By Edward Cardenas
ROYAL OAK (CBS Detroit) – Classic car lovers and auto aficionados gathered Thursday at Duggan’s Irish Pub in Royal Oak to mark the start of the Woodward Dream Cruise weekend at the WWJ Newsradio 950 Woodward Dream Cruise Business Breakfast.
More than 250 people gathered to check out vehicles on display, hear from panelists and talk cars before the actual cruise on Saturday.
“It’s about nostalgia,” said Jean N. Chamberlain, who was a founding member of the Woodward Dream Cruise, speaking about what brings cruisers out to the event. “It was the car you kissed your first girl in, it was the car you cruised in, it was the car you went to Mavericks (drive-in).”
An estimated one million people are expected to head to Woodward to see thousands of cars in the 20th Dream Cruise.
The event is a thrill for both the casual fan and accomplished executive.
“It is a celebration of the automobile, it is a celebration of who we are in the good times and bad times. It is not something that is coming and going,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president, global product development, purchasing and supply chain. “It’s what we do here in Michigan.”
Attendees also had the opportunity to meet with IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves, who hopes to one day drive in the Dream Cruise.
“It is a great opportunity to be here and see this type of tradition,” said Castroneves, who will be in Milwaukee for an IndyCar race. “Hopefully next year if there is no conflict… I’d love to be part of it.”