Former Detroit Pistons center and Berkley Cruisefest Grand Marshal Ben Wallace waves to the crowd along 12 Mile Road Aug. 17.

Former Detroit Pistons center and Berkley Cruisefest Grand Marshal Ben Wallace waves to the crowd along 12 Mile Road Aug. 17.

Photo by Mike Koury


Residents, visitors celebrate Berkley Cruisefest Classic Car Parade

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published August 18, 2018

 A Volkswagen Bus reminds the Berkley Cruisefest spectators of the 1960s.

A Volkswagen Bus reminds the Berkley Cruisefest spectators of the 1960s.

Photo by Mike Koury

 Classic cars help ring in the Woodward Dream Cruise weekend during the Berkley Cruisefest Classic Car Parade along 12 Mile Road Aug. 17.

Classic cars help ring in the Woodward Dream Cruise weekend during the Berkley Cruisefest Classic Car Parade along 12 Mile Road Aug. 17.

Photo by Mike Koury

BERKLEY — Classic car after classic car traveled down 12 Mile Road as thousands of people watched during the Berkley Cruisefest Classic Car Parade Aug. 17.

The 23rd annual Cruisefest took over the main roads of Berkley as close to 400 classic cars and vehicles revved their engines for the residents and out-of-towners visiting for the festivities.

Classic vehicles from Thunderbirds to Mustangs to Corvettes moved down 12 Mile from Woodward Avenue to Greenfield Road.

Lounging in a chair on the sidewalk was Trilby Sternal, a resident of Berkley since 1950. She said she’s been at every Cruisefest since it started.

“It’s just always a lot of fun, and since my daughter and son-in-law had a car or some vehicle in the parade for many years, that pretty much is the reason that I come,” she said. “I just love old cars, but at the age of 86, a lot of them are cars from my favorite years.”

Sternal also recalled her first experience with the Woodward Dream Cruise itself.

“I was coming home from a party one night, and I was on Woodward with all these old cars, and I thought it was just the best traffic jam I was ever in,” she said. “It was just wonderful, and I just loved it every year.”

Bob Brand, of Beverly Hills, said he’s been to the event the past couple of years, as his wife owns Tootie and Tallulah’s in the city.

Brand said the Cruisefest has been fun. He recalled that when he arrived in Berkley that morning, he saw chairs lined up on the curb at 8 a.m. for people reserving their spaces.

“It’s kind of cool … in Berkley you can put your chairs out and you don’t have to worry about anybody moving your chairs,” he said.

“We’re looking at these cars, and these cars were contemporary cars when I was growing up. These things were the things that we drove back then, back when we were younger, and (the kids) look at it like, ‘Wow, they’re so old,’” he said.

Sternal said the cars of the 1940s and ’50s were the best, and her family owned a 1947 and 1949 Cadillac, which was her favorite car.

“The old cars have so much style, and you used to be able to really easily tell them apart,” she said.

“(The Cruisefest is) the best thing that happens. It brings out so many people, and it’s such a happy occasion. I just love it,” Sternal said.