Thousands of people fill Nine Mile Road  in Ferndale for the silver anniversary of the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Thousands of people fill Nine Mile Road in Ferndale for the silver anniversary of the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Car lovers, Mustang drivers celebrate 25 years of the Dream Cruise

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published August 19, 2019

 Bob Motter, of Oak Park, shows his  1965 Ford Mustang in Mustang Alley at the  Woodward Dream Cruise on Saturday, Aug. 17.

Bob Motter, of Oak Park, shows his 1965 Ford Mustang in Mustang Alley at the Woodward Dream Cruise on Saturday, Aug. 17.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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FERNDALE — Nine Mile Road once again was the center of attention this past weekend as the Woodward Dream Cruise celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Born 25 years ago in Ferndale, the Dream Cruise returned to its birth city Aug. 15-17 for a three-day showcase of all things cars.

Highlighting the cruise in the city is Mustang Alley, where hundreds of the marquee Ford vehicles from various years line up and down Nine Mile.

Rich Donner, of Adrian, brought his 1969 Ford Mustang Fastback SportsRoof for the second straight year, although he’s owned the vehicle for 13 years. He always had liked the Mustangs from 1969 and 1970, and aimed to purchase one from that time.

Donner had the car worked on for about a decade before it was finished, as he wanted to remove some unnecessary additions and make it look like the Mustang from 1969.

“I wanted something that was clean,” he said. “I didn’t want to recreate and build one that was like a Mach 1 or anything like that. I wanted it to be an original design.”

Donner’s favorite part of coming to Mustang Alley is being able to talk to all the different car owners and enthusiasts.

“I just like talking to people,” he said. “Everybody’s got a different story. I mean, it’s nice to see all the different cars, see what different people have done with their car, because it’s very personal.”

Mark Fedders, of Macomb Township, parked his 1967 Mustang Fastback GT on Nine Mile for the third time.

Fedders bought his Mustang five years earlier because of its “timeless, classic design.” Along with its look, Fedders said its S-code engine and how the vintage vehicle runs are the reasons he loves the car.

“I think it’s a culmination of all the parts,” he said. “The engine, I think, makes it more unique. There’s a few of them around with a smaller engine. I think that that’s what makes this car unique.”

Outside of Mustang Alley, Dream Cruise attendees either got a place on the median of Woodward Avenue or watched from the sidewalks as car after car drove by to the pleasure of car enthusiasts.

Watching from the Woodward sidewalk, Doug Wahl and Curtis Truitt, both of Detroit, have attended every Dream Cruise since its inception.

Wahl always has been a car fanatic, though more so as a kid. But when he comes to the cruise each year, it floods him with memories of his childhood — especially when he sees a 1966 Ford Thunderbird, his first vehicle.

“Whenever I see one of those, it just brings back all those memories,” he said. “You see all the old cars and it brings back the memories of what you were doing back then.”

Truitt feels the Dream Cruise used to be a lot smaller and more community-based, and now it has evolved into a more corporate event.

“We were just noting that there are more muscle cars than there are vintage cars — quite different from years past,” he said. “It really has changed a lot over the years, but it’s still just a blast to come out and see the cars and see the crowds, and everybody’s really enjoying themselves. It’s a really fun, good time for free.”

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