The sick ride you took to prom was the high point of being a teenager
Hummer limos were built for these nights
Thirty years ago there were no year 11 or year 13 proms in this country. It must have been a terrible time to be alive.
Nobody had seen My Super Sweet 16. Nobody had seen High School Musical. Nobody thought of mid-June to mid-July as prom season.
Thankfully everything changed. Now spending an entire night at the Paddington Hilton with a girlfriend or boyfriend who’ll dump you three days into Fresher’s Week is as legitimate a part of growing up as your first driving lesson.
Prom is about appearances – you dress in the way you want everyone to remember you. Some people take that further: they arrive in a way that’s unforgettable. We spoke to people about the sick rides they took to prom.
Ryan Stevenson, tank at year 11 prom – now studies Automotive Engineering at Manchester Met
In 2012, when I was 16, me and my mates took a tank to prom.
Basically one of my Dad’s mates restores tanks.
He has a massive collection of the things. We asked him if we have it for prom and he said yeah. They’re legal on the roads so there was no problem on that front.
He drove the tank and we just cruised round. I’m not sure what kind of tank it was – it had wheels not tracks.
It was just a big tank basically. The gun was actually live.
The prom was at the Marriott in Manchester, so we had to drive through town to get there. There were four of us inside looking out through these little slits in the side. When we turned up everyone went crazy, then we all popped out of the top and they went even crazier. I don’t think anyone honestly expected us to really go through with it.
Jessica Greaney, horse and carriage at year 11 prom – now studies English at Nottingham
The prom was held at my school because they’d just renovated the place and though it would be nice to have it.
Five us came in horse and carriage. It was a really last minute decision to get it — we had nothing booked and then one of the girls said she knew someone with a horse and carriage so we just went for it.
We kept the whole thing a secret from everyone else at school. That didn’t last long on the day though – a group of lads who’d paid to go in a really fancy sports car were stuck behind our carriage. Who knew horses were so slow?
When we arrived everyone looked at us like we were the biggest morons but loads of people took pictures of us. It was so awkward though, I really did feel like an embarrassment to society.
I look back on it really fondly, the five of us sitting there awkwardly in a carriage as it slowly ruined those lads’ day.
Josh Kaplan, white stretch limo at year 11 prom – now a journalist
We all chipped in 18 quid each for a white stretch limo. He took us for a 45 minute spin around the Surrey countryside. On the way back to the prom venue, he dropped the fact that he wasn’t legally allowed to take passengers in a beautifully nonchalant way.
Knowing that our school had set up a checkpoint to check if drivers had all the right insurance, he took us to Tesco bought us a bottle of prosecco and a pack of Marlboros and told us to “keep your fucking mouths shut”. He then dropped us off outside the venue and we all walked in.
Then I didn’t get invited to the afterparty.
Fran D’Arcy, stretch limo, senior prom – now studies Finance at Edinburgh
I was 17 and in my last year of high school. The school was Ridge High School in New Jersey. The prom was held at a place called Birchwood Manor.
The group of people I was going with got two stretch limos, the vibe was glamorous and fun. Most people came in their cars, some people came in a party bus but we definitely had the best ride.
I think everyone feels pressure to get everything about prom right, not just the ride but the date and the dress and the people you go with and the pictures, it’s so much stress for what ended up just being a big party.
The limo definitely improved the night especially cause we could call it at the end of the night and then it dropped us off at our houses. The limo driver let us pick our tunes so at one point we even had Shabba playing because some of the guys thought they were hardcore.
It was definitely very stereotypical all-American, I mean we literally had a pre-pre-pre-prom party. I went with the guy I had been best friends with since I was 10. Of course there was no alcohol allowed and we had police guards lining the premises.
There was an ice cream buffet during it and a cupcake truck at the end so really you could’ve thought it was a children’s party at points.
Bobby Palmer, red double-decker bus, year 13 prom – now a journalist
We booked out this double-decker London bus, which seemed like such a classy idea at the time – we expected it to mean we’d be rolling up to the converted barn in true Gatsby style.
What it actually meant was that we had to leave the venue at 11pm because the lease on the bus was going to run out.
I ended up spending the end of my very short evening shielding my mate with my blazer as he pissed in an empty Cava bottle and threw it out of the top deck window.
Laura Fitzpatrick, land rover defender at year 11 prom – now studies Linguistics at Manchester
It was my dad’s car, a Land Rover Defender and four of us took it to prom. We wanted to get one of those big red buses but we realised that between us we had enough cool cars to make it there without one. It was like “My dad has a sick car lets go in that.”
There was quite a lot of pressure to get it right. I remember us talking about the way people in another school had taken an old bus and we felt like we had to go in one as well. But we left it too late to organise one of those but we managed to sort something good out anyway – how many people have been to prom in a defender?
We went in this hilarious convoy – all the cars were covered with balloons and ribbons. We drove from my friend’s house, all the way through the town centre beeping the horns and everything. It was so tragic [laughs].
Driving through Rickmansworth like that was still pretty badass though.
I’m pretty sure another group came to the prom in one of those Hummer limos. I’ve always wanted one of those so I was quite jealous.
Diego Vielma, black hummer limo at year 11 prom – now studies Business at MMU
We went to the Parklands High School in a long black Hummer limo. It wasn’t my choice, someone else in the group picked it.
I found it cringe then and it still is. We played shit music very loudly as we drove around for half an hour before the prom, drinking bevs on the sly.