Woodward Dream Cruise

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A view of the 13th Annual Dream Cruise (2007) from atop a building located on Woodward Ave. near Maple Road (aka: 15 Mile Road) in Birmingham, MI.

The Woodward Dream Cruise event is a classic car event held annually on the third Saturday of August in Metropolitan Detroit, along Woodward Avenue. The WDC Event spans much of the avenue, from Pontiac through Ferndale in Oakland County, Michigan, all the way to the State Fair Grounds inside the Detroit city limits, just south of 8 Mile Road. An estimated one million spectators attended the 2009 Woodward Dream Cruise.[1]

Background[edit]

Starting in 1848, when the roadway was converted from logs to planks, young carriage drivers would race along Woodward Avenue.[2] By 1958, the roadway was used for unofficial street racing with cars. The wide width, median and sections lacking a large commercial presence attracted a reputation for the competition. The numerous drive-ins, each with its dedicated local teenaged clientele, were also popular. Woodward also had numerous car dealerships and automobile accessory shops in the age of the muscle car which completed the formula for young adults to cruise, race and hang out along the road.[3]

History[edit]

The Woodward Dream Cruise is the world's largest one-day automotive event, drawing about 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe. Spectators can see muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles dating across several decades.[4] The majority of the cars on display are those that were available and prevalent during the 1950s, 60s and early 70s prior to the OPEC oil embargo, which led to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations of 1975 and the proliferation of more fuel-efficient and less powerful automobiles. However, the Woodward Dream Cruise also welcomes vehicles of all models whose owners have either scrupulously maintained or customized their car to create a unique vehicle or statement.

Berkley's Custom Police Cruiser, a 1991 Chevrolet Caprice complete with a 502-CID V8 and flames, donated by a group of residents for use in the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Nelson House, a plumber from Ferndale, came up with the idea for the cruise in 1994 to help raise money for a children's soccer field in his community.[4] Organizers initially expected 30,000 or 40,000 people to come to the August 19, 1995, inaugural cruise on Woodward Avenue in Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Royal Oak and Birmingham. About 250,000 actually showed up.[4] It is now the largest single-day classic car event in the world, and brings in over $56 million annually to the Metro Detroit economy.[5]

Although the cruise officially takes place on only one day, each year the celebration starts early in the summer with these classic vehicles brought out onto the streets in preparation, and ancillary events are scheduled in the sponsoring communities of Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Berkley, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, and Pontiac.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anderson, Elisha (August 22, 2010).Weather blamed for smaller attendance at Dream Cruise.Detroit Free Press. Retrieved on August 22, 2010.
  2. ^ Whitall, Susan (March 12, 2007). "Woodward Avenue: Michigan's Main Street". The Detroit News. ISSN 1055-2715. Archived from the original on August 21, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ Genat, Robert (2010). Woodward Avenue: Cruising the Legendary Strip. North Branch, MN: CarTech Books. pp. 15, 41, 90, 124–5. ISBN 978-1-932494-91-4. 
  4. ^ a b c "Woodward Dream Cruise History". woodwarddreamcruise.com. Retrieved 2008-09-05. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b "Woodward Dream Cruise FAQ". woodwarddreamcruise.com. Retrieved 2008-09-05. [dead link]

External links[edit]