Dream Cruise embraces modern cars too

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published August 7, 2017

Nostalgia has long been part of the Woodward Dream Cruise’s appeal, but according to event organizers and longtime fans, this year is bound to bring some modern twists to a classic tradition.

This year, the official cruise day is Aug. 19, though many gearheads and classic car aficionados will flock to Woodward Avenue over the preceding week. An estimated 1 million visitors are expected to attend Dream Cruise events this year, and around 50,000 cars are expected to take part in the cruise that week, according to Woodward Dream Cruise president Greg Rassel.

This is the first year that Ford is the cruise’s presenting sponsor, and some of the related exhibits this year will honor more modern cars.

For instance, Rassel said Ford is going to make a presence with its GT vehicle. Additionally, the Mustang Alley exhibit in Ferndale will showcase the 2018 Mustang. 

And Rassel said the cruise’s visitors will often show off their modern cars along Woodward. He added that the cruise evolves based on its participants. 

“That’s a transition that occurs naturally as people bring more of them,” he said. “The Dream Cruise is always sort of focused on the history of the automobile, but it’s really been depending on the enthusiasts to introduce the newer vehicles. I’m always surprised by what shows up. … You’ll see everything that is being built on wheels, from the old to the new.”

Jeff Grice, president of the Great Lakes Cobra Club, said he has noticed a trend toward people bringing their newer performance cars to the Dream Cruise. He said while many teens might not recognize a classic Cobra car, they know what a new Mustang looks like. 

“Part of the aspect of that trend is youth. Teenagers and 20-year-olds, they’re going to the dealership and buying a Super Mustang or Nissan,” Grice said. “You can buy some pretty quick, interesting sports cars straight out of the dealership. 

“And I think one of the challenges is, how do we get the younger folks interested in classic cars. … We as enthusiasts need to keep inspiring young (people). It’s a mix of both new as well as old to keep the hobby alive.”

Find out more about the Aug. 19 Woodward Dream Cruise by visiting www.facebook.com/WoodwardDreamCruise.