On a recent trip to the States, Detroit was one of the places on our itinerary. Upon arriving in Detroit, we had one thing on our mind, to check out this Woodward dream cruise we had heard so much about. Officially not starting till Saturday, we headed to the eight lanes wide boulevard running between Motor city and Pontiac on Tuesday to find people already cruising the strip although small in numbers at this time. By Thursday, the numbers had grown considerably as automotive enthusiasts from across the country and around the world converged on this landmark strip of highway. Marked as the biggest one day classic car celebration in the world, Saturday is the official Woodward Dream cruise day catering for all classic, custom and muscle cars, hot rods and anything else containing wheels and a motor! Over 40,000 Detroit inspired motoring historic vehicles will cruise over the weekend while over one million visitors will gather along the roadsides, car parks, shaded parklands, automotive themed pubs and diners to take in this annual event and all its automotive splendour.
Various hotspots can be found along the 31 mile stretch created by themed displays such as Mustang Alley located at nine mile, Duggans pub at thirteen mile due to its automotive memorabilia inspired décor and second story viewing vantage points and Birmingham’s own automotive celebrations just to name a few.
As I walk south from Duggans pub, numerous car parks play host to the various classic marques of the area such as Dodge with its large display of classic and iconic drag cars through to the latest Challenger, Chevrolet with its own range of high tech modified rods and muscle cars while Roush Performance flies the Ford flag in this stretch of highway. Large and small car clubs gather in the smaller car parks and parklands, setting up marquees for the day while displaying their own treasured rides between bouts of cruising.
Having only covered a handful of miles throughout the day along the cruise strip, I decide to cross to the other side and head back towards home-based while taking in all the action on the other side of the highway. As night falls over the picturesque suburb of Royal Oaks located at thirteen mile, the lights of the classic cruisers come to life creating an atmosphere reminiscent of the fifties and sixties transporting me to scenes from that time honoured movie American Graffiti. Windows are down, exhausts are emitting a low rumble interrupted occasionally by an unrestricted roar from an over excited muscle car owner busting to let loose while music and chatter from the sidewalks resonates across the summer evening air.
Finally back at Duggans pub, I head inside, upstairs, hope for a window seat which my mates have reserved for me and order a meal with a well-earned drink and sit back as the never ending parade of coke bottle curves, classic chrome, vented hoods, custom paint jobs and long wide bodied rides cruise by in the slow methodical ritual of cruising as we know it. Tomorrow’s another day and we’ll do it all again!