The August Dilemma: Woodward Dream Cruise

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Free For All: If You Want To See Everything And Anything Automotive, This Is The Place To Be

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    By MAC MORRISON
    (Photos by Joe Wilssens)

    So you are planning the summer's ultimate automotive pilgrimage and-unless you are a CEO with two months vacation or a pro athlete biding your time until the season begins-you need to make a choice. Which single extravaganza will satisfy your motorhead cravings? The Indy 500? Nah, you're still dizzy from last year's race. The USGP? About as suspenseful as every other Formula One parade. Monterey Historics? Please. You're an enthusiast of the people, damn it. Plus, you'd like to see a variety of cars, drivers and events, preferably in one place. Impossible? Nope, just the 10th installment of the Woodward Dream Cruise.

    Originally concocted by local resident Nelson House as a one-off, soccer field fund-raising event, the Dream Cruise is now cemented in our national car culture. It has grown each year, from the 250,000 who showed up in 1995 to the approximately 1 million who lined the byway in 2003-despite the largest blackout in U.S. history. Cruise officials expect 1.7 million attendees and 40,000 noteworthy cars this year.

    We've spotted just about every make and model along the official route's 16 miles over the years. From '32 Fords, Hemi 'Cudas and GTOs, to Ferraris, Porsches and barely street-legal race cars, this is the most diverse collection of tire-burners you are likely to ever come across. With no official entry requirements, costs or forms to complete, the Cruise is also the easiest enthusiast event in which to participate: Just show up and drive.

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    This casual philosophy is the Cruise's trump card, as it's rooted in genuine history, not marketing scams. Woodward was the world's first concrete paved highway, and a hot-rodding mecca in the '50s and '60s. In its prime, the strip rivaled American Graffiti for capturing the essence of Americana, though the local constabulary is not nearly as tolerant as it once was: There is a strict no-burnout policy. Unfortunate, but perhaps due in part to the actions of one AW staffer who, in the event's early days, staked out a prime location from which to pour gallons of bleach onto the roadway.

    Of course, you can't expect corporate America to ignore such a large-scale gathering of fanatics. Ever ones to sniff out marketing opportunities, Chrysler, Ford and GM have an official presence, sponsoring concerts, dinners, car shows and displays. Plans were not finalized as we went to press, but expect to find several big-name musical acts, vintage car displays and memorabilia trailers throughout the seven suburban cities bordering the road: Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Huntington Woods, Royal Oak, Berkley, Birmingham and Pontiac. Ford will base itself in Birmingham, while GM occupies three different locations in Birmingham and Royal Oak. Chrysler says it has no major plans, but we won't be surprised if it unveils a limited, Cruise-edition vehicle as it has done in the past with its series of PT Dream Cruisers.

    If that's not enough, each of the local communities offers stand-alone activities, from sidewalk sales and games for kids to car parades and food/merchandise booths.

    Now go tune up your Roadrunner, and if you see anyone wearing 10 pounds of gold jewelry when you arrive, tell them to go back to Cali.

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    What: Woodward Dream Cruise

    When: Aug. 21, 9 a.m.

    Where: Woodward Avenue between the cities of Ferndale and Pontiac, Michigan

    What you’ll see: Nearly everything you could want in one automotive event, including 1.7 million car geeks and partygoers, plus approximately 40,000 classic, sports, muscle and every other kind of car you can imagine

    What else: Plenty of food, drinks and family activities

    Veteran’s tip: If you own a truly noteworthy car, by all means get out on the road and join the actual cruise. But if your idea of a classic is that ’87 Astro van, you are better off watching from the roadside

    Best way to get there: Oakland County boasts hotels spread over the Cruise area, but wherever you stay, get to the event early: Once Woodward and surrounding roads fill with sheetmetal, even shortcut-savvy locals need an hour and then some to travel five miles

    Best-kept secret: The best cruising actually occurs in the evenings during the week preceding the official event. Saturday’s official traffic resembles the worst gridlock you’ve ever seen more than it does a cruise

    For more information, woodwarddreamcruise.com

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  2. Wolf

    Wolf No one plans to take the path that brings you lowe

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    Teh fuck???? :squint:

    10lbs of gold = jersey not CA.
     

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