NEWINGTON – For one evening each summer, downtown goes back in time.
Treasured cars from the early twentieth century and beyond are parked in Market Square, which closes to all other traffic. It’s a spectacle of class and care, as car owners and aficionados stroll around bopping to Fifties music.
The Newington Chamber of Commerce’s 13th annual Cruising Newington car show is set to take place next Thursday, June 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. Subsequent rain dates are set for the following two Thursdays, June 20 and 27.
“It’s a fun night out in the center of Newington; something everyone looks forward to,” Chairman Bob Newbold said this week.
He’ll be arriving in his 1950 Plymouth, which like most of the show cars, has its own colorful history.
“My grandfather bought it new in 1950,” Newbold said.
He owned a farm in New Jersey but passed away in 1959. The car sat in a barn until the farm was sold in ’76, and Newbold’s father unearthed it and began the restoration project.
It takes joy rides every now and then, according to Newbold, who reached the 35,000-mile mark just this week.
“I think my dad and my grandfather would be pretty proud and pretty surprised it survived so long,” he added. “They don’t make them like they used to.”
Over 200 vehicles participated in last year’s show. All ages, makes and models are welcomed. Trophies will be awarded by Connecticut Street Legends. Dash plaques will be distributed to the first 200 arrivals.
Show cars are invited to line up at 4:30 p.m. with a $10 entry fee. Members of the car club will direct show entrants where to park. Spectators are free.
Restaurants and businesses downtown welcome visitors before, during and after the event.
Newington resident Kristin Vacca, owner of the Flash Lady Photography, took the photograph featured on promotion materials circulating around town this spring.
The 2019 Cruising Newington flier showcases a turquoise 1960 Chevy Corvette. It belongs to Vacca’s in-laws Jim and Joyce Vacca, who live in Portland.
Like Newbold’s car, this one has its own saga of tragedy and triumph.
“They found it in a barn,” she explained. “It had been completely overtaken by mice. They had eaten the interior and upholstery. My father-in-law essentially rebuilt this car from scratch. But like any car enthusiast, he’ll tell you it’s still always a work in progress.”
The ’vette will be featured at the show, where the elder Vacca is expected to greet visitors and recount the tale.
“There were so many acorns in the car when they found it that there are technically still acorns in the frame,” his daughter-in-law revealed. “That’s why it never gets taken out in the rain. He’s worried they’ll rot.”
Come see it and hundreds of other classics, newer muscle cars and crazy crafts at the upcoming Cruising Newington.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go:
WHAT: 13th annual Cruising Newington
WHEN: Thursday, June 13 from 5-8 p.m. rain dates 6/20 or 6/27
WHERE: Market Square, Newington
HOW: $10 donation per car, spectators are free