Not all cars are created equal. Take my 2005 Scion xA (please!). When something stops working, I know that I can bring it to any old garage and get it fixed because the last thing my car needs is special treatment. However, if I drove a ‘53 Jaguar XK120, I would probably want to exercise a bit of discretion regarding who I let under the hood. That’s where Oxford Motorcars comes in.
“It’s tough to impress upon people that this is our passion,” says Chris Fragomeni, who started Oxford Motorcars with his high school best friend, Jeremy Savage as a one-stop shop for collectors looking to repair, restore, buy or sell a classic ride. Chris’ first car, a beautiful ‘67 Pontiac Firebird that he restored over the course of five years, sits proudly among MG racecars, Porsches, Triumphs and a whole fleet of vehicles that make almost every car on the road at this very moment look depressing.
The mission of Oxford is to take the hassle out of maintaining cars that, because of their age or rarity, require that extra TLC, and their mechanics are among the best in the state. Joe Manzi, who fell in love with vintage cars while working at a shop in Cranston runs the Oxford garage and isn’t above driving out to the Cape when a customer is in dire straits the night before a car show.
“I fixed it, he fed me dinner and that was it,” says Joe. “That’s part of the gig.”
For Chris, Jeremy and Joe, this isn’t just a job or a hobby and it isn’t about brand loyalty, it’s about a passion for vintage. Their Cars and Coffee events on the first Saturday of each month (October 1 at 10am) is a way to get the public and fellow gearheads to come and check out the showroom, and their Oxford Car Club is a free-to-join open invite to anyone who wants to join them on a vintage cruise.
“Everyone here is a family,” says Joe. “It’s like a community and we try to pass that on to everyone who comes through.”
“It’s beyond a job for us,” says Chris. “It’s a lifestyle.”
330 Waterman Avenue, East Providence