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August 16, 2014 - Woodward Dream Cruise

The 2014 Woodward Dream Cruise was, almost unbelievably, the 20th Anniversary of this now spectacular automobile gathering. This huge event took seed in 1994 as a small cruise by a local group of hot rod enthusiasts and rapidly increased in size with each following summer. That small seed has grown into the Giant Sequoia of classic car motoring events and has extended its branches internationally. We at Detroit Metro Mashup approach the cruise with the religious zeal of a carny barker being called down front at a country tent revival which, of course, is a combination of ridiculous analogies. We really enjoy it anyway.

We cruised Woodward Avenue for about a week before the official cruise date and, in the process, crashed two pre-cruise parties. The first was at the M1 Concourse in southern Pontiac at the location of the old GM truck engine plant that was demolished a few years ago. We covered this “1st Annual M1 Concourse Dream Cruise Kick Off Party and Car Show,” as a separate feature and you can check out the fantastic car photos and information about the M1 Concourse here. The second event was the DASI Solutions’ Woodward Dream Cruise Open House, held Thursday, August 14. The photos from this event can be found at the beginning of the Dream Cruise photos on this page. Both events had a lot of really good free food for those who had signed up to attend, with cruisers and other expensive autos parked all over the place. DASI also provides support to high school robotics and technical teams and some of the results were demonstrated by students at the open house.

On Friday the 15th, the day before the official Cruise day, we started off at Pontiac’s Lot 9. The lot’s name has now been changed to Pontiac City Square, but nobody seems to know that…they’re working on it. Thanks to Bobby Keyes of Leadfoot Consulting for giving us a parking spot where we could easily get to everything downtown. Things were really gearing up for the cruise that day, with lots of cars coming in, vendors setting up in the lot and down Saginaw, and lots of people out and about. While walking around town and stopping for some drinks at Downtown 51 Grille (formerly Bo’s) we discovered a “Pioneer Pop Up Museum” had been established in the 7 North Saginaw Building by the Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society. It featured failures who later hit it big, including Disney, Einstein and a host of others. The exhibit was titled "Famous Failures and Silver Linings,” and some of it is pictured in our photos, above.

Cruise day started off exciting for us when Michele looked in the rear-view mirror and saw a cruise favorite, “Sh’boom!,” coming up behind us with both exhaust pipes flaming. Check out our photos of this really awesome car. Following that, we found ourselves at Golling Fiat/Alfa Romeo dealership in Birmingham while they fired up the new 2015 Alfa 4C, which isn’t even available for purchase yet. This is going to be hot sports car in more ways than one when it is for sale; you’d better get on the list if you want one. Check out our photos of the car and it’s roaring sounds in the video, above.

From there we went on to see the Deloreans and, for the first time, a display of drones used in cinematography by HelloAerial. We also have a photo of a drone in flight that appeared to be spying on us (Jason, did you buy a drone?); it wasn’t one of HelloAerial’s because they told us they had been asked not to fly them.

After that, we very slooowwwwwwwly cruised Woodward along with everyone else. When we finally got to Royal Oak we saw, for the 3rd or 4th time that week, the RO police smelling the cups of people with drinks and giving them tickets if they thought there was any booze in the cup or a Coors in a coozie. We had been alerted by contacts that this was going on, so we were watching for it. We saw at least two tickets given for this, both to guys who were sitting quietly, enjoying the cruise and in their sixties at least. Those new BMW motorcycles the police are riding in Royal Oak have to be paid for somehow, I suppose. We didn’t see any of this in the other towns along Woodward. Food for thought about where you sit next year, eh?

After observing “freedom” in action, we went to Hunter House and had sliders and fries while listening to Elvis (Fred Wolfe) and the Beatles (Toppermost Beatles Tribute). Then we went to LOCATION REDACTED to watch the rest of the cruise on into the evening with the unmatched rubbery roar and sooty smell of cars and trucks lighting them up and firing up the crowd. Photos and video of some of the action are above.

If you like cars, car history, mechanics, drive-ins, or pretty much anything about the American past since 1900 or so, you’ll love the Woodward Dream Cruise. You really need to get here next August for number 21.