Reporting Jeff Gilbert
VIDEO: WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert pays a visit to the Woodward Dream Cruise.
DETROIT (WWJ) - Responsible adults are turning into teenagers this weekend, as they admire classic cars and re-live old memories at the Woodward Dream Cruise.
“Seeing all the cars brings back all the memories of me when I was a teenager and in my 20s. I used to cruise Woodward,” Cruising fan Bill Cook said.
Like many who come to the dream cruise, Cook doesn’t have a vintage ride of his own. But that doesn’t stop him from enjoying the event, where he can sit along the street and transport his mind back to a simpler time.
The people who own the classic cruisers are very attached to them.
“I love being married, but I also love driving my car, too,” said Mark Nance, of Warren, who has a ’69 Camaro, which took him ten years to restore.
“I always wanted this car, and my brother-in-law actually landed it for me,” Nance told WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert. “It was a $300 car. It was bad. It was real bad. That’s were we started. We took the whole car apart, and rebuilt it with all new parts.”
The Woodward Dream Cruise also transcends generations. Rich Niccolo brought his teenage grandson Blake to the world-famous event, cruising in his 1940 Ford and handing down memories.
“I love seeing all the people put their heart and soul into these cars and be able to show them off to everyone,” Blake said.
Most Dream Cruise attendees think any of the classic cream puffs look pretty cool. But there are some super fans who are really into specific cars, like Linda Dorsett who has a 2010 Challenger and a 1971 Challenger.
“I think the old one gets a lot more attention. But the new one, the air conditioning is nice, yes,” she said with a smile.
But even though Dorsett loves her modern ride, she said nothing compares to the feeling she gets while cruising in her classic.
“I mean, it’s fun. Our kids enjoy it and you meet a lot of nice people here who also enjoy the cars.”
Many cruise-goers agree that camaraderie is one of the best things about this event. Especially those who have spent years restoring their cars, eager to finally show them off.
Jeff Linghart bought his 1969 Camaro 27 years ago. It took him 25 years of painstaking work to get the vehicle restored.
“There were times when I thought I might not get it done, but I stayed right after it, had a lot of highs and lows but today is definitely a big high, that’s for sure.”
The cruise is a mix of perfectly restored classics, and other vehicles that are works in progress. Darlene Winkelman is very careful with her mint condition 1965 GTO.
“A lot of the people want me to burn the tires, and I won’t do that,” she said. “That’s crazy.”
But, Winkelman reluctantly admitted that she may have burned some rubber in the past.
“I have a couple of times, but not anymore. It’s too much money.”
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