This hand-painted classic brought a touch of art to the Woodward Dream Cruise in Birmingham Aug. 17.

This hand-painted classic brought a touch of art to the Woodward Dream Cruise in Birmingham Aug. 17.

Photo by Tiffany Esshaki


25 is a banner year for Dream Cruise

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 18, 2019

 The Birmingham Cruise Event in  downtown Birmingham hosted 300 classic cars from around the country, just steps away from the main event on Woodward.

The Birmingham Cruise Event in downtown Birmingham hosted 300 classic cars from around the country, just steps away from the main event on Woodward.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

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BIRMINGHAM/BLOOMFIELD — Frank Lopiccolo, of Troy, and Joe Chagnon, of Macomb Township, are Corvette guys.

And when you’re a ’vette lover, there’s only one place to sit during the annual Woodward Dream Cruise: right on Woodward Avenue proper, south of Maple Road, across from the Chevrolet Corvette exhibition.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Lopiccolo said from his lawn chair Aug. 17, with a beverage in hand and a Corvette logo sprawled across his T-shirt.

Lopiccolo has had seven ’vettes in his day, perhaps most notably a 2004 red convertible Corvette that he drove out to the cruise on Saturday. But the 2020 Corvette, announced by Chevrolet just days before the cruise, is what he’s eyeing now after seeing the car in person at the exhibit.

“It’s the design and the price. It’s going to be a bargain,” he said. “A mid-engine sports car with 500 horsepower for under $60,000.”

The ’vette fans were just two of the multitude of people who came out to M-1 during the 25th annual Woodward Dream Cruise to enjoy clear skies and sun, a few hearty burnouts, and a whole lot of Motor City pride. More than 40,000 cars are estimated to have cruised.

As usual, the Birmingham Shopping District hosted about 300 classic cars in the downtown area for the Birmingham Cruise Event, and just up Woodward, Bloomfield Township residents showed off their own cool rides — including an official replica of the original Batmobile — at the Mercedes-Benz dealership of Bloomfield Hills.

“It was a great cruise. The weather cooperated and so did the crowds of people,” said Sgt. Steve Splan, of the Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Department. “(On Saturday) we made 45 traffic stops and issued 23 citations.”

Cmdr. Scott Grewe, of the Birmingham Police Department, said there were very few incidents to report during the event, including about seven citations for reckless driving, excessive noise tickets for squealing tires, one motorcycle incident and a vehicle with a back window broken out.

Bloomfield Township resident John Eibt brought his kids Jack, 14, and Liz, 17, out to see the action. For his teens, there wasn’t much nostalgia to be had by watching cars go by that were built generations before they were born. But those old rides are still cool.

“They’re not from this era. It’s interesting,” said Jack Eibt. “I like seeing the old cars and seeing how the technology has changed since then.”

And no matter what era they’re from, there’s something about classic cars that’s just impressive: the power, the design and the general culture among fans.

“This is the second Dream Cruise I’ve been to,” said Alex Gruer, of Rochester Hills, who was spotted walking northbound on Woodward snapping photos of the cars parked alongside the road. “We’re from Brazil, but we’ve been here about a year, and you really don’t see all these great American cars like this in Brazil. There’s not much of an opportunity for that.”

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