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National antique auto show set for Pitt-Greensburg campus

Jeff Himler
More than 500 vehicles are registered for the June event.
The Antique Automobile Club of America's annual Grand National Meet will be held June 2, 2018, at the Pitt-Greensburg campus. More than 500 vehicles are registered for the event.

Vintage auto enthusiasts from across the nation will converge on Westmoreland County on June 2 for the annual Antique Automobile Club of America’s Grand National Meet.

It’s the first time this important meet and judged auto show will take place in Western Pennsylvania.

Club members from throughout the United States will start arriving in the area May 30 with their antique cars, trucks and motorcycles that are at least 25 years old. More than 500 vehicles, ranging from a 1903 Cadillac to 1960s and 1970s muscle cars to a 1991 Chrysler Grand Wagoneer, are registered for the event.

Worldwide, the AACA has more than 60,000 members, and many of them will be on hand in Westmoreland County for the June 2 show.

“You can’t find an empty room in any hotel surrounding here,” said Howard Finney of Hempfield, chief among the nearly 200 judges who will staff the show. “That’s a pretty big impact on the community. The restaurants and local gas stations will benefit by it.”

Event planners will showcase the region’s attractions with tours for visiting AACA members, Finney said. The show also will spotlight the club and its activities for non-members.

“It’s a big hobby, and we want to expose it,” he said. “People are going to be able to see automobiles they’ve never dreamed they’d be able to see in running order.”

Most of the highly restored cars will arrive on trailers, but AACA rules require that they enter the show field under their own power.

Many of the vehicles will be unloaded June 2 at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds or at the Ramada Greensburg Hotel and Conference Center. Beginning about 6 a.m., onlookers may spot them as they travel on Mt. Pleasant Road or Route 30 to the show on the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg campus. Judging of vehicles will begin at 10 a.m.

Spectators are welcome at the show and can park for free at the fairgrounds. A free shuttle to the Pitt-Greensburg campus will run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., when the show will end.

Children will be able to participate in coloring and Hot Wheels activities and may have their photos taken with an antique car.

Only pre-registered vehicles belonging to AACA members are permitted on the show field. Pets, bicycles and skateboards are prohibited.

The Grand National Meet is the pinnacle of AACA show events. Owners of participating vehicles have already won AACA Junior and Senior Awards and will be competing for the Grand National First Award or Senior Award, or an AACA Preservation Award.

Cars are judged by how closely they have been restored to their original factory condition.

AACA’s Latrobe-based Western PA Region affiliate will host the meet and show, with region President John Ross Kuhns serving as chairman.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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