OXFORD – Last Saturday, Aug. 13, the city of Oxford dedicated the entire uptown to the annual Red Brick Reunion Porsche show.
The city closed down High Street as more than 100 Porches lined the brick road to be admired by the public.
It was a full-day event, with the festivities starting at 9 a.m. and lasting throughout the afternoon.
Jessica Greene of the Oxford Visitor’s Bureau worked behind the scenes on behalf of the city. “We had 105 cars preregister, and then normally during the past years we’ve had 50 show up the day of,” Greene said of the participants. “Due to threat of weather, we did have 15 of our pre-registered cars not show up. We had 27 day-of cars show up. For a total of 117 cars this year.”
The event operated as a walking art show, with the public having the opportunity to stop and talk to the owners of the impressive automobiles. There was even a live band playing in the uptown park. The band, The SunBurners, is the self-proclaimed Cincinnati-based “island party band.” Their act includes authentic steel drums and “beach party vibes.”
“They’re really fun to work with,” Greene said. “We use them for a lot of events.”
The SunBurners will actually be playing at Oxford’s community picnic on Sept. 1.
Unlike many Oxford events, Greene did not plan this one. “It’s run by a volunteer committee of Porsche owners.”
She continued, “They’re the ones who recruit sponsorships, get all door prizes, they recruit the cars. They really talk it up and spread the word.”
The event was sponsored by Porsche of the Village, Solutions for Organizing Spaces, FORGELINE, and Taj Ma Garaj. These groups all had booths set up at the event, so the public could discuss services or buy merchandise.
The rules of the Red Brick Reunion show are simple. Greene explained, “To enter you just have to own a Porsche car. There’s three levels of voting, there’s open popular voting, which is everyone who is entered in the show they vote on their favorite cars. We take the top five and recognize those.”
This is not the only class of open voting. Next, there are sponsor choice awards. Green continued, “They pick out their favorites. Then we have a special judge class. There is a Porsche Cub of America and there is actually a training to be a judge of that. There is a training class called the ‘Concours Preparation street class.’ Three judges will inspect your car and evaluate it on its level of preparation to be shown, so basically, your level of detailing. They give awards under that category as well.”
The cars on display ranged from the classic to modern. There were cars ranging from the 50s to the current decade, with all sorts of unique cars thrown in the middle.
Printed on the cars’ windows was information on the owner, mileage, and year and model of each car.
These cars are a part of history and a source of extreme pride for their owners.
William Hamzah is one such owner. His car was a 1971 911 Turbo with only 69,546 miles on it.
“I found it with original paint — this is 45year old paint. I’ve had it 23 years,” he said. What made the car stand out was the fact that it was neon orange – every part of it from its engine to its seats. It had white double racing stripes across the hood. “It looks different out of all the cars here,” he added.
He reminisced, “When I found the car it wasn’t running. It was in the back of a shop and nobody wanted it, so I bought it on sight, even though it wasn’t running. And I love the car, I’ve been in love with the car ever since.”
He built the car back from complete disrepair and he drove it all the way down from Cleveland.
Another of the proud owners on hand was Robert L. Wonsetler. He is the owner of a silver 1985 928 S Porsche with 132K miles on its gauge and an early California 5-speed.
Wonsetler has a different bond with his Porsche. Instead of repairing the car, he found it new and has kept it. He said, “I bought it new in Indianapolis and I’ve had it ever since. It’s been a joy, a fun weekend car. An open road car.”
He shared some of the rich history of his find: “It’s a front engine Porsche, they made them from ’78 to ’95. So they’re starting to be rarer. There’s a group of us, we have a club, and we maintain them to keep them in good shape.”
Wonsetler’s favorite travel story with the car? “Interstate 75 from here to Florida. Several times I’ve done that. It’s solid on the road.”
The Red Brick Reunion Porsche Show operates to not only show the unique history of the automotive industry, but to highlight the quirky characters who own these classic vehicles.