DREAMS FROM THE WOODWARD AVENUE DREAM CRUISE
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Tue, Aug 23, 2011
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Pictures by Mark Dapoz What started as a a small fundraiser to raise money for a soccer field in Ferndale, Michigan, has turned into the world’s largest one-day automotive event. In August of 1995, a group of volunteers looked to relive and recreate the nostalgic heydays of the 50s and 60s, when youth, music and Motor City steel roamed Woodward Avenue, America's first highway. That year, 250,000 people participated – nearly ten times the number expected. Today, the Woodward Dream Cruise draws 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars from around the globe – from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the former Soviet Union. For the 17th time in 17 years, muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles flocked the streets of Detroit. Cruisers and spectators drive along a 16-mile route of nine communities including Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Pontiac and Royal Oak.
Mark Dapoz was there to capture the more poignant moments from The Cruise for LA Car. “Chevy stepped up and sponsored the cruise this year in celebration of their 100th anniversary, says Dapoz. “I was out there four days last week, as the cruise always gets rolling eight days before the actual day of the cruise (the cruise is held the third Saturday of August, but Woodward is packed the Friday before the second Saturday of August, and every night until the cruise).” “I believe this was the first year the cruise has been shut down (by the police) due to severe weather, as a brief storm packing 60-65 mph winds blew through the area at around 4:00 pm (see the photo of the Jimmy under a tree). As far as I know, no classics were damaged. On the other hand, a pristine '59 Caddy was stolen Friday night, along with its truck and travel trailer. The cruise was up and running again within a couple hours, but with a lot less cruisers and spectators.
“One of the shots I took shows a Borders book store in the background with a large ‘Everything must go’ sign near the roof. Kind of prophetic, maybe. As usual, a virtual parade of the history of the automobile, with customs a-plenty. Seems like everyone in the area with a new Cadillac CTS Coupe was out there showing it off.” For the 17th time in 17 years, the Woodward Dream Cruise didn’t disappoint. It’s remains the world’s largest one-day automotive event.