Friday Flashback #150

If you were a teenage driver in Westport around the time this photo was taken — and judging by the car, it was the 1970s — you remember this scene:

The target was painted on Bayberry Lane — the hill just north of the Merritt Parkway.

It was a real hill then too — not the measly mound it is today. (It was probably flattened because someone painted that target.)

I don’t know the artist. Someone did a great job.

And had the right idea.

You really could get air, particularly with a good rate of speed southbound.

Of course, those were the days when auto repairs were fairly cheap.

17 responses to “Friday Flashback #150

  1. Target Hill, remember it well. One of my teachers at Staples used it as an example for calculating the incline. Always wondered if the homeowner right at the bottom used a JATO pack to get out safely. 😉

  2. When I and friends were in high school we’d be driving around and if there was someone who did not know the “jump” we’d talk up this “great bridge” they should really see. We’d embellish about the construction or design or whatever about this bridge we were about to go over. As we would get to the top of it (at a fairly good rate of speed) the driver or all of us would yell out: “oh no the bridge is out!” and proceed to catch air and scare the daylights out of the unsuspecting passenger.
    Yes, we were upset when it was leveled out. Yea, I know, some friends we were. 🙂

  3. Jonathan L Maddock

    I do remember the target!
    I also remember one year in the 1960’s that there were “foot prints” of a large animal (dinosaur?) painted is if it were traveling in stride down the middle of North Avenue.

  4. James H. Gray

    In our neighborhood we called it “Garside Hill” because Ralph Garside died driving over it too fast. My recollection is that was in the very early 60’s. Not too long after that accident, it was leveled out somewhat.

  5. Terence Brannigan

    I totally remember, we have significantly smoothed out the “mogules” around town, but old habits die hard. I still grip the steering wheel when crossing the post road from Hillspoint Rd to Rosevelt and from when crossing the Post Rd but the bumps are long gone!

    • Well, here are a couple of places where they still exist: Post Road at North Maple and South Maple — and of course the entrance to the library/Levitt Pavilion parking lot, near the police lot.

      • That Target, that hill was at least a weekly or even daily challenge for anyone that drove back then. Unfortunately that Target and that hill was very unforgiving back in 1973 when Jimmy Worsfold was killed attempting to circumvent that challenge!! It wasn’t very long after Jimmy’s death that the target disappeared and that hill was no longer challenged, hence the current day hump!!

        Tom Wall

  6. Mary Papageorge

    My brother drove my fathers 55’ Chevy over that hill and went airborne, wrecked the car. Had jelly donuts on dash they smashed all over the windshield. My father was not happy.

  7. Kris Latchford

    In the mid to late 1980’s, my friend and I caught air in his parents green Ford fairlane station wagon driving that road. I am sure that it wasn’t more that 2-3 seconds of air, but it was magically frightening!!
    Kris Latchford

  8. Louise W Demakis

    Now if the powers that be could also stop and fine the scofflaws who stream down the turning lane as the Post Road meets Riverside and then force into the cars of law observers, Westport really would make progress.

  9. Ahhhh!! The Original Target!! It was typically a daily Jump for whatever car you were driving!! Unfortunately, that target, that hill, took the life of a Westport youngster Jimmy Worsfold, in 1973. Jimmy was 19 when he died. Jimmy grew up on Sniffen Road. It wasn’t long after the crash that killed Jimmy that the target was erased, never to be seen again!!

    Tom Wall

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  10. The Bayberry Bump! If you drove fast enough going up it your car would fly over the top…My brother and I wrecked our parents car going over it! Somebody was coming the other way over it and my brother turned the steering wheel, so when we came down at an angle, the car spun around and smashed into a tree. He managed to drive it home, where he tore up his drivers license and said he wasn’t ever driving again Then a cop showed up at the door while my brother was on the phone with my Dad explaining what happened…We can laugh about it now, but is was scary when it happened!

  11. Yes, I did the Target!! Enough speed in my ’65 Mustang to get airborne and land on the Target!! You had to practice to land the car in the Target!! So fun being a teen here in the 70s.

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