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2000 Dream Cruise, Day One

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2000 Woodward Dream Cruise logo

2000 Woodward Dream Cruise logo

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. Or, gun them. Or, as hundreds of kids already lining the streets of Detroit’s Woodward Avenue were obviously taught by their fathers to say, "Light ‘em up!"

The Dream Cruise doesn’t officially begin until today, but that didn’t stop cruisers from at least ten different states (by our own informal license-plate survey) from descending on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue beginning Thursday evening for the annual Dream Cruise.

What began, not so innocently, in the 1950s and 1960s has turned into a full-blown, corporate logoed media event, here in the seven towns (Birmingham, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Royal Oak, Ferndale, and Pleasant Ridge) that play host to the event. Local officials estimate there will be more than a million and a half spectators and more than 40,000 vehicles roaming the streets during this year’s event – to the chagrin of some homeowners hopelessly stuck in traffic near the main drag.

ibcruzn license plate

ibcruzn license plate

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The Car Connection is on the scene at the Cruise, finding the hottest, fastest, and most outrageous hot rods to bring to you over the weekend. Check back tomorrow for more from the Cruise, and check in on Monday for a complete wrap on the weekend here in Detroit and out in Monterey at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

2000 Woodward Dream Cruise PT Cruiser precruise night

2000 Woodward Dream Cruise PT Cruiser precruise night

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CRUISER MANIA Officially, the Dream Cruise runs just one day, Saturday, but cruisers were out in force as early as Thursday night this year. Chrysler jumped on the bandwagon and launched the Dream Cruise by gathering about 200 Chrysler PT Cruiser owners and driving from the company’s headquarters in Auburn Hills down to Woodward Avenue on Thursday evening. The eye-catching line of more than 200 Cruisers in silver, white, black and burgundy took more 30 minutes to pass a single point. DaimlerChrysler also scored something of a first Friday when it unveiled a new model during the Dream Cruise weekend – the Black Tie Edition of the 2001 Prowler, cloaked in black and silver. The automaker is planning to build only 162 of the Black Tie models, a few of which will be paraded down Woodward today.

classic Plymouth Barracuda

classic Plymouth Barracuda

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ODE TO A MUSCLECAR The Dream Cruise began as a stroll down memory lane for older cars, but as of late it’s become synonymous with pure muscle. Like the original cruisers did in the 1950s and 1960s, cruisers bring their hard-breathing stock and modified pieces like this Plymouth Barracuda to Woodward each year and inevitably, someone’s going to do a smoky burnout. We haven’t seen any manufacturers bring a secret new product to the Cruise, but we’re sure it won’t be long.

classic Pink Lady street rod

classic Pink Lady street rod

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PINK LADIES With all the automotive testosterone flowing down Woodward, you’d think there would be little room for the ladies. Absolutely not true, several female classic connoisseurs assured us. These two examples look like they’d be perfect for a girls’ night out – but in fact, when we looked, both were driven by guys.

1934 Dodge Convertible

1934 Dodge Convertible

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CONCOURS CRUISER Diran and Joyce Yazejian have owned this older restoration of a 1934 Dodge Convertible for about three years. This year, they were invited to the annual Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance to show the Dodge, but they chose to come out to Dream Cruise. "I’ll be back out here [Saturday] at 7:15 a.m. until whenever," Joyce smiled.

classic street rod Rolling Neon

classic street rod Rolling Neon

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