Cruisin' 1959

Back in the day, Pratt & Whitney of East Hartford and Cheney Brothers of Manchester gave out paychecks to their employees every Thursday. Because of this, downtown Main Street stores in Manchester would stay open later into the night so people could shop. And because of that, Main Street on Thursday nights became THE hangout and place to be seen during the week.

Of course, if you had a cool car, or a friend who did, you had to CRUISE. Most kids would Cruise the Loop: start over at Deci's on Center Street, maybe race your friend up Center to the middle of town, hit the traffic circle at the top of Main, head down Main, hit the circle at the bottom of Main, go back up Main, and repeat!

This illustration depicts some time in the late summer of 1959, where kids are Cruisin' past Center Memorial Park on Main. Cars pictured are a '57 Chevy Bel Air, '54 Buick, '54 Mercury, '57 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser, '55 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight, '56 Buick Super, '54 Mercury Sun Valley, '58 Pontiac Bonneville, '57 Ford Thunderbird, and a '57 Chevrolet.

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