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Norwalk Daily Voice serves Norwalk & Rowayton

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Cruise Season Rolls Back to Town

It's easy to take a drive down memory lane. In fact, members of the Norwalk-based Connecticut Coachmen Rod and Custom Club, a group of classic car enthusiasts, do so on a regular basis. It's called "cruising" and they do it every Wednesday night from April to October in the HSBC parking lot next to the Darien Diner (off Exit 13).

With "oldies" music playing in the background, collectors, fans and classic car wonks admire vintage automobiles and wax nostalgic about the good old days, when cars were less about being "green" and more about being fast. But the cruises don't involve actual cruising. It's more of a parking lot-based party (think tail gaiting). Trophies are awarded each week to the coolest classic vehicles.

Lifelong Norwalk resident Frank Calcone, a member of the Coachmen Rod and Custom Club, says membership in the group is as easy as owning a car manufactured before 1983, although it's hard to believe a vehicle manufactured long after the Big Bopper's heyday could be construed as "old." Calcone says, "A lot of our members remember when we were teens and we used to cruise the streets looking for friends to hang out with -- just like in 'American Graffiti.' "

The club began in 1958 with a core group of five members. He says that during the early years membership ebbed and flowed, but the group finally gelled in 1986 and for the past 24 years it has been going strong.

But there are certain rules for attendance: Prohibited are alcohol, bicycles, pets, loud car sound systems or reckless behavior.

So, leave your pets and bikes and reckless behavior at home, and come on down to your friendly neighborhood cruise.

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