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Motown Muscle And More Return To Woodward Ave. For Annual Dream Cruise

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On: Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 3:11PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Motown Muscle And More Return To Woodward Ave. For Annual Dream Cruise

Most every town that has young people with cars and roads for them to operate on will have a semi-official stretch of street upon which “ordinary driving” magically becomes “cruising.” Part one-upmanship, part mating ritual; it’s a crucible in which men test each other’s mettle—and metal—in fire-belching, tire-shredding quarter-mile door-to-door gladiatorial combat as a way to shame their rivals and impress the fairer sex in the hopes of future hand-holding—or worse.

And no strip on this earth is more famous—or notorious—than Detroit’s Woodward Avenue, a 16-mile stretch of blacktop upon which engineers from The Big Three waged war against each other or anyone else foolish enough to line up beside them to go for it when the light turned green.

Is that American Graffiti enough for you? Well, enjoy it here because it’s not like that anymore, even on Woodward Ave. No, if you’re foolish enough to try getting your Falfa on these days you’re basically donating your car to whichever local law enforcement agency pulls you over. There is, however, a way you can get the merest glimpse of Woodward in its heyday without losing your ride: the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Held annually on the third Saturday in August, The Woodward Dream Cruise is the “world's largest one-day celebration of classic car culture that attracts over 1 million visitors, and more than 40,000 muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles.”

This year’s event falls on August 20th, and—weather permitting—should be fun on a bun so long as you keep this in mind: it only LOOKS like “cruising.” No matter how many Hemi ‘Cudas or Ram Air GTOs you see, NOBODY gets to be frisky behind the wheel, even the least little bit.

You’d think that at an event that basically glorifies the notion of American muscle cars treating Woodward Avenue like a rules-free drag strip you’d be able to do a little showing off of said muscle—even if it’s just doing a little engine-revving, clutch-popping and tire-chirping—just to remind “veterans” of the way things were or to show those who’ve never been exposed to cars like these what they’re missing.

Well, that’s not why this is happening. In fact, the term “family-friendly” is mentioned so many times when describing the WDC you almost forget that cars might be a part of the festivities. You might think I’m exaggerating, but here’s the skinny straight from their site:

“The Woodward Dream Cruise is an alcohol-free, family-oriented event. As public safety is paramount, cruisers are asked to obey all rules of the road. Police departments from each community patrol on foot, horseback and vehicles during the Cruise to ensure a safe and family-friendly environment for everyone. A team of amateur radio operators also serve as additional ‘eyes and ears’ of law enforcement officials along the Cruise route.”

[Yep, the only horsepower that’ll be on display is ACTUAL horse-power.]

Now, obviously people could take it too far. And they have. But you can hardly blame the folks who own ‘Cudas, Chargers, Challengers, Boss 429s, COPOs or the like wanting to show off a little bit.

But believe this as I say it: Put simply, no matter how muscle-y your car, if you don’t drive it like it’s a minivan filled with sleeping babies, you are in danger of being ticketed—or worse. Part of that comes from the fact that ANYONE in ANY vehicle can—and will—be “cruising” right along with the cars people came to see, as the street is open to all just like it is any other day. It should come as no surprise, then, that the driving around part isn’t meant to be the high-point of the day.

No; in addition to the slowly-moving car show on the street there are many non-moving car shows all along the route, including many marque- or model-specific parking areas presented by local car clubs.

In addition to all things car-related, each city/township along the route has its own list of events, including food pavilions, live musical performances, “Family Fun Zones” and more. So if you’re anywhere near Southeastern Michigan and are looking for something you can take the family to that’s basically free, then the Woodward Dream Cruise is for you.

Oh, and I hear there’ll be cars there or something, too….

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