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Oxford Porsche event has grown more ambitious in past five years

The showrunners for the Red Brick Reunion Porsche Car Show hope the hundreds of sports cars coming into Oxford this Saturday will inspire more people to fall in love with the cars.

“Your passion develops long before you have buck one to buy these cars,” show committee member Steve Nelson said.

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Another committee member, Walter Chin, had his first encounter with the car as a teenager in 1970. He was sweeping the sidewalks outside a store in his hometown of Watsonville, California, when he saw bright headlight bearing down on him.

“The next time I looked up, I saw a row of about 25 Porsches coming down the street and pull into the gas station across the street,” Chin remembered.

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The drivers were on their way to a nearby car race in Monterey, but that chance encounter had Chin hooked on the cars.

“I said to myself, ‘One day I’m going to have one of those cars,’” he said.

Chin joined the Porsche Club of America in 2001, though he didn’t buy his first car until 2006. PCA is the largest single-brand car club in the world, with over 100,000 members across 145 regions in the United States and Canada.

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The Red Brick Reunion show is not the first Porsche show that Oxford hosted. Between 2005 and 2012, the city hosted the casual Porsche P2O (Porsche to Oxford) show. While the show drew large numbers of participants and spectators in Oxford, it was later moved to Granville.

Chin was among the local members of the PCA who had had attended the original show in Oxford and wanted to have a nearby event again. He, Steve Nelson and Mark Wilson began work in 2014 to bring the Porsche show back to the region. They got in touch with Jessica Greene at the Enjoy Oxford visitor’s center, who told them that there was also a local desire to have the show return.

“I have people come up to me and ask when that Porsche show is coming back. People look forward to it all year long,” Greene said.

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The inaugural Red Brick Reunion Porsche Car Show was organized in less than 90 days, but it attracted sponsors and more than 100 participants. After the initial show, the host committee decided to add events that attracted more competitive owners. Chin and Nelson attended a national PCA school to be able to host a concourse competition at the Red Brick Reunion, which had strict judging requirements.

“We provide both the extreme and casual enthusiasts a chance to come into town and show off,” Chin said.

This year will have two official categories of high-level competition, overseen by 15 certified judges from the Porsche Club of America. The more casual owners can still participate in the popular vote for the best car at the show.

Red Brick Reunion has grown more ambitious in the past five years. Nearly 120 cars have already registered for the event this year, with more expected to show up on Saturday if the weather is nice. There will be live music from the Dayton-based Fries Band and swag bags for the registered owners. Nelson said that some participants will come straight from an exclusive driving event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to show their cars in Oxford.

“It’s not just people driving into town and parking their cars on the street. We have people parking the cars for them. It’s an organized, formal event,” Nelson said.

All winners will receive bricks from the High Street renovations in 2013 as a trophy, which is what gave the car show its name. The winners will also conclude the festival with a parade through town. A portion of the show’s proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

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