2000 Dream Cruise, Day One

August 19, 2000

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

clasic Pink Lady street rod 2
 
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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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A BRIGHTER IDEA? Dream Cruisers know it’s better to drive something modified than something stock. Roll down Woodward during the weekend, and you’ll see unfamiliar bodywork, exotic wheels and chromework, and of course, lots of rolling neon. We’re not sure if this purple rod’s hazy notion of style works, but the crowds on the street gave it the thumbs up.

classic Little Red Riding street Rod

classic Little Red Riding street Rod


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LITTLE RED RIDING ROD Of course, hot rods are the main attraction at the Dream Cruise. You’ll find all shapes and sizes of the homemade street cars crisscrossing Woodward. Most of them, like this red beauty, are made from Ford underpinnings and virtually custom-built by their owners or by specialty hot-rod constructors.

classic schizo wheels

classic schizo wheels


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SCHIZO WHEELS After Dream Cruise, all of us could use a little bit of therapy. But this rod’s owner, maybe more so than anyone. Like many rods, this one’s a mutt, made up of plenty of pieces from different vehicles, massaged to work together. Looks like a Ford chop job, right? Correct, until you inspect the trunk and find the "Chevrolet V-8" badges.

classic Gray Ghost

classic Gray Ghost


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GRAY GHOST Maybe the most elegant hot rod we saw on day one, this car had a bench leather seat and switchgear from mid-1980s Fords but a classic hot-rod silhouette – and a license plate that read "IBCRUZN."

psycho van and motorsycle

psycho van and motorsycle


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BIG WHEELS Dream Cruise is mostly about cars, but the legions of Harley riders, fire truck drivers, ambulance pilots and yes, even trash truck pushers would attest, it’s open to anything. We figure this two-wheeler was either a) a leftover from an ancient civilization of giant cruisers or b) someone’s idea of what the next Harley SUV should look like.

classic under repair

classic under repair


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FIX ON ROAD DAILY? Owning a classic isn’t always a cruiser’s dream -- sometimes they break down in the middle of the fun. This car was revived quickly by its owner during the height of Friday’s cruising. Normally, the summer heat drops a few of the classic rods out of the 5-mph crawl down Woodward, but this year, 70-degree temps and fair skies ruled the Cruise.

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