HomeCar CultureWoodward Dream Cruise hosts drivers and dreamers

Woodward Dream Cruise hosts drivers and dreamers


While the multitude of collector car events held during Monterey Car Week in California grab most of the attention every August, there are other things happening, and here are some of the standouts.

Chief among them is nothing less than the world’s largest one-day automotive event, the vastly popular Woodward Dream Cruise, when Michigan’s broad Woodward Avenue from Ferndale to Pontiac lures more than a million drivers, passengers and spectators to a gargantuan homage to the old-school Saturday night cruise.

Street rods, customs and classics; sports cars, muscle cars and exotics; trucks and motorcycles; and everything else on wheels pass by as hundreds of thousands of onlookers along the route – many ensconced in lawn chairs – cheer and wave, and cast envious looks at the bright array of specialty vehicles.

Diverse cruisers on Woodward Avenue | Steve Purdy

This has been going on since 1995, when a group of sports boosters in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale launched what they thought would be a local car cruise to raise money for a new soccer field.  Much to their surprise, they unleashed a cultural phenomenon that in its first outing attracted a quarter million car enthusiasts.

Naturally, manufacturers, parts suppliers, aftermarket businesses and a legion of advertisers have latched onto the event, which attracts people not only from the Midwest but from around the world.  The Woodward Dream Cruise has become a bucket-list item for car folks from Syracuse to Stockholm and from Turin to Tokyo.

The best part of it is, all you have to do to participate in the Woodward Dream Cruise is show up with your favorite collector car or pull up a lawn chair.  The Dream Cruise takes place on August 17, starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m.

For more information, visit the event website.

Many Corvettes at Carlisle

Corvettes at Carlisle

Since 1982, Corvette fanatics have gathered in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, for one of the biggest celebrations of America’s sports car, from 1953 to the present, at the Carlisle Fairgrounds.

Among the displays for 2019 will be the annual 50 Year Showcase, which this year honors the 1969 Corvette in all its permutations. Also featured will be a 30th anniversary of Corvette Challenge cars along with a reunion of race-prepped Vettes.

Another new feature will be in the annual Chip’s Choice display, which for 2019 includes modified Corvettes, from C1 examples to modern-day cars.

As usual, Corvettes at Carlisle will include competitive events, smoky burnouts and other displays of V8 muscle. The Corvette crowd also can partake in the Manufacturers Midway and the automotive flea market, or shop for another Corvette in the cars-for-sale corral.

And what everyone’s been waiting for, the 2020 C8 Corvette will be presented for a first-hand look at the game-changing mid-engine Chevrolet sports car, which promises to give the European exotics a run for their money.

For more information, visit the event website.

This 1932 Duesenberg won Best of Show at past Milwaukee Concours | William Hall photo

A lakeside concours in Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance celebrates its 15th anniversary with events August 3-4 at Veteran’s Park, located between the Milwaukee Yacht Club and the Milwaukee Art Museum on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Among the 200 collector vehicles competing Sunday, August 4, for concours honors in 14 classes will be special displays of historic Indy 500 race cars and a diverse group of performance cars from the 1980s and ’90s

For more information, visit the event website.

Goodguys gatherings

The Goodguys Rod and Custom Association continues its season of nationwide shows with the 18th annual Great Northwest Nationals, held August 9-11 at Spokane County Fair and Expo Center in Spokane, Washington.

Goodguys is back the following weekend for the inaugural Grundy Insurance Great American Nationals, August 16-18, in York, Pennsylvania.

For more information, visit the event website.

Street rods in Kentucky

The National Street Rod Association presents the four-day Street Rod Nationals on August 1-4 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

For more information, visit the event website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


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