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2001 Dream Cruise, Day One Page 2

Dream Cruise overhead

They all returned to the Walter P. Chrysler Museum at the Technical Center for a huge poodle-skirt party, with White Castle burgers, a Motown Tribute band, a rock ‘n’ roll/blues review, and an outdoor showing of American Graffiti. Dieter Zetsche, the new boss of DaimlerChrysler, looked a bit bewildered by it all - you can bet that club meetings of Mercedes-Benz SSK’s aren’t as much fun as this.

DaimlerChrysler also took the wraps of two new Cruiser variants - the Woodie, which is pretty much what you’d expect, tape appliqués of plastic wood on the body sides - and the “Dream Cruiser’‘, painted the same Inca Gold color of the latest Chrysler Prowler, with body-color bumpers and a handful of other special tweaks.

Both cars will go one sale - no formal notice has been given about the convertible Cruiser which was also on display, but you can place your bets now.

Apart from one pre-cruiser, observed by our own TCC Team on Tuesday night as saying he wouldn’t be back Saturday because it was “too commercial’‘, there doesn’t seem to be huge concerns among the cruisers that corporate involvement is an issue. There seems to be great loyalty to their manufactures, as I witnessed when I drove a Cruiser past the Pontiac display - we were roundly jeered.

And if corporate involvement convinces more out-of-town journalists to dump Pebble and come to Woodward, maybe the show will get bigger and better than ever.

But is that a good thing?

Already, the Cruise is a huge pain in the neck for anyone who doesn’t like old cars.

Maybe WE can ignore them, but the politicians won’t, not if they’re loud enough and angry enough.

And here were thousands of angry motorists who tried to actually get somewhere Friday night after 10, when the cops closed down Woodward a section at a time, to try and drive the revelers back home for the night.

Let’s hope that success doesn’t spoil the Cruise. In case it does, get down there RIGHT NOW if you’re in the Detroit area and it’s before five p.m. Saturday, August 18.

Failing that, make a date for next year.

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