This past weekend one of the great events in muscle car world-dom (if that’s a word…..and I don’t believe it is) happened over in Mo-Town: The Woordward Dream Cruise!
What is the Woodward Dream Cruise, you ask? Quite simply, it’s an organized gathering by a lot of people with a lot of cool cars on the 16-mile stretch of legendary Woodward Avenue in Detroit. They all gather together in the their cars to cruise up and down the strip celebrating the heritage of what Woodward represents – speed, competition, and the birth place of the American automobile. Need more reason then that? Well….Woodward is also the location of some of the most famous “secret” factory auto racing ever to take place in this country, and in some ways it the holy grail to drive a muscle car.
Back in the day (the 1960’s and 70’s, specifically), people with either direct or indirect connection to Ford, GM, and Chrysler built some of the fastest muscle machines around – and they used Woodward as their proving grounds. The factory made speed parts that made it into production quite literally could have been proven out at about a 1/4 mile at a time by some of these “factory racers” on Woodward. Perhaps the most famous of all was The Silver Bullet – a 1967 Plymouth GTX with a 650 horsepower Hemi. Legend has it that The Silver Bullet never lost a race. Ever.
The days of factory backed racing may be long gone on Woodward at this point, but now people come each year on the third Saturday in August to spend the day cruising and enjoying their cars. There are no fees or costs associated with the event at all – just bring your car and plan to thoroughly enjoy yourself. It’s a family friendly event, so bring the kids and grandma along as well (unless she’s a little old lady from Pasadena with a Super Stock Dodge….because she can probably just drive herself).
One thing is for certain – no matter what happens in the future, muscle cars will always have a tie back to the city of Detroit, and Woodward would be a great place to take your muscle car back to so it can meet up with some old friends. Who knows, you might just make a few friends yourself!