Ingio Romo, of Ann Arbor, and Angela Medina, a resident of Columbia living in Birmingham, check out the sights on M-1 at Maple Road during the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.

Ingio Romo, of Ann Arbor, and Angela Medina, a resident of Columbia living in Birmingham, check out the sights on M-1 at Maple Road during the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.

Photo by Donna Agusti


No pumping the brakes for Dream Cruise revelers

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 21, 2018

 Maple Road in Birmingham was a hot spot during the annual Woodward Dream Cruise,  with television  and radio stations  doing live broadcasts throughout the day next to Birmingham’s  own car show.

Maple Road in Birmingham was a hot spot during the annual Woodward Dream Cruise, with television and radio stations doing live broadcasts throughout the day next to Birmingham’s own car show.

Photo by Donna Agusti

 Piper Smith, 8, of West Bloomfield, poses with a 1958 Chevy that caught her eye in downtown Birmingham.

Piper Smith, 8, of West Bloomfield, poses with a 1958 Chevy that caught her eye in downtown Birmingham.

Photo by Donna Agusti

BIRMINGHAM/BLOOMFIELD — The finish line has been crossed, so to speak, and there were no losers after last Saturday’s Woodward Dream Cruise events.

With plenty of sun and temperatures reaching near 90 degrees Aug. 18, it was up to the more than 40,000 classic cars that were estimated to be on M-1 to keep things cool. The main event itself, in its 24th year, went off without a hitch while the Birmingham Shopping District had a party of its own downtown with more than 300 classics to gawk at during the annual Birmingham Cruise event.

Don Wakefield and his wife, Joanne, of Ferndale, were part of the fun on Old Woodward Avenue, bringing along their 1927-28 Ford Model A. That’s right — he said it’s two models in one.

“They started building this 1928 in November of 1927, and they built it until June of 1928, and then they revised it and changed it. So this is a rare one,” Don Wakefield said.

The couple came with the Oakland Model As car club, which brought 23 personal vehicles to show off at the cruise event. It’s a group of collectors, sure, but Wakefield said the Oakland Model As are about socializing as much as driving.

“I like the design of these cars and the (simplicity) of them. They’re easy to work on and fix, and what you don’t know this club will help you with. If you have a problem, they’ll all come over to your house and help you solve it,” he said.

A few hundred feet away, on Woodward Avenue proper, sat Elaine and Jerry Croy, from Indianapolis. Clearly veterans of the Dream Cruise, they sat in portable lawn chairs with umbrellas to block the sun. Originally from Detroit, the two chatted with the Eagle about their memories of cruising the stretch as youngsters.

“I was doing this with my girlfriend in her (Volkswagen) Bug,” Elaine Croy said with a laugh.

“We’ve been doing this since 1998,” Jerry Croy said about their annual pilgrimage to the event. “It’s the cars, it’s the people, it’s the atmosphere and it’s the variety of what you see. And this thing gets bigger every year.”

Officials seemed to have a good time with the celebration, too. Birmingham Fire Chief John Connaughton said the crowd wasn’t being too rowdy downtown at the cruise event.

“It’s been a fantastic day. The weather out here couldn’t be better. The people are calm. No problems whatsoever,” he said.

Lt. Jeffrey Gormley, of the Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Department, said the city didn’t see any arrests during the Dream Cruise, only about 13 citations.

“It is a bit lower (than expected), and we experienced a smaller number of spectators than last year, but there were still many,” Gormley said in an email. “This may be related to the weather and threat of rain during the event. We did have a few light sprinkles, but no heavy rain in Bloomfield Hills. Officers reported a high volume of cruise traffic, but no significant issues resulted from it.”

Final incident reports weren’t available from the Birmingham police or the Bloomfield Township police by press time.