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Posts Tagged ‘Woodward Dream Cruise’

Dream On! Woodward Dream Cruise Brings Back Memories

World’s largest classic car event continues gaining momentum.

by on Aug.20, 2017

A little Deuce Coupe works its way down Woodward Ave. on Saturday during the Dream Cruise.

He might only be 10, but Ashley McInnis didn’t need much time to find the car of his dreams. Walking down the sidewalk along Woodward Avenue his eyes grew wide as he spotted a pearl white Ford GT.

“I love it,” the youngster from Yorktown, Virginia gushed to his grandfather, adding “I may have to take out a loan to get it.” When advised it would cost more than $400,000, he paused for a moment, trying to figure out how long that would take on the money he makes on his paper route. “It may take me a little while to pay it off,” he said.

We're Cruising!

McInnis was just one of as many as 1.5 million people estimated to line a 17-miles stretch of Woodward Ave., metro Detroit’s main thoroughfare, for the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.  And while there were a handful of new GTs and Ferraris, even the occasional Lamborghini and McLaren, the real focus was on the classic sort of muscle cars and hot rods that used to cruise the once quiet suburban roadway back in the 1960s and ‘70s.


Roadkill Gives Dream Cruise a New Look

New event brings out younger car fans.

by on Aug.22, 2016

Roadkill Nights powered by Dodge attracted more than 20,000 racing fans to see the first-ever legal street racing on Woodward Avenue.

The first legal road races ever held on Woodward Avenue drew a huge crowd during the annual Woodward Dream Cruise as drivers with smoking tires and burned rubber on the pavement in dozens and dozens of two-car races that drew participants from all over the U.S. and an impressive range of vehicles.

“I’m here for the sheer fun of it,” said Tanner Sullivan of Huntington, Indiana, as he prepared to race a 1970 AMC Javelin for an eighth of a mile at the invitation of the “Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge.”

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“I don’t know if we will ever be able to do this again. It is special,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger cars for FCA, who noted that FCA, Dodge and Roadkill, the YouTube channel created by Motor Trend and Hot Rod magazines. (more…)

Dodge Bringing Drag Racing to Woodward Dream Cruise

Racers vying for $19,000 in prize money.

by on Jun.24, 2016

More than 12,000 folks jammed the Silverdome parking lot watch day-long street racing. Now they'll see it on a real street: Woodward Avenue.

Every August the Detroit suburbs along Woodward Avenue roar to life with the sounds and smells of muscle cars, punctuated with the occasional squeal of smoking tires, which was illegal … until now.

Fiat Chrysler is teaming up with the bloggers at Roadkill for a night of “flashlight” street racing on Aug. 19, for the second edition of “Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge.” Last year’s event gave the winner the vaunted powerplant for the Hellcat line of vehicles.

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The inaugural event kicked off last year in the parking lot of the Silverdome, the former home of the Detroit Lions, and drew more than 12,000 people. It now moves to a larger location called the M1 Concourse in downtown Pontiac and – with the blessing of local governmental agencies – it includes actual street racing with a cash purse of $19,000. (more…)

California Dreaming – or Detroit Cruising?

Woodward Dream Cruise and Pebble Beach Concours bookend a classic car weekend.

by on Aug.15, 2015

A classic Chevy Nova with its shaker hood up takes a break from cruising Woodward Ave. All photos by Len Katz unless otherwise noted.

There’ll be plenty of thunder in Detroit today, even though the skies are only partly cloudy. The rumbles are coming from the city’s main drag, Woodward Avenue, where as many as 1.5 million people, and tens of thousands of muscle cars, hot rods and exotics stage are out for the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.

On the other side of the Continent, the crowds will be building all over the Monterey Peninsula for a weekend of excitement wrapped around the tony Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, considered by classic car fanciers the crowning event of the year.

We're a Classic!

The Dream Cruise and the Concours highlight two very different aspects of the automotive world – and underscore the fact that America’s love affair with the automobile has hardly diminished. But what’s a gearhead to do – unless you have a private jet ready to whisk you from one to the other?


Makers Hit Dream Cruise for Performance Parts Sales

Mopar crashes party with hot products.

by on Aug.14, 2015

Mopar is connecting with fans at the Woodward Dream Cruise. The cruise provides the performance parts unit with a chance to connect with buyers.

The Woodward Dream Cruise has always been a grassroots event inspired by car enthusiasts of every stripe and over the past two decades carmakers have worked to be respectful of the event’s traditions.

But for the people selling performance parts – the parts dedicated automotive enthusiasts need – the Dream Cruise has become an event they don’t want to miss. In fact, the performance parts business, once considered a necessary evil, has grown into a serious business of its own.

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Thus FCA’s Mopar unit – and the performance units from General Motors and Ford – will be out in force for the Cruise this year looking to connect with the mad modders running up and down Woodward Avenue. (more…)

Woodward Dream Cruise Can Celebrate Past and Present

Forget the ‘60s; the best muscle cars ever are being built today.

by on Aug.10, 2015

The latest version of Chevy's Corvette Stingray can get up to 31 mpg while making 455-hp.

The roar is back. All this week, you can expect to see countless classic hot rods, muscle cars and other exotics cruising Detroit’s main drag as the Motor City gets ready for the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.

This will mark the 20th anniversary of an improbable event that took shape almost by accident when a small car club in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale decided to change things up. Rather than having its members park their cars for their annual gathering, organizers decided it would be more fun to cruise up and down Woodward Avenue. Word got out and almost 250,000 people lined the eight-lane boulevard to watch. In recent years, that has grown to as many as 1.5 million, with an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 classic cars cruising Woodward.

Cruise on In!

“It gets bigger and bigger every year,” noted regular Dream Cruise fan Bob Wissman, who recalled spending plenty of time riding around with friends in their Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs as a teenager back in the 1960s.


Cruising Down Memory Lane

Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise turns 20.

by on Aug.16, 2014

A "flamed" hot rod, one of from 40,000 to 60,000 classic muscle cars, hot rods, sports cars and other collectibles expected at the Woodward Dream Cruise.

For Bob Wissman, standing on the corner of Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak, Michigan is a trip down Memory Lane. As a teenager in the 1960s, even before he was old enough to drive, he’d hitchhike along Metro Detroit’s main drag, hoping to catch a ride in a Ford Mustang, a Pontiac GTO or, if he was lucky, a Chevrolet Corvette.

Woodward Ave. was Ground Zero for muscle car fans and, back then, you’d even catch some executives, like General Motors’ legendary maverick John DeLorean, showing up late at night to street test a new performance car against their competitors.

The Last Word!

The days of cruising are long past – well, not entirely. As summer enters its dog days, the echoes of screeching tires and the resonant roar of big V-8s can be heard up and down Woodward Avenue, a crescendo building by the day as the Motor City gets set to celebrate its heritage with the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.


Crawling Through Motown at the Woodward Dream Cruise

Reliving "Happy Days" in the Motor City.

by on Aug.19, 2013

Bill Mann takes home a trophy for his restored 1970 Dodge Charger R/T at the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Any other day, it might have been a major headache for the Motor City, but if anyone was frustrated by the traffic that jammed Detroit main thoroughfare they were well advised to keep it to themselves as the annual Woodward Dream Cruise rolled into Detroit.

The Saturday event, now in its 19th year, attracted more than 1 million visitors from all over the country, indeed, more than a few from overseas, to watch an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 classic hot rods, muscle cars and exotics cruise – make that crawl – down Woodward Avenue.

Keep on Cruising!

Even after nearly two decades, the Woodward Dream Cruise continues to woe fans with its mix of cars old and new.  “I saw the new Viper,” said a youngster from Livonia, Michigan who would only give his first name, Dominic.

The sighting of the still rare Chrysler sports car was one of the highlights of the Dream Cruise weekend for many fans as traffic slowly moved along Woodward Avenue, an eight-lane boulevard that stretches from the Detroit riverfront to Motown’s northern suburbs.


Woodward Dream Cruise Ready to Roll

Annual event expected to draw over 1 million to Detroit.

by on Aug.16, 2013

The Woodward Dream Cruise, Detroit’s annual celebration of the automobile, officially revs up with a roar this weekend – though the Motor City’s main thoroughfare has already seen thousands of cruisers take to the streets for practice runs this past week.

If past is prologue, as many as 60,000 classic muscle cars, hot rods and antiques – along with some even odder wheeled creations – will roll down Woodward for the 19th annual Dream Cruise. Organizers and community officials also expect to see anywhere from 1 million to 1.5 million spectators, including a steadily growing number from out of state who will have traveled to Detroit specifically for the Dream Cruise,

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The event began almost by accident when suburban Detroit plumber Nelson House suggested his car club stage a rolling event rather than the usual car show with a collection of muscle cars and hot rods statically lined up in a parking lot.  The inaugural event in August 1995 was expected to draw perhaps 40,000 collectors and fans. At least 250,000 showed up.


Woodward Dream Cruise Grows Larger – Longer

One-day event now lasts an entire week or more.

by on Aug.17, 2012

More than a million people are expected for this weekend's Woodward Dream Cruise.

All photos in this article courtesy Len Katz.

Neither storms, nor blackouts, nor economic downturns – never mind over-zealous law enforcement – has failed to dampen the spirit of the Woodward Dream Cruise, the annual gathering of muscle cars, hot rods and more than a few truly undefinable vehicles now recognized as the world’s largest single-day automotive event.

In fact, the Cruise has become more than just a formal one-day gathering.  For at least a week before the formal Saturday, August 18 event, thousands of cruisers could be found gathering along a 17-mile stretch of Woodward Avenue, Detroit’s main thoroughfare, by noon.  By evening, when traffic might normally lighten, it would drag to a stop – to the cheers and applause of those watching from the sidelines.

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The Woodward Dream Cruise began almost by accident when, in 1995, plumber Nelson House decided to stage a classic car show hoping to raise some money for a soccer field.  But rather than the usual, static display, House proposed the seemingly radical idea of having participants actually drive up and down the 8-lane Woodward Ave., just as many of them did when younger, back in the 1960s and 1970s.