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  This 1968 Chrysler Newport convertible is one of two classic cars owned by Ferndale resident David Struck.

This 1968 Chrysler Newport convertible is one of two classic cars owned by Ferndale resident David Struck.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge classic car owners reflect on vehicles, Dream Cruise

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published August 6, 2019

  Fred McCoy has owned three different 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salons in his day, purchasing his first one when the vehicle debuted 46 years ago.

Fred McCoy has owned three different 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salons in his day, purchasing his first one when the vehicle debuted 46 years ago.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

FERNDALE/PLEASANT RIDGE — The sun has risen on the month of August, which means the classic vehicles of years past will soon ride up and down Woodward Avenue once again.

The Woodward Dream Cruise returns next week, scheduled to take place Aug. 15-17, and thousands of classic cars, trucks and almost anything with two or more wheels will make its way to the 21-plus miles of Woodward Avenue.

Fred McCoy will be one of those people driving down Woodward all the way to Pontiac in his 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon.

The Pleasant Ridge resident has had his sedan for four years, but this actually is the third time he has owned the Oldsmobile. McCoy first bought the car when it came out in 1973, and then seven years later, he bought his second one.

“It was a unique model that was really the beginning of Detroit’s trying to compete with European touring sedans,” he said of what kept driving him to buy the vehicle. “That’s what drew me to it to begin with: a sedan with bucket seats, which, at the time, was unheard of.”

McCoy said he’s put less than 1,000 miles a year on the Oldsmobile, so he doesn’t anticipate needing to replace it soon. That being said, he doesn’t believe he’ll be able to find another Cutlass Salon again, but he might purchase another classic car whenever he has to part ways with the sedan.

“I’ve done enough looking to know that I’d never find another one,” McCoy said. “It’s probably the only one still on the road because they were rare when they were made, but it’s running great.”

McCoy has had an affinity for cars since he was a child, and owning classic vehicles brings back a memory or a positive feeling from when he was growing up.

It’s a feeling he has when he participates in the Dream Cruise. McCoy always takes his car onto Woodward, as he enjoys that tradition, but he also loves getting to check out what everyone else has brought to the event.

“It’s great to be part of all of that,” he said. “It’s great to be out there with all these other cars on the road and passing by all the cars parked on the side, and having people wave at you and all that stuff. It’s a lot of fun.”

Over in Ferndale, the birthplace of the Dream Cruise, David Struck has owned many classic vehicles, but currently sits with two: a 1967 Chrysler New Yorker coupe and a 1968 Chrysler Newport convertible.

Struck has had the Newport since 2002. He said always wanted a convertible and that it’s also red, which is the “right color.”

After a while, Struck said, he sells or trades his cars for one reason or another. He plans to do so with his Newport.

“You just get to the point where there’s not enough time to drive two of them, and the storage charges start to get crazy,” he said.

Struck got his New Yorker five years ago after finding it on Craigslist at a Hyundai dealership in Ohio. Using the money he got from selling another classic car, he drove down and made an offer that was initially refused. He said they called back 10 minutes after he left and accepted the offer.

“I had some money burning a hole in my pocket, and I had always liked the ’67-’68 full-sized Chrysler cars and was looking for a coupe version, because I had the convertible,” he said. “It’s kind of like a fastback roof on it, on a big car. It’s pretty unique looking. I’ve always been wanting to find one.”

From his father who worked at Ford, to uncles who worked at Chrysler, Struck’s family always was a car one. He always liked cars, especially 1968 Chryslers, when he was a kid.

“I remember sitting in my bedroom window. That was the first year for side marker lights on cars, and you could always spot the Chryslers. … I always thought they looked like little jewels, so I’ve always liked them,” he said.

For the Dream Cruise, Struck doesn’t drive on Woodward during the main event on Saturday, Aug. 17; instead, he opts to drive the road on the preceding days. He prefers to sit and watch on Dream Cruise day because “it’s just too crazy to drive it.”

Struck plans to take in the cruise that Saturday with one of his vehicles positioned at a park in Pleasant Ridge.

“It’s just amazing to me that you can have so many people and so many cars, and you just wonder where all these cars come from and where they go to when the Dream Cruise is over,” he said of the event. “It just amazes me. It’s like almost everybody has an old car in this town. It’s in our blood.”