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Vintage Grand Prix Celebrates 30th Year

It's been thirty years since the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix first began showcasing fine automobiles to raise money for autism research.

Since then, the event has raised nearly $3 million for the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Valley School, thanks to the help of the late former Steelers broadcaster and local legend Myron Cope.

This year, the event is expected to be bigger than ever, with 2,200 cars predicted for the general show in Schenley Park on Saturday and Sunday.

For the Grand Prix proper, qualifying races will be held from 1:00 to 5:00 PM on Saturday, and the final races will begin at noon on Sunday.

The cars are of all makes, hailing from all parts of the world, and most are several decades old.

MG owner Dennis Cestra said the car owners are fun people to be around.

"I enjoy bringing the car to venues where people can appreciate it," said Cestra. "I'm amazed at how many people will tell me they've had a car just like this, and they'll tell me the history of their life with the car. It's very interesting."

Cestra said he's had his black "midget" MG since the late 1960s. He doesn't drive it anymore, but he had it restored in the late 2000s in order to show at events like the Vintage Grand Prix.

The MG is the "Marque of the Year" this year. Cestra said several hundred of the out-of-production British sportscars will be on display in Schenley Park this weekend.

Grand Prix organizers held a special parade and exhibition in downtown Pittsburgh Wednesday afternoon.