by Kathleen Pulek
Click HERE for the full gallery of images from this event.
A 1912 Ford Model T Speedster, a 1932 Ford Three-Window Coupe, a 1956 Pontiac Starchief, a 1967 Jaguar E-Type, a 1978 VW Riviera Camper Bus and a 2012 Ford Mustang were among the more than 650 vehicles covering a century of motoring at the 16th edition of Middletown’s Cruising on Main on June 12th.
The vehicles filled Main Street from Washington to Union Streets, the South Green and Arcade. More than 5,000 people packed the streets as they enjoyed the cars and trucks, the music, a variety of vendors and the many restaurants and stores downtown Middletown has to offer.
“What a great crowd,” Middlesex Chamber of Commerce president Larry McHugh said as he strolled Main Street at 5:30 pm. “This is the biggest crowd we’ve ever had. Great weather brought people out early. We’re already filled. The Cruising on Main Committee, the City of Middletown and Cathy Duncan from the Middlesex Chamber are to be congratulated on a great job.”
The event for vehicles manufactured before 1988, or of special interest, was sponsored by Jackson Chevrolet, along with Town Fair Tire, Trantolo & Trantolo, Charles Computer Services, Downtown Business District, Liberty Bank, NAPA Auto Parts and ServPro. Proceeds will benefit Middletown’s Youth Programs.
Laura Borhman’s orange 1978 VW Riviera Camper Bus, ready to serve dinner, drew a lot of attention. “The Connecticut Volkswagen Association has been coming here for the last six years or so. It’s always a lot of fun. We get to enjoy a nice evening out with our cars,” said Borhman, who calls Durham home. A healthy assortment of classic VW Bugs and a Karman Ghia surrounded the camper and straddled the centerlines of Main Street.
Scott Scranton was happy to talk about the yellow 1972 Ford Maverick Grabber he drove from Wallingford. “I bought this car for $3,127.00 on May 10, 1972. I still have the bill of sale from Colony Ford in Wallingford. My wife put 138,000 miles on the car and now I won’t let her drive it,” Scranton laughed. “I own four restored cars and have three of them here tonight. We’ve been coming to this show for five or six years. We enjoy it. My wife and our son Gary are here, too. We’ll be back next year with our cars.”
Andrea Esposito brought a four-legged companion to the show. “This is really Moxie’s car,” the Portland, CT resident said of the 1950 Chevy Styleline she was seated in as she petted her dog. “He lets me drive it because he can’t reach the pedals,” she joked. “We found the car seven years ago in West Haven. Once I drove it, I fell in love with it. It’s a really nice show. There’s just something about it that brings me back.” Esposito, who works on Main Street, took home the Liberty Bank Award.
Middlefield’s Donnie Hargreaves spent four years building his 1930 Ford Model A two-door sedan, with a flathead V8. “I’ve had it on the road for two years and I enjoy coming to show if off,” Hargreaves said.
“This is my first time entering a car, though I’ve been to Cruising on Main before,” said Middletown’s Carl Marino, a veteran of many Motorcycle Manias. “I’ve owned this 1938 Chevy Coupe for a little over a year so I finally have a car to bring to the show.”
First-time visitors Jason Petrosky and daughter Amber, who made the trip from Meriden, parked by the South Green. “I finished this 1948 Chevy truck in 2009. Tonight Amber got her first ride in it,” Petrosky said as they posed for a photograph.
“We’re glad the weather held out long enough for the Cruise Night on Main,” added Cathy Duncan, who coordinated the event as part of her duties for the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce.