Cruising Main Street in Anytown USA was once a ritual of growing up. This was an activity that could be found from the early 50’s to the mid 80’s in towns large and small, west coast to the east coast. And if you had a hot car, you definitely wanted to show off your wheels on weekend nights. Van Nuys Blvd in Southern California, Woodward Avenue in Michigan were popular cruising lanes for hot rodders young and old alike! The hit movie ‘American Graffiti’ released in 1973 was all about this habit of cruising. In Texas, the number one location to cruise was a section of Forest Lane in North Dallas.
It was in 1971 that Car Craft magazine was doing monthly features on hot cruising spots across the country. And yes, they came to Texas and Forest Lane was their destination. (See the story from 1971 by clicking HERE.)
Then, gas was cheap, Detroit was putting real horsepower under the hoods and young men wanted to show it off. The stretch of concrete referred to as ‘The Lane’ became a mecca of hot performance cars and the coming of age for many a young person. The cruising was unorganized and would take on a life of itself. Most of the cruising would take place on Friday and Saturday nights and concentrated on Forest Lane between Inwood Road west to Cromwell Road. The west side of the intersection of Forest Lane at Marsh Lane had a concentration of fast food restaurants that stretched for a quarter of a mile. It is perhaps those fast food restaurants the attracted the cruising. But the parking lots all around that area would fill to capacity with young people and their cars. This phenomenon faded away on Forest Lane as it did all across the country as the 80’s wound down.
But on a June Saturday Night in 2011, if just for only one night, cruising will return to Forest Lane! June 4th will be a reunion in Dallas like no other! It all will begin at 7PM at and near Tommy Terrific’s Car Wash and expect several hundred hot performance and custom cars to attend. Many will be those who in their younger days did cruise ‘The Lane’. There will be a live band playing, DJ’s and along with all the cool cars this will be a trip back in time! Don’t look for Lady Gaga, Prince or Britney Spears playing on the car audio systems with MP3 players, IPOD’s and the such – expect to hear the Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin and maybe even the Beatles blaring out of car radios just as they did back when!
This author will be one of the many cruising Forest Lane on the night of June 4th. I spent many nights of my youth cruising Forest Lane in a ’62 Chevy II and than later in a ’55 Chevy. While in high school and college, I even found employment for most of those years all there on Forest Lane, even spending some time working at one of the fast food joints. You could see a little bit of everything working the late shift at a Forest Lane fast food joint! In my memories of cruising ‘The Lane’ I can remember so many cars driving up and down this stretch of road that you couldn’t change lanes. While there were alot of hot cars, the serious stuff would move down to Emerald Lane after midnight for some serious street racing. The deals would be made on Forest, but the action took place in the remote warehouse district on Emerald. And your author experienced a number of shenanigans of his own while hanging out on Forest, the most memorable (that is safe to share) to come to mind is getting busted by the Dallas PD for throwing water balloons at other cars and pedestrians.
There shouldn’t be any of this going on, just older, likely balder and heavier folks just wanting to relive the past. Check out the website that has been setup for this event at www.cruiseforest.com. Even if you didn’t cruise ‘The Lane’ come out and check out all the hot cars!