[photogallerylink id=21726 align=left]An off and on rain was no match for classic “Detroit Iron” as thousands brought out their GTO’s, Mustangs and Barracudas for the 16th annual Woodward Dream Cruise. While crowds traditionally peak around mid-day, many showed up well before dawn to stake out the best places to either watch vehicles pass by, or show off their own vehicles.
“You have to get hear early in order to get a parking spot,” said Valerie Fayner of Warren, who had already determined her plan for the day before 6 a.m.. “Just to sit here and watch the cars go buy, until it starts raining, or thundering, whichever comes first.”
A steady drizzle began around 8 a.m. and continued off and on into the afternoon. Some people brought umbrellas, others sat out in the rain with cameras taking photos and videos of the classic cruisers passing by.
The cruise ended (officially, anyway) at 9 p.m.
Billed as the world’s largest one-day automotive event, the Dream Cruise drawing 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe — from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the former Soviet Union. North American cruisers from California, Georgia, Canada and all points in between caravan to Metro Detroit to participate in what has become, for many, an annual rite of summer.
For aging baby boomers, it’s a matter of regaining some youth.
“Not really cruising, but I used to race on Woodward,” said Becky Masters, who came with a 1969 Chevy Nova that she and her husband spent three years restoring to mint condition.
“I used to come down here in ’69,” said Michael Masters, “I had a ’69 Nova then, going to Teddy’s where we used to hang out. I bought me another ’69 Nova.”
Just watching the cruisers pass by brought back memories for many people.
“High school, first cars, things like that. Driving to schools, going to dances, said Harold McGraw, or Madison Heights. “That’s what it’s all about, nostalgia, as far as I’m concerned.”
McGraw brought his classic 1954 Pontiac. Others who had classic vehicles kept them at home, preferring to watch the others pass by.
“It’s kinda difficult to drive in it in my opinion,” said Leroy Shultz, of Royal Oak. “A lot of the cars overheat. If you get a spot like this by the side of the road, you get the best view for everything.”
For more Dream Cruise coverage from our sister station WOMC, visit this link.
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