FERNDALE (WWJ) – It might just be the most eye-catching and controversial car this weekend along Woodward: “The Brutus Mobile.”
Russ Chapman drove up Wednesday from Ashland, Ohio with his classic cruiser, painted in honor of Ohio State and named after the school’s mascot.
“It’s a 1929 Ford Model A. Its got all the coaches painted on it. In fact, Woody Hayes is the hood ornament,” said Chapman.
“Its got a custom-made Ohio State steering wheel, the gear shift knob is a Brutus head, and we’ve got script Ohio door handles with block ‘O’ turn signals,” he said.
Chapman said it’s his first cruise in the car, which also has a horn that plays the Ohio State song. He said he designed the car as a tribute to the Buckeyes after wanting to have a cool centerpiece for tailgate parties.
The car is definitely a show-stopper along the Dream Cruise route, where many are proud supporters of their home team and bitter rivals, the University of Michigan Wolverines. When early cruiser Rick Alara saw the one-of-a-kind car, he could hardly believe his eyes.
“I saw the car and started looking at it and then he came walking over and I said ‘Man, are you nuts? This is Michigan!’ He asked me where to park around here and I told him he better put a cover over that car tonight, for sure,” he said with a laugh.
But Alara was joking, adding that Chapman shouldn’t have to worry about sour grapes.
“We’re all car guys down here so we’ll take care of him,” he said.
The cruise itself begins at 9 a.m. Saturday on its traditional loop down Woodward from Ferndale to Pontiac and all spots in between, including Berkley, Royal Oak and Huntington Woods. Its one of the largest, most popular classic car cruises in the world.