Oxford Car Show revs up large crowd
By Steven Hoffman
Few things are more quintessentially American than a car show in a small town on Labor Day Weekend.
The Oxford Car Show, which has shifted into a higher gear each year since it debuted in September of 2014, delighted a large crowd on Sept. 1 with a showcase of some of the finest automobiles to ever roll off a Detroit assembly line―everything from gleaming Cadillacs to vintage Ford Model A’s to Chevrolet Bel-Airs to Ford Fairlanes.
According to Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. officials, there were more than 300 registered cars, bikes, and trucks for the car show this year. The crowd was slightly larger than last year, estimated to be around 5,000 visitors throughout the day.
“That is a great-looking car” was a constant refrain heard throughout the event.
Howard Roberts was one of many car owners making a return visit to the Oxford Car Show. The Lancaster, Pa. resident was displaying his 1934 Ford. He said that he rebuilt the motor and transmission, and added air-conditioning and rear disc brakes to the automobile to make the ride more comfortable when they go out.
Butch and Mary Marvin, residents of Quarryville, Pa., entered her 1931 Ford Model A. They purchased the car in 2007 from its previous owner in Sacramento, California.
“We really ended up rebuilding it from the ground up,” Butch Marvin said. The project took about 18 months of work to complete, but it was worth it because Mary really enjoys driving the car around.
“If it’s not raining or snowing, she’s driving it,” Butch Marvin explained. “She puts about 4,000 miles a year on the car.”
For every vintage car, gleaming motorcycle, or shiny hot-rod at a car show, there is a unique story of how the owner came to treasure the vehicle. Definitely one of the more interesting stories about a vehicle at this year’s Oxford Car Show belonged to Patricia Purnell, a resident of Phoenixville.
In 1974, her father purchased a Harley-Davidson Police Special that had been used for a few years by the Pottstown Police Department. He bought it at Wensel’s Cycles.
“He just wanted something different,” Purnell explained. Referring to a storage compartment on the back of the motorcycle, Purnell explained that her father enjoyed riding the bike everywhere, including to work.
“He would put his briefcase in there and go to work,” she said.
Purnell explained that her father had the motorcycle for a long time―until it was stolen in 1997, about 24 years after he initially bought it.
“He was heartbroken,” she said.
Purnell never thought she’d see the bike again after it was stolen. But then, on Christmas Eve of 2015, she was notified by authorities that the bike had been located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A Harley-Davidson dealer in Virginia had done extensive work on the motorcycle, and it was legitimately being sold to a buyer in North Carolina. When the new buyer tried to register the motorcycle, it was determined that it had been stolen 18 years earlier. It was returned to Purnell.
Purnell said that the motorcycle was important to her father, so now she and her husband take it to as many car shows as they can―they’ve done eight or nine this year so far.
“It’s a fun hobby for us to take it to these shows,” she said. “We trailer it to wherever we want to go.”
She said that she really enjoyed the Oxford Car Show.
“We’ve been through Oxford many, many times,” she said. “This is a very good car show.”
John Lawrence displayed his 1965 Buick Skylark at the car show. He and his father became interested in acquiring a Buick when John was still in high school and they saw a 1963 Buick that was up for auction. They didn’t buy that one, but they did eventually buy a 1965 Buick Skylark.
“We’ve had it for about 20 years now,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence, the Pa. state representative of the 13th Legislative District that includes a large portion of southern Chester County and a part of Lancaster County, doesn’t get to take the Buick Skylark to many car shows, but he wanted to be at Oxford’s. He also plans to take the car to the Community Day event in Atglen later this month.
The cars, trucks, and motorcycles were the stars of the show, of course, but there was plenty of food and fun, too.
The Jess Zimmerman Band performed near the park, and there was live music throughout the event.
There were dozens of vendors, including food trucks, nonprofit organizations in the Oxford community, and merchants were selling clothing and jewelry.
Children of all ages took part in remote control car races on a track that was set up along Broad Street.
Donna Hosler, the executive director for Oxford Mainstreet, Inc., thanked the Car Show Committee―David Ogino, Scott Brown, Lisa Burns and Mary Lou Baily―plus the nearly 100 volunteers who made this year's car show the biggest and most well-attended event yet.
“We are so thankful for the participants and visitors for coming out and spending the day with us,” Hosler added.
The Oxford Car Show handed out a number of awards during this year's event. They included the following:
People’s Choice Award – Car Category, sponsored by Potchak A/C
Owner: Jim Jones (Second win in a row for Jones, with a different car)
1965 Mercury Comet Cyclone
Owner: Louis Borreggine
1955 Mercury Montclair
Owner: Leeroy Krauss
1937 Chevy Coupe
People’s Choice Award - Bike Category, sponsored by Oxford Plumbing and Heating
Owner: Martin Wikersham
1949 Harley Davidson Bobber
People’s Choice Award - Truck Category, sponsored by Oxford Mainstreet, Inc
Owner: Greg Wolf
2014 Dodge Ram
Best Paint Award, sponsored by Collision Zone
Owner: Louis Borreggine
1955 Mercury Montclair