Cruising Memories: Joe Grippo Takes Us Back To Pottstown, PA Circa 1993 And A Nationally Recognized Scene (Videos)

Cruising Memories: Joe Grippo Takes Us Back To Pottstown, PA Circa 1993 And A Nationally Recognized Scene (Videos)

(By Joe Grippo) – “Where were you in ’62?” was the question posed by arguably the greatest car cruising movie of all time, American Graffiti. Well, today Bangshift is asking where were you in ’93? Remember 1993? Bill Clinton just started his second term, Nirvana and the grunge scene was blowing up, The Fugitive was on the big screen and the Dallas Cowboys had just won their 4th Super Bowl. This Bangshifter was 24 years old working for Sunoco designing gas stations and cruising the main drag of Pottstown, Pa. a western suburb of Philadelphia.

High Street was that main drag. With a McDonalds on one end of town and a few miles of wide lanes snaking through the business district, High Street was perfect for cruising your hot rod till all hours of the night. Back then every Friday and Saturday night High Street was overflowing with every example of the automotive hobby from daily drivers to street rods to Pro Streeters and giant 4X4’s. There was a Pep Boys right in the middle of town which was our usual spot to park and observe the goings on from the sidewalk. I was still driving my Mustang on the street back then and with  Maple Grove Raceway being nearby, Pottstown was always an easy detour on the way home and a perfect way to extend the evening into the wee hours. High Street was so popular that Car Craft Magazine did one of their Crusin’ USA features in the April 1984 issue. It was huge.

Notice I said was many times in the preceding paragraph. Was, like as in past tense. As with most good things, cruising High Street came to an end. After a few complaints from business owners and some incidents by a newer, rowdier generation of cruisers the borough fathers squashed the fun. Loitering tickets, no on street parking and a larger police presence did the trick. But, not all is lost as the Pottstown Cruisers Car Club hosts a monthly cruise night on the same stretch of pavement where all the action used to go down. But a static car show is not quite the same, still fun but just not the same. So where were you in 1993? I know where I was…cruising High Street with my video camera rolling. I recently transferred some old VHS footage over to digital, so this is what it looked like on two different Saturday nights, May 2nd and July 31st , 1993.


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14 thoughts on “Cruising Memories: Joe Grippo Takes Us Back To Pottstown, PA Circa 1993 And A Nationally Recognized Scene (Videos)

  1. jerry z

    Know the drill about the cruising in the 80’s and 90’s. In NJ there was a popular hang out called Cubby’s in Hackensack. The place used to be packed all the time till it got out of hand. No more fun was the result.

  2. 3nine6

    Thanks for the share. I was born in Pottstown hospital and grew up in neighboring Limerick Township. From the time I got my drivers license in 1976, until the mid 1980’s, Friday and Saturday nights were reserved for “cruisin town”, as we used to say. I was there when Car Craft showed up, cruising my ’69 L-78 el Camino. I am amazed now when I think about it. No internet or social media back then, but word spread like wildfire that they were coming.
    It seemed like the local newspaper, The Pottstown Mercury, was always stirring up crap about what a horrible problem cruising was to the community. A Facebook friend that still lives in the area recently commented that he would rather “hear revving engines on High St., than the sound of gunfire on King St.”, which seems to be the norm now.

  3. 75Duster

    Joe, back in 1993 I was doing a different kind of cruising, and it wasn’t in my car. I was stationed on board the USS Willamette (AO-180) cruising the Persian Gulf in support of Desert Storm.
    After my deployment, upon my return to Pearl Harbor, while everyone else was buying brand new cars, I managed to find for $3500 a 1969 Barracuda with a 340, four speed, which was my daily driver for three years.
    The engine and bucket seats still live in my Duster today.

  4. Johnson

    “Bill Clinton just started his second term

    This amoral, lecherous, very corrupt man just started his first term. Unfortunately.

  5. Tim Hertzog

    I was there almost every Friday and Saturdaynight with my Chevelle. Funny, we were just down there last night looking at furniture at a store on High street. In my minivan! I told my wife I’m very disappointed in myself. They have been trying to revive cruising down there.

  6. Art Wittig

    I was there that night and in the video.
    Funny how it was just a regular thing back then and seemed like nothing special.
    Now I look back and realize “Those were the good ole days” and some of the best times of my life. Those memories will last a lifetime.
    Im proud to have been a part of it and happy to still be friends with many of the great folks who “cruised town” back then.

  7. steve

    I was there plenty in those days…
    In the first Video at the 1:00 mark….That Orange Austin was a guy I worked with in Blue Bell……the good old days….

    1. Grippo

      Steve A. still cruises the Austin and still works in Blue Bell. My Dad is retiring from there on Friday.

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