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Woodward Avenue Alive with Dream Cruisers

On the eve of Motor City’s celebration of automobility, the wheels are already rolling.

by on Aug.14, 2009

While the multi-millionaires are sipping champagne this weekend at Pebble Beach, a more democratic celebration of the automobile is taking place along a 16-mile stretch of Woodward Avenue in suburban Detroit.

TK

Click on photo to enlarge! More than 40,000 cars – street rods, muscle cars, collector cars and wacky “one of a kind cars” – motor in and create the biggest celebration of automobility that I know of.

Pontiac model made famous by a song, 1965, 1965 and 1966.

Pontiacs famous in song, 1965, 1965 and 1966.

1967 Corvette 427

1967 Corvette 427.

This populist celebration draws an estimated 1 million visitors and more than 40,000 cars – street rods, muscle cars, collector cars and other wacky “one of a kind cars” that comprise the biggest celebration of automobility that I know of.

(Click on Photos to enlarge; send a photo not larger than 5 meg via e-mail, of your ride!)

Chamber of Commerce types estimate it’s worth $50 million to a local economy that was built on the automobile, which misses the point entirely.

What makes the third Saturday in August special is the do-it-yourself nature of the Dream Cruise.

It started decades ago when a bunch of teenage guys in their borrowed family cars went cruising on Woodward for a burger and a root beer, and — with luck — the car in the next lane over was filled with a bunch teenage girls, also in borrowed wheels. With even more luck the cars ended up parked next to each other a the Totem Pole or other such joint or drive in.

To greatly oversimplify a social phenomenon, from such a uniquely American courting ritual today’s Dream Cruise is made.

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