BEAVER, Pa. (KDKA) — Classic cars from the past will race through Schenley Park next weekend in the 33rd edition of the Vintage Grand Prix.

But the first races, involving “historic” cars, begin Saturday at a new and improved race track in Beaver County.

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John Putzier and his replica 1965 AC Cobra take their place in a line of “muscle cars” that take part in a Friday afternoon dedication ceremony for the Pittsburgh International Race Complex – Pitt Race for short. A flag bearing parachutist even dropped in for the occasion.

The former Beaver Run track has nearly doubled in size. Improvements to what is now a 2.8 mile track were made by co-owner Kathy Stout and her husband, Jim. The Ohio couple also races in matching SRT Vipers.

“The mileage is really in line, and the new track, the grooming of it, the looks of it, the paving, it’s really coming together,” Jim Stout says.

“It’s all about passion,” Kathy adds. “Crazy passion. We’re adrenaline junkies, and I guess we needed more stress in our lives.”

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“Historic” cars will race in Wampum this weekend, with “vintage” cars slated for next week in Schenley Park.

Grand Prix director Dan DelBianco explains the difference.

“This first weekend here at Pitt Race we call ‘historic racing.’ In a sense, it’s kind of cars 1960 and later. Schenley Park is 1960 and earlier. There’s some crossover, naturally, but that’s kind of the division between historic and vintage. It gives us the best of both worlds,” he said.

Proceeds will benefit the Pittsburgh Autism Society and Allegheny Valley School.

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