Makin' the News
Decade-old Woodward Dream Cruise big lure for car fans, companies
THE FLINT JOURNAL FIRST EDITION
Thursday, August 19, 2004
By James M. Miller
The Woodward Dream Cruise is 10 years old this year, and there have been some changes over the decade to the annual event - a free, rolling car show along a 16-mile stretch of Woodward Avenue in south Oakland County.
This year's cruise is Saturday, although some preliminary events begin Thursday. It runs north from Detroit to Pontiac.
As the cruise has grown over the years, the auto manufacturers have recognized the potential and their exhibits have gotten bigger. And other companies, eager to tap into that market, have joined them.
Chevrolet showed off its SSR pickup at the cruise when the SSR was just a concept, and again after the production models became available. Chrysler has introduced special-edition models just before the cruise.
The latest - a special edition of the 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser - was introduced Tuesday on Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak in advance of this weekend's cruise.
The Woodward Dream Cruise is expected to attract more than 1 million participants and spectators, and somewhere around 40,000 vehicles.
The cruise is supposed to be limited to "classic" vehicles, but the organizers have a very loose definition of what that is. It's any vehicle that "creates a feeling of nostalgia, stimulates a memory or fulfills a fantasy."
Tom Heft of Fenton said he'll probably go with his wife, Marie, their son, Jim, and some friends.
"Usually we try to get a bunch together - there's about five or six couples that go," he said.
Heft said they'll go on Friday and then return Saturday morning.
"We went last year on Friday, and there was lots to do," he said.
They usually go early on Saturday to avoid the late traffic jam, and also to get back to Flushing in time for the monthly cruise at the A&W there.
"I've been (to the Dream Cruise) six or seven times," he said. "I usually drive to the (Michigan State) Fairgrounds, and on the way back I look for a place to park and watch the cruise."
Heft is a member of the Michigan Cruisers, which organizes the A&W event. He said the Flushing cruise will still draw a good crowd Saturday, even though it is the same day as the Woodward event.
"Woodward doesn't really affect our cruise to any great extent," he said.
On the Net:
Woodward Dream Cruise: www.woodwarddreamcruise.com
Woodward Dream Cruise
WHEN: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, with some events Thursday, Friday
WHERE: Cruise on Woodward Avenue between downtown Pontiac and 8 Mile Road
Be sure to have WAY TOO Much fun you all!!!