Experiences at the Woodward Dream Cruise 

John Author Card


This past weekend was the Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit.

The Woodward Dream Cruise is a highly anticipated weekend for much of the state of Michigan. With this event being located in the capital of auto manufacturing, it brings car collectors and locaenthusiasts together for a weekend-long celebration of the long history of cars.  


In case you aren’t familiar, here is a brief history of the Dream Cruise. In August 1995, the cruise started as a small fundraiser for a soccer field in Ferndale, Michigan. This event expanded into the world’s largest one-day classic car celebration. Today the cruise brings over 1.5 million people and over 40,000 classic

cars from around the world to Metro Detroit. The owners and admirers of these cars drive up and down Woodward Avenue for all to see. They park on the sides of the roads so people can stop to admire their cars. It is quite literally a dream for car enthusiasts.


Since I moved to Michigan in 2005 from Northern Kentucky, I have attended this event every summer. Although I am not much of a car guy myself, the automotive industry has made a big impact on my life. 


Through elementary and middle school, my parents would take my sister Laura and I with some friends to the dream cruise. We would walk the streets of Royal Oak, Michigan checking out cars and all of the local vendors. One of my favorite memories of the cruise as a child was when my parent’s friends, the owners of the Original Pancake House (one of the best breakfast spots) decided to close the restaurant for the day and open their parking lot to friends and family for a private party directly on Woodward. They hosted with a live band, great food and views of the streets, we had an exciting day. Later on in the evening, we sat on the sidewalk watching cars driving by. Many drivers would do burnouts in front of us, as kids it was exciting to hear their engines roar and watch the smoke clouds fill the streets.


When high school came along, a lot of my friends started getting into cars. On a nice summer weekend evening we would make frequent trips out to Woodward to show off their cars and we would watch the stoplight races. One memory that stands out is my buddy had a lifted Dodge Ram 3500, not necessarily a classic or sports car but anything is welcome on Woodward. We had a group of my friends that would set up folding chairs in the bed of his truck and he would drive us down Woodward during the cruise towering over the streets, checking out all the cool cars.


Car Image

Now working in the automotive aftermarket for Schrader I have the greatest appreciation for how far this industry has come. Being able to spend an entire weekend celebrating the industry’s past is an awesome experience. At Schrader, we are nodding to our past as we enter our 175thyear anniversary and the Dream Cruise truly showcases how far our industry has come from its early beginning. 


At this year’s cruise I was able to celebrate a college friend’s birthday. She had her party theme centered around the Dream Cruise. She has a house located in Birmingham, Michigan just blocks from Woodward. Our entire group spent the afternoon hanging out on the streets, checking out cool cars and celebrating. With a large majority of my Northwood friends being car guys, they all brought their unique cars out for the event and we took laps down Woodward. 


Without realizing it, the Woodward Dream Cruise has become a major part of my summers over the past few years. Every year my experience has been different, and I always leave with new memories. Being the largest gathering of car enthusiasts, the Woodward Dream Cruise will always be a summer weekend I look forward to. 


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