FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (January 9, 2024) In a momentous celebration of automotive passion and excellence, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix proudly announces Bill Warner as its distinguished choice for Grand Marshal of the 2024 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Motorsport Festival..
Bill Warner brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and contagious enthusiasm for all things automotive. His presence promises to elevate the event, already steeped in tradition and passion. Join us as we honor Bill and his remarkable contributions on the August 3-4 at Schenley Park —a weekend filled with thrilling races, classic cars, and the enduring spirit of one of Jacksonville’s automotive icons.
Automotive Enthusiast from the Start
Born in 1943 and hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, Warner’s journey reads like a novel, intertwining engineering, journalism, racing, and philanthropy. From a young age, Warner immersed himself in the world of automobiles, beginning as a teenager working at a local Volkswagen dealership. His love for racing was kindled during weekends working as a “gopher” for the dealership’s racing team. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from The Citadel in 1966, he ventured into the family filter business while contributing to renowned automotive publications like Sports Car Graphic Magazine. His lasting relationship with Road & Track Magazine, established in 1971, further solidified his place in the automotive world.
Racing Adventures and Achievements
Warner’s racing exploits are nothing short of remarkable. In 1975, he made history by finishing 14th in the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash and later clinched 26th place in the inaugural Cannonball One Lap of America. His racing career, spanning from the SCCA to IMSA, boasts top-five finishes at Watkins Glen, a triumph at Mid-Ohio, and a victory in the Escort Series.
A Collector’s Passion
Beyond the racetrack, Warner is a devoted collector and restorer of unique automobiles. His collection includes automotive gems such as a 1958 Cadillac El Dorado Brougham, a 1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 “Daytona,” and a 1932 Ford High Boy Roadster. He has restored and raced the ex-Denny Hulme Brabham BT8, the Shelby Lang Cooper and the Group 44 TR6 (right) which is an ex-Paul Newman and Group 44 two-time National Champion car.
Contributing to the Community
In 1996, Warner founded The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, raising over $3.7 million for charitable causes. Warner’s contributions have received widespread recognition, from Meguiar’s Automobile Hobby Person of the Year to the Nicola Bulgari Award for contributions to automotive history. In 2021, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Historic Motoring Awards ceremony in London.
Continued Pursuit of Excellence
In 2022, Warner assumed the role of Chief Steward of the Rolex Historic Races, showcasing his dedication to preserving automotive history. His latest book, The Other Side of the Fence: Six Decades of Motorsport Photography and an Emmy-winning television special underscore his enduring passion for motorsport.
ABOUT THE PITTSBURGH VINTAGE GRAND PRIX
Founded in 1983, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Motorsport Festival features two weekends of racing action. The first weekend is the PVGP Historics at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. The second weekend is racing through a 2.33-mile road course set on the streets of Schenley Park. Between race weekends the PVGP stages car shows, parties, road rallies, and a black-tie fundraiser. The PVGP is driven by 1,200 volunteers, dedicated to staging the country’s largest and longest running vintage race event. The PVGP is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with a mission to provide residential care, treatment and support for people with autism and intellectual/developmental disabilities – donating over $6.7 million to date.