IVAN RUIZ , THE CAR NUT, IS ANNOUNCED AS FEATURED SPEAKER AT THE CORTILE FEATURING MASERATI AS PROIETORRE MACCHINA
by Bernard Martin
PITTSBURGH, PA - Joining us this summer at the Cortile is Ivan Ruiz, The Car Nut, who will be speaking during our Saturday Luncheon about the history of Maserati.
I met Ivan several years ago but didn't truly get a full understanding of the depth and breadth of his knowledge until he was conducting a tour at the Hilton Head Concours d' Elegance of some iconic Italian cars. Ivan will be flying in to join us from Sweden where he is doing a presentation at the 40th anniversary of the Maserati International Rally.
Ivan has been collecting, restoring, and selling vintage European cars for over 35 years. His initial interest was the Jaguar e-types, of which he’s owned over 100 over the years and later Italian cars, mainly Maseratis. His first Maserati was a 1965 Sebring which was a barn find and he restored the car himself, including the paint.
Ivan graduated as an Electrical Engineer from Cornell University and then spent 30 years working at IBM. He used his IT skills to create www.thecarnut.com, a website which caters primarily to Maserati owners and restorers looking for photos and documents for these cars. Over the years he scanned many sales brochures, owner’s manuals and technical documents have been scanned and are now available on his website.
Ivan is a frequent attendee and judge at many Concours D’Elegance where his cars are driven and not trailered. “A car stops being a car when it is trailered from one place to another”.
He feels that if his car cannot be driven to an event, the car does not deserve to attend.
“My wife and I enjoy taking our cars on long drives, of course you are never quite sure if it will make it, but that is part of the excitement!”
"Classic cars are more than just about a nice automobile; it is also a lifestyle. Car people tend to be very friendly, and we enjoy the social aspects of the hobby just as much as the driving."
Ivan's collecting and restoring vintage cars has led to ownership over the years of an Iso Grifo, Alfa Montreal, Alfa Sprint Speciale, Lancia Aurelia, Lancia Flaminia Touring spider, Ghia 450SS, Fiat Dino, Maserati Vignale spyder prototype, Citroen SM, and many others.
Ivan's focus is on Italian and British cars from the 1950's through the 1970's. Ivan particularly specializes in Maseratis and Jaguar e-types but he enjoys trying different cars. Check out his website to see the cars he currently owns and make sure to also click on "personal cars" page while you are there.
Be sure to register for this summers Cortile where we honor Maserati as our 2022 Proietorre Macchina
2015 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Interview with Bernard Martin, Managing Partner "The Cortile." Interviewer: Ted Sohier Camera Operator/Editor: Justin Mackey
The Cortile is a hybrid car show. Hybrid in the sense that it is one of the few car shows on race weekend managed by directly by the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Association. Many of the other shows are graciously managed by local car clubs.
In October of 2007 Dan Delbianco and Bob Speer had lunch with Bernie Martin and the subject of Italian cars, and the lack of them at the PVGP, came up. The Italian manufacturer's and coachbuilders had some of the richest history of automotive design and performance engineering. There seemed to be two key problems: There where no Italian Car dealers in the Western PA region; There where no active Italian Car clubs to manage a car show
By the end of that lunch it was decided to roll the dice and see if we could attract some Italian gems to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix by creating an "All Italian" Marque of the Year. As Bernie tells it, Bob and Dan looked at him and said "Great Idea! You're in charge"
So, in 2008, at the 26th running of The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, "All Italian Cars" were featured as the "Marque of the Year" There was an overwhelming response! But there was still no local car club and no local dealers to manage an all Italian car show in the future.
During the course of the 2008 show there where many discussions about why more Italian car owners didn't participate. Some of the main reasons given was that the traditional location of the Italian car event turned into a swamp if it rained. It was also noted that many visitors to the PVGP, not realizing the rarity of some of the cars in front of them, wanted to "hop in" because there where only a few Italian cars that showed up.
Bernie's wife and other family members decided early into that weekend that they needed to keep the momentum going with the Italian Marques into the future. By the end of the 2008 event the discussion was flowing. Several people made the journey across the park to look at a section of the golf course that was completely vacant near the #8 & #17 green of the Bob O'Conner Golf Course at Schenley Park. It was decided to create an All Italian event every year.
Those founding members included Bernie Martin, Walt Spak, Sean Kunkle, Wayne Long, Chad Pcsolyer, Jim Shaw, Dan Delbianco, Bob Speer and Ian Martin. In 2009 the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix launched "The Cortile" which has become a very unique, opulent area befitting the gorgeous Italian gems that participate. The Cortile is a PVGP run event and not a club event which makes it rather unique from many of the other car shows that occur over the Grand Prix weekend.
Some of the stories, pictures and articles that we have been included in over the years.