What every family needs to haul the lil munchkins in.
Yesterday marked the 13th annual Woodward Dream Cruise. While the event has typically taken place in suburban Detroit, stretching from 8 mile north to Pontiac, the city of Detroit is becoming slightly more involved with each passing year. Already, the event covers some 16+ miles of road. Talks are underway to make the cruise even bigger by promoting events further down Woodward in the heart of the city of Detroit.
For car hobbyists, this is the event to be at. People come from all over the country, and all over the world, to watch as the cars go by and stroll the parking lots and downtowns they are parked in. Estimates range from 30,000-40,000 classics and over 1 million spectators. Now many events will throw out big numbers to make an them sound bigger than they really are, but in this case, perhaps they are underestimating. It is by far the largest car show you will ever see, and the biggest event metro Detroit, or most any other city in the country hosts for that matter. Consider it a Mardis Gras that celebrates the automobile.
The cruise itself has changed over the years, and in my personal opinion, this year was by far the best I had been to. Gone are the days when burnouts were allowed with people soaking the lanes with water. As much as I enjoyed those days, I saw a few too many cars get out of control and jump the curb. It's amazing nobody ever got killed back then. I myself was guilty of racking up a few tickets for doing burnouts, even after the announced crackdown. I learned my lesson after a few court dates though. There is at least one local judge that has a thorough understanding of how a line lock functions during a burnout. In addition, he was satisfied with my argument that it was accomplished in a controlled manner, not in a "careless" manner as the ticket stated. Dodged a bullet that time!
Wondering whether or not this car was show without the go, as the cage was simply a 6 point roll bar
It's hard to say whether or not the street rods are less represented than they once were, but there obviously aren't as many cruising the streets. Perhaps they are parked in one of the downtowns of one of the many participating communities. I know last year Ferndale played host to Mustang Alley, which also attracted many other Fords to that area of Woodward. The show is spread out over 16 miles, and I only venture to see approximately a 3 or 4 mile stretch of that.
A few years ago, it seemed that the cruise had become more of a corporate sponsored event. While corporations still play a huge part, they don't seem to be so in-your-face as they were a few years ago. Another change I noticed, it seems there is an overwhelming muscle car presence now, which I have no complaints about. The SUV's and mini vans seem to be dwindling each year, making way for more classics. Perhaps a growing number are choosing to simply park their cars off of Woodward and either walk the strip, take the free SMART Bus, or set up chairs to watch. Either way, it's a change for the better. I chose to park my ride simply after arriving this year. I didn't car to creep along at 5-10 mph for hours. You can honestly walk this cruise faster than you can drive it.
My 69 Camaro is still no closer to road ready than it was last year, and my Challenger is now my dad's Challenger. I did give my 89 Formula a clean job like it's never seen before and cruised it up there. I wasn't a few miles from home, in Highland Park, when a guy pulls aside me and yells "Man, I haven't seen a t-top car in forever!" I had to look at my girlfriend and laugh, as I pointed out in front of us and said "Hell, there's another right there in front of us," as I spotted a same generation black Iroc.
To my surprise, 3rd generation F-bodies seem to be making a stronger presence. I guess it makes sense, as kids these days have long since been priced out of the classic muscle car market, so 80's-90's Firebirds, Camaros, and Mustangs fill their needs instead. NICE 2nd generation F-bodies are also growing in numbers. The new muscle that has hit the streets in recent years is also blending nicely, such as customized 300's, Chargers, SSR's, GTO's, Vettes, Mustangs, and last built Firebirds and Camaros, even the now 20+ year old Grand Nationals mix nicely with the newer EFI crowd.
This was the longest day I had spent up on Woodward for many years. We cruised, walked around, and sat in chairs for a solid 9+ hours. Perhaps next year I'll get an even earlier start so I can make a full lap all the way up to Pontiac. It would be nice to know what resides in other areas of the cruise. Here are just a handful of the pictures I took. A link at the end will lead you to all of the nearly 300 pictures.
The wing states that this was THE test car for Chrysler experimenting with the monster wings. The license plate read "1STWING"
Is this an example of vehicle evolution? If so, I can't wait until in a few years we'll see the same for the Camaro and Challenger.
A few words on this one, as it is the vehicle that started it all for me, a Dodge D100 pickup. One of my friends who was a bit older than me had one, give or take a year, and color it in teal instead. It had an independent suspension out of a Plymouth Volare, slammed on the ground, a 383 stroked, and a tunnel ram sticking out of the engine bay. For me, a 15 year old at the time, it was the epiphany of badass. I helped him around the garage, occasionally being rewarded with the rumble of this beast as he fired it up. The truck is long gone, but the memories are not, nor is the bite from this original bug. If not for this truck, I may have never even learned to change my own oil, who knows.
Never in my life had I seen so many Deloreans. There were over a dozen this year, all parked together.
For more pictures from the 2007 Woodward Dream Cruise, click here.