The weather in Detroit was sunny and bright for the 2009 Woodward Dream Cruise. Sixteen miles of Woodward Avenue were transformed into a rolling car show of over 200,000 cars. But this wasn't just a car show, it was a car, truck, boat, bike, tank (yes tank) and "what on earth is that" show. Things began early in the morning with the sounds of open headers ricocheting off far away building as the vehicles converged on Woodward. Those who drove in early were busy with last minute detailing and mechanical checks. The cool morning air was only a brief comfort before temperatures rose into the 90s. Sweltering heat could not keep the people away and the streets were lined with chairs, tents and cars on display. Some people had camped out the previous night in order to have a prime location on the cruise. Families brought tents, barbecues grills, coolers, chairs and even tables to make a full day outing. Vendors lined the sidewalks selling everything from car wax to psychic reading. Every major American manufacturer had a huge area blocked off to showcase not only their new cars but also their glorious past.
The sheer variety of vehicles was astounding. Where else can you see a Rolls Royce convertible along side a clapped out street rod. The previously mentioned tank was actually a military half track complete with replica anti-aircraft gun. Also along for the cruise were a fleet of Smart cars with wild custom decals. But muscle cars were the order of the day with deep burbling exhaust notes pounding the pavement. Loping idles signaled the arrival of big cammed monsters straining against the brakes as the drivers held untold amounts horsepower reigned in. It seemed that "street legality" for vehicles was thrown out the window for at least one day as purpose built speed machines rolled by along side hopped up golf cars.
The AutoTraderClassics Photo Teams were traveling up and down Woodward with the task of photographing every cool car they could find. If you got a card from one of the Photo Team members, or if you just want to see hundreds of great cars, click on the Photo Team Link HERE .
The Detroit police did a fantastic job keeping everything safe and under control. Driving like an idiot was not tolerated and the police were quick to hand out tickets to those who acted foolishly. There is a time and a place for burnouts and drag races, on a crowded street is not one of those places. What impromptu drag racing there was happened on the side streets that fed into Woodward. Late into the night the the city was peppered with the sounds of roaring exhaust followed by occasional police siren blips.
If you couldn't make it to the cruise this year and want to attend next year, it is recommended you begin planning now. Go ahead and mark your calendar for August 21, 2010. Hotel rooms fill up fast in prime areas (the intersection of 13 Mile and Woodward is prime). You also want to make sure your machine is capable of long times spent idling in soaring hot temperatures. Luckily very few cars conked out along the cruise but a little preventive maintenance will make your trip that much more enjoyable. And don't forget the sun screen!