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Thousands of Classic Cars Hit Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise

A "flamed" hot rod, one of an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 classic muscle cars, hot rods, sports cars and other collectibles turn out for the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.
A "flamed" hot rod, one of an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 classic muscle cars, hot rods, sports cars and other collectibles that turn out for the annual Woodward Dream Cruise in metro Detroit. As many as 1 million people are expected to line the 16-mile Woodward Avenue route Saturday for the 20th anniversary celebration of cruising and the automobile. The Detroit Bureau

In the 1960s, metro Detroit’s Woodward Avenue was Ground Zero for muscle car fans. Back then, you’d even catch some executives, like General Motors’ legendary maverick John DeLorean, showing up late at night to street test a new performance car against their competitors. The days of cruising are long past. But as summer enters its dog days, the echoes of screeching tires and the resonant roar of big V-8s can be heard up and down Woodward Avenue again, as the Motor City gets set to celebrate its heritage Saturday with the annual Woodward Dream Cruise. What started out as a get-together organized by a local car club has become what organizers now bill as the single-largest automotive gathering anywhere. The officially sanctioned Saturday Cruise is expected to draw 40,000 to 60,000 hot rods, muscle cars, classics and collectibles — while 1 million or more people will squeeze shoulder-to-shoulder along the curb to watch the action go by.

An old British sports car, a hot rod and a European exotic all wait for the light to go green as part of the build-up to the 20th annual Woodward Dream Cruise.
An old British sports car, a hot rod and a European exotic all wait for the light to go green as part of the build-up to the 20th annual Woodward Dream Cruise. Len Katz / The Detroit Bureau
Tim Cooley, of Clarkston, Michigan, turned out in his ’34 Ford 3-window coupe, a hot rod he carefully put together out of a rusting hulk.
Tim Cooley, of Clarkston, Michigan, turned out in his ’34 Ford 3-window coupe, a hot rod he carefully put together out of a rusting hulk. It’s given him a chance to not just relive his youth, but go one better. “I always rode here when I was a kid,” he recalls. “Now that I have something worth showing, it’s even more fun.” Len Katz / The Detroit Bureau

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-Paul A. Eisenstein, The Detroit Bureau