Motor history and its connoisseurs coming to Pittsburgh

Motor history and its connoisseurs coming to Pittsburgh

Alan H. Klein’s garage holds his much-loved car collection, which includes a 1965 Volkswagen microbus.

Photo courtesy of Alan H. Klein
Alan H. Klein’s garage holds his much-loved car collection, which includes a 1965 Volkswagen microbus. Photo courtesy of Alan H. Klein

Jaguars, Pintos and Mustangs are coming to Schenley Park. And for vintage car enthusiasts, the excitement is hard to tame.

From July 8 to July 17, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix will host events throughout the city including car shows, races and even a black-tie dinner. The 10-day bash, which culminates in Schenley Park with an entertaining car race pitting drivers against a course featuring hay bales, manhole covers, stone walls and 23 turns, serves as a fundraiser for the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School.

“It’s great for Squirrel Hill, but it’s even better for Pittsburgh,” said Norman Childs, a longtime sponsor of the event.

Since its inception in 1983, the event has raised more than $4 million for its two charities.

“It’s fantastic, it’s great what they do and the money they raise,” added Childs.

For the past 15 years, Childs, founder and president of Eyetique, has supported the event either through sponsoring the Walnut Street Invitational Car Show or maintaining a rented tent in Schenley Park.

And as he has done previously, Alan H. Klein, a local orthopedic surgeon and fellow devotee, will showcase several of his cars at this year’s festival.

Alongside scores of vintage vehicles will be Klein’s 1965 Volkswagen microbus, 1973 Porsche 911 Targa and 1995 Porsche 911 Coupe.

Each of Klein’s cars has character, he said.

The VW bus was purchased from a family who used it as a camper all along the West Coast.

The 1973 Porsche still has its original bright viper green paint.

“It screams 1970s when you look at it,” he said.

And the 1995 Porsche has a bright blue crazy color, he explained.

Passionate about his Porsches, Klein recently added another car to the cadre.

Since April, he has been the proud owner of a 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4S.

“It’s the modern version of my green car,” he said.

With a less cumbersome roof and updated accoutrements, Klein’s new Porsche departs from its predecessor. But a particular similarity is the palette.

Parked beside the bright green and blue Porsches in Klein’s garage is his new orange one. Complete with a black leather interior and yellow accents, the orange Porsche 911 Targa 4S is a “theme of colors,” he said.

The visual majesty of the blue, green and orange machines is a credit to his wife, Jodi Cohen Klein.  

“My wife loves colors, she’s into the cars as much as I am,” he said. “She thinks fun cars should have fun colors.”

Not shy of adding to the odometer, Klein takes his wheels to the streets.

“If you don’t put a couple of thousands of miles a year on these cars, they’ll deteriorate,” he explained.  

Although Klein does not race his classic rides, he still finds much to gain from the PVGP.

“I am just an enthusiast who enjoys getting out there and playing with my cars and showing them off,” he said.

PVGP is a great opportunity to meet other automobile aficionados. The event brings in people from around the country.

Over the years, Klein has met people who have traveled in from Ohio, Michigan, New York, Washington, D.C., and Illinois to attend the event.

And with some dejection, Childs, a self-described “lover” of the Porsche 356, explained that he will miss this year’s PVGP, as work beckons him far away to Italy.

Headed to a place surrounded by vintage, Childs remarked, “Who can turn down Lake Como?”

Adam Reinherz can be reached at

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