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Birmingham, Bloomfield Township

July 7, 2014

Cruise in for a good time

By Elizabeth Scussel and Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writers

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The 10th annual Bloomfield Township Classic Car Show will be held at Mercedes-Benz of Bloomfield Hills 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 16, with proceeds to benefit various charities.

BIRMINGHAM/BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — No doubt you’ve already heard the rumblings coming from down the street, or smelled that sweet exhaust in the air.

Cruise season is nearly here, and motor heads in the Birmingham-Bloomfield area are gearing up for a good time along good ol’ Woodward Avenue the way they’ve done for so many years with classic car celebrations all over town.

The 10th annual Bloomfield Township Classic Car Show will be held at Mercedes-Benz of Bloomfield Hills, 36600 Woodward Ave., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 16. A parking lot just north of the dealership will be available for those solely interested in taking in the sights.

Car clubs are invited to participate in the Bill Wells Car Club Classic, which will be held in the adjacent lot at Comerica Bank.

The family-friendly event will showcase dozens of classic automobiles of all makes and models from local residents, including an extensive collection of DeLoreans.

“Whatever they’ve got, they love to show them off. We have a good number of cars participating. It’s a good showcase for the township,” said Greg Kowalski, director of community relations for Bloomfield Township and an organizer of the event. “We always have an excellent turnout, but it’s so dependent on the weather. Last year, the weather was phenomenal. We want to re-create what we did last year.”

Kowalski explained that the township celebration is a bit removed from the hub of the cruise, which lies in the area of Birmingham and Royal Oak, but there is still plenty of fun to be had.

In addition to the autos, there will be front-row seats at the Woodward Dream Cruise with official merchandise available for purchase, a DJ spinning classic tunes, food vendors, restrooms and a live broadcast by 97.1 FM.

“It’s really cool to see and be around the classic cars and see the history,” said Adam Zelasko, communications coordinator for the Bloomfield Township IT Department and project manager for the show. “What makes our show stand out is the DeLoreans. It’s definitely unique.”

The tax-deductible individual participant registration fee is $50 until Aug. 11. The township will accept registration up until the day of the event, space permitting, for $60 per car.  The entry fee for the Bill Wells Car Club Classic is $35 per car.

For each registered vehicle, participants will receive one general event parking pass for the lot behind the building, on the north side of the dealership.

The show is a major fundraiser for the Bloomfield Hills Optimist Club, the Bloomfield Township Fire Department Charities and the Bloomfield Township Police Department Benevolent Fund. Since its inception, the event has raised nearly $50,000 for charitable causes.

Like in years past, downtown Birmingham, with its prime location at the heart of the M-1 stretch, is often the spotlight of cruise action. Along with the city’s annual classic car show, there will be plenty of big-name attractions to draw families and car lovers alike to the Old Woodward party.

“Right behind the car show, we have Chevrolet Motor Division back, with new and old Chevy displays,” said John Heiney, executive director of the Birmingham Principal Shopping District. “We also have a live broadcast by Channel 7 WXYZ, which does their main Dream Cruise broadcast from Birmingham. We’ll also have WOMC radio doing a live broadcast from here and a live entertainment stage. So there’s a lot to see and do.”

For the car show, Heiney said that at least 275 cars dating back to as early as the Model A-era are slated to be in attendance at the top of the 555 triangle, along South Old Woodward, near Merrill and Haynes Street.

It’s always a popular attraction on cruise day, Heiney said, and the event requires a lot of manpower to run smoothly. That’s why the PSD is still on the lookout for folks who want to volunteer their time for a shift during the car show.

“It takes 120 volunteers for a successful event, and that’s morning, mid-morning, afternoon and evening,” he said. “If you’re new or if it’s your first time volunteering, we always say you should try to volunteer with a partner — a spouse or a friend — and try to do a later shift. First thing in the morning, getting those cars into place is pretty intense.”

Everyone who volunteers gets a T-shirt with a Birmingham Dream Cruise event logo and plenty of liquid refreshments to keep hardworking volunteers hydrated in the summer heat. Those interested in giving their time to ensure everyone has a good time need only head to the event website and fill out an application, or call the PSD office at (248) 530-1200. Applications are due by July 25.

For more information on the Bloomfield Township Classic Car Show, call (248) 642-7608 or send an email to carshow@bloom fieldtwp.org. Those interested in registering can visit www.bloom fieldtwp.org.

To learn more about the 20th anniversary of the Birmingham Dream Cruise event, visit www.BirminghamCruiseEvent.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Elizabeth Scussel at escussel@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1037.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.