Car show debuts in Oxford this Friday
By Steven Hoffman
Automobile enthusiasts like Robert Bradley are looking forward to a car show that is taking place in downtown Oxford this Friday, Sept. 5.
Bradley, a resident of East Nottingham Township, will be showcasing his 1965 Pontiac Bonneville. He said that he was immediately interested in a car show that was taking place so close to his home.
“I enter a lot car shows and I think that it is a great idea to have one in Oxford,” said Bradley.
He is not alone. There has been considerable interest since plans for the event were first announced, and organizers are pleased with the excitement leading up to the event. There will be classic, antique and model show cars on display.
“This is the first time that OMI is doing a car show and I think it will be one of our larger events,” said Melissa Pacella, the special events coordinator for Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. (OMI). “We have had a great response from people who are excited to see the cars and people who want to enter their cars.”
The car show is the highlight of the September First Friday event in Oxford. The regular attractions of First Fridays—artists, artwork, special sales at local businesses, and plenty of food and beverages—will also be a part of the evening's activities.
A portion of Third Street will be closed off to traffic so that the cars can be displayed prominently in the downtown area.
Bradley’s Pontiac Bonneville, which is burgundy inside and out, has approximately 85,000 miles on it and has never been restored. His grandfather purchased the car on Dec. 9, 1964, and it has remained in the family since then. He said that he likes the character that older cars have—each year brought new styles and new looks that are distinctive.
“I would prefer to drive in an older car than a newer car,” he explained. “Older cars are just fun to drive.”
Bradley added that he enjoys taking the meticulously maintained car to local shows. His favorite part is meeting other car enthusiasts and talking about their interests.
“I like talking to people about the cars,” Bradley said.
Pacella said that cars will be divided into five different classes of vehicles, and awards will be given out for the top finishers in each class. There will also be a Best Overall Award and a Fan Favorite Award.
Pacella said that businesses in the downtown have enthusiastically supported the efforts to plan the car show. Restaurants in town and vendors will be presenting a wide variety of food offerings. A raffle is being held with all proceeds going to the Eli Seth Matthews Foundation.
A NASCAR Sprint Cup car that is sponsored by Nationwide will be on display near the Nationwide Insurance Agency on Third Street. Visitors will also have the opportunity to try out a NASCAR simulator that will be set up on Third Street from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Bill Haley, Jr. and The Comets, a tribute band to rock 'n' roll pioneers Bill Haley & His Comets, will be performing from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
There is a registration fee of $15 to enter the car show. Every car show entrant is also eligible for a raffle prize: a toolbox with tools valued at approximately $400. The best way to register is to stop in the OMI office at 13 South Third Street in Oxford. Car owners can even register for the car show between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the day of the event.
“We’re looking forward to a well-attended event,” Pacella said. “We've been getting a lot of positive feedback about this event. We have a record number of street vendors signed up for a First Friday. There are a lot of people excited to set up shop in downtown Oxford for the evening.”