A record 390 Porsches made their way to Oxford, Ohio on July 26, 2008 for the fourth annual Porsches 2 Oxford event. The college town along the Ohio-Indiana border drew cars from 17 states and Canada and increased attendance by 54% over last year’s turnout of 254 cars. The uptown streets were closed off all day and entertained thousands of onlookers enjoying the expensive German sports cars.
“It’s a remarkable turnout,” said P2O Publicity Director Chris Rieman. “We set a new benchmark last year and had concerns that $4.00 gas and a sluggish economy would stand in our way like it has many other automotive events this year. To see an increase of nearly 140 cars is most satisfying and tells us P2O is a summer event attendees can’t miss.”
Porsches 2 Oxford relocated from Pinckney, MI, in 2005 and entertained 140 cars in the first year. Attendance has increased substantially ever since, growing to 225 cars in 2006 and 254 last year. With 417 paid registrations in 2008, organizers are setting their sights on over 500 cars next summer.
“Getting 500 cars is a big number,” Rieman admitted. “Outside of the Porsche Parade which is sponsored by the Porsche Club of America national office, we’d like to think P2O is the largest, most attractive, and well-organized regional event on the calendar. Our attendance and geographic reach continues to grow and that’s a true testament to the enthusiasm and spirit the attendees bring to this event.”
That enthusiasm showed in the early morning hours on Saturday as 75 cars lined the streets by 6:15am in what has become a P2O tradition. The local Elms Hotel was booked months in advance and three others were nearly full as hundreds of Porsche aficionados make a weekend out of it.
Billed as ‘a casual Porsche party’, P2O is the brainchild of Bill and Marylynn Roe. Frustrated with events elsewhere, they decided to start their own and develop a Porsche cruise-in that was unpretentious and directed at owners normally too intimidated to get involved. The event spent three years in Pinckney before needing a new home to broaden the appeal. The rural town of Oxford proved to be that perfect location with easy access to major geographic arteries. The brick-lined streets, endless eateries, and plethora of watering holes keep P2O quaint and personal.
Marylynn lost her battle with cancer in 2006 but saw the groundwork completed as the event took off.
“Marylynn’s fingerprints are all over this event,” Rieman said. “She wanted the attendees to be the focus as much as the cars and that’s exactly what happened. The social network created by P2O is a large one. People return to Oxford to see old friends and meet new ones as much as they do to enjoy the Porsches. Not many events can say that.”
Of the nearly 400 cars on display, there were high-mileage daily drivers, garage queens, and even a Porsche tractor. Other cars included a Carrera GT, 904 Carrera GTS, and 1973 911 Carrera RS. The event awards unique brick trophies to the Top-35 vote-getters, while thousands in door prizes, giveaways, and charitable giving to the American Cancer Society round out the afternoon. Two sponsorship tiers provide the backbone, with premier support coming from Griot’s Garage, Beechmont Porsche, and Autobahn Extremist.
“You’ll see a little bit of everything here,” Rieman stated. “We’ve had a 959 in the past and a gentleman with a pair of 944s clocking 550,000 miles between the two. That’s what makes P2O so special. Because attendees can park wherever they like, the eclectic mix makes for great conversation pieces between owners.”
Next year’s party is scheduled for Saturday, July, 25th. For more information on 2008’s fifth anniversary event, please visit the Porsches 2 Oxford website.