows; the marvelous Schenley Casino (on the site of the present-day Frick Fine Arts Building), which featured Pittsburgh's premier indoor ice skating rink but was destroyed by fire after only a year; and a band shell designed by architects Rutan and Russell on the site of the present-day Anderson Playground.
1907-1909 saw the development of park features that are still present today: the Schenley Oval and racetrack, the tufa bridges in Panther Hollow, and Panther Hollow Lake, which was created from an existing small body of water.
The park also underwent large-scale planting in its early years. Bigelow's reports indicate that the land was mostly barren when the City acquired it, and he pursued the highest standards of horticulture in hiring William Falconer, who was trained at London's Kew Gardens, to take charge of Phipps Conservatory and of the park's landscape. Falconer's tenure lasted from 1896 to 1903.
Schenley Park underwent a second period of growth in the 1930s and 1940s during Ralph Griswold's tenure as the Director of Public Works. Griswold designed several gardens around Phipps Conservatory, but the park's biggest change was the construction of the Anderson Bridge, which brought the Boulevard of the Allies through the park and linked Squirrel Hill to Downtown. Since then, there have been few major changes to the park as a whole, as certain amenities (like the Panther Hollow Boathouse) have disappeared while others (the ice skating rink) were introduced.
Click here to read an article by Parks Curator Susan Rademacher about the fascinating life and legacy of Mary Schenley.
This is a compilation of articles from a variety of sources and contributors. Attrition and sources are always provided at the top and/or the bottom of the posting.