Automobile inspection in the late 1940s in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

by James K. Sayre

In Ridgewood, New Jersey in the late 1940s, there was an annual automobile inspection. It probably operated on several Saturdays each summer. There was a long shed in the downtown area, open on all sides and the driver brought his car in at the back and went through from station to station. Sort of like an automobile assembly line, but this was for checking up on the mechanical condition of automobiles on the road in Ridgewood. They check brakes, lights, horn and possibly other mechanical systems. If your vehicle passed, you received a certificate from the State of New Jersey that said your car was allowed to operate for the next year. If your vehicle didn't pass inspection, you had to either repair it yourself or hire a mechanic, and then bring it back.

My father drove us to this location in the downtown and we got outside and watched while he drove their black 1941 Ford coupe through the inspection process. It was located near the railroad station in the downtown area of Ridgewood. Pretty exciting stuff for a little kid...





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