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"Checkin' Town"

John DeWitt grew up in Stamford in the 1950s, and in his book "Cool Cars, High Art: The Rise of Kustom Kulture" John give us a glimpse of how Stamford was back in the 1950s; "Saturday was date night. Friday night was for the guys - a nigh for "checkin' town." That's what we called cruising in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1959. On Friday nights all summer long you would see guys pull their freshly polished Fords and Chevys into the Esso Station on High Ridge and ask, "What do you want to do?" as if they didn't know what the answer was always going to be, "I dunno. Do you wanna check town?"" John and his buddies would be circling the downtown, up Atlantic, across Main, around City Hall, by the Plaza and the Palace theaters, to see if there were any interesting-looking girls waiting in line. According to John, there would be forty or fifty cars making the long circuit on a good night; "Most were not especially remarkable cars. They were mildly customized at best - nosed and decked, lowered in the back, spinner Olds or Dodge Lancer hubcaps flipping over slowly in the glow of streetlights and storefronts - but there was always the chance that Jerry Harold's Deuce coupe, Russel Grady's incredible black-lacquered chopped '57 olds, Jimmy Karcher's pretty chopped '50 Ford convertible, or Jimmy Kenny's gleaming violet '55 Ford Crown Vic would show up and add some glamour to the night. One night we saw a '56 Buick convertible parked across from the drive-in. It was a candy apple blue, the first true candy color in town. We drove by it a hundred times. From car to car the word was passed: "Did you see the candy Buick?""[1]

Hot Rods of Stamford, Connecticut

Joseph Beaudoin 1930 Ford Roadster
Jerry Herold's 1931 Ford Coupe

Custom Cars of Stamford, Connecticut

Jim Ferrara's 1941 Mercury Convertible
Joe Boccuzzi 1949 Chevrolet Convertible
George Salley's 1950 Ford Sedan
Russell Grady's 1957 Oldsmobile - The Oriental

Car Clubs of Stamford, Connecticut

Black Road Auto Club
Twin Ridge Auto Club

Custom Body Shops of Stamford, Connecticut

James Freccia's Auto Body

Citizens of Stamford, Connecticut

George Salley
Jerry Herold
Jim Ferrara
Jimmy Karcher
Joe Boccuzzi
John DeWitt
Joseph Beaudoin
Moppy Buchanan
Roger Arnow
Russell Grady


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