2000 Dream Cruise Day Two

August 20, 2000

Cruisers were out in force on Saturday, as spectacular 70-degree weather and parties on every block greeted the official start of the 2000 Woodward Dream Cruise.

AAAAYYY license plate

AAAAYYY license plate


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As far as the event stretched — from Eight Mile Road in Detroit all the way to the distant shores of Bloomfield Hills — cruisers were rolling down Woodward, parking to swap stories about their vintage rods, grabbing food at one of the hopelessly swamped fast-food joints on the strip, or just enjoying the spectacle of more than 40,000 classic cars and easily more than a million people jamming Detroit’s main boulevard.

One thing the cruisers weren’t doing was getting tickets, says Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard, of the Birmingham police. "If it gets out of hand, we’re on it," he said, "but what you’ve got here is families, mostly. We’re just here to be the referee," he said. Burnouts, for the moment at least, were legal on this stretch of Woodward.

Though it’s nominally a single-day event, cruisers will no doubt be back out on Sunday for more action before heading back home. We’ll be out on Woodward for a final dose of nostalgia and will bring it here to you tomorrow morning. In the meantime, here’s the best of Saturday’s cruisers.

2000 Chevrolet SSR concept Wagoner

2000 Chevrolet SSR concept Wagoner


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SSR CRUISES TO PRODUCTION What better chance to flaunt its upcoming hot-rod pickup than the Dream Cruise? If you were out on Woodward this weekend, you might have caught a glimpse of GM CEO Rick Wagoner driving the Chevy SSR concept truck among the throngs of vintage rods. Last week, Chevy confirmed the SSR is heading for a production line in the ’03 model year. Count on seeing more of them in future Cruises as that day nears.

Purple street rod

Purple street rod

Purple street rod exterior.
 
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PURPLE MAJESTY Getting almost as much attention as the SSR was this mixed-heritage hot rod put together by Marvin and Carol McTavish. Marvin, the police chief of Sylvan Lake, Mich., started looking for parts for a hot rod a few years back. Eventually he picked up a 1978 Olds Toronado in Tennessee and a 1949 Mercury in Kentucky. Then he set about mating them together, shortening the Olds’ frame by four inches, chopping it four inches and channeling it two. After he joined the Mercury body to the new frame and formed the bodywork, he added the interior from a ’65 Thunderbird and gave it all a coat of ultraviolet pearl paint. Under the hood there’s a 403-cubic-inch Olds V-8 with a four-barrel carb rated at 436 horsepower — but Marvin says he’s not finished until he puts a new crankshaft in that will bump it up to 570 hp.

classic Chevrolet Bel Air

classic Chevrolet Bel Air

classic Yellow Henry J
 
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BIG YELLOW TAXIS You really don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone. The Chevrolet Bel Air is often chosen by enthusiasts as one of the best-looking cars from the Fifties, and it’s hard to disagree with this chrome-yellow example. And then there’s the Henry J that passed us in the thick of the Woodward traffic — maybe a body only an owner could love?

classic Ford Crown Victoria.

classic Ford Crown Victoria.


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QUEEN FOR A DAY The Bel Air’s contemporary, the Ford Crown Victoria, showed up in similar numbers for the Dream Cruise weekend. This pink and white example was one of the finest we saw, with lustrous paint you could sink your eyes into, and a flawless interior restoration.

poodle skirts

poodle skirts


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GIRLS ON FILM Even those of us that never experienced cruising on Woodward in its heyday got into the action over Dream Cruise weekend. Emily and Mackensie Garlow sport the perfect Woodward fashion here, complete with poodle skirts.

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classic Blue Rod

classic Blue Rod

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PROJECT BIG BLUE Richard Gorman’s Durango-blue hot rod started life seventeen years ago as a 1930 Dodge body trailered home with a box of parts. In between came high school, marriage, and two little girls. When he found time, Gorman chopped it three inches and massaged the 350-cubic-inch V-8 with a four-barrel carburetor back to health. The $6000 paint job was finished two weeks ago, and now Gorman’s looking forward to working on its interior. The punchline? Yes, his wife is still married to him.

classic Hudson Truck

classic Hudson Truck

classic GMC Truck
 
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PICKUP DREAMS The Dream Cruise isn’t strictly about cars, and this year we noticed more trucks than ever before. This Hudson truck (left) and this GMC runner were just two examples of beautifully restored work vehicles. The GMC even sported a full woody — bedliner, that is, with body-color inset stripes to match its blood-red sheetmetal.

classic red street rod

classic red street rod


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LITTLE RED RIDING RODS, PART TWO In Europe, they call it museum fade — after you’ve seen a hundred paintings you start to feel dizzy. It’s the same at the Woodward cruise, where even a perfect piece of hot-rod pulchritude like this red street rod starts to blend in with the fifty other red street rods.

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