Let there be no doubt: Classic American muscle cars are the bread and butter of the Woodward Dream Cruise. And why not? These machines hearken back to a time when horsepower was king, nameplates like Mustang, Camaro, GTO and Charger first started rolling off the tongue and Detroit was at the forefront of the automotive world.

That said, we've noticed an interesting trend over the last several years. Modern muscle is making up a more significant portion of the festivities than ever before, a fact we can surely attribute to the rise in quality and performance of today's crop of high-horsepower offerings. Naturally, you'll see plenty of Detroit muscle from the 1960s straight on through today in this gallery from the 2011 Woodward Dream Cruise.

We'd like to take a moment to explain our definition of muscle cars. We're mostly cutting Detroit's history into two segments: classics and muscle, using 1964, the inaugural year of the seminal Pontiac GTO, as the dividing line. Two seats, four seats or five; two doors or four; modern or vintage – these are the cars that place straight-line performance above all else... and we love 'em for it.

We went ahead and labeled each vehicle, but if we're off by a year or two on some of them, we apologize in advance to all you hardcore muscle car enthusiasts out there... With all that in mind, enjoy the gallery!


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      TriShield
      • 3 Years Ago
      Your gallery captures less than one percent of the entire Cruise, which is fine, because it has to be one of the hardest things ever to capture in still photos. It's impossible to convey just how massive the Cruise really is to someone who hasn't been there. Your definition of muscle car is pretty close too, they are American, RWD and emphasize acceleration even if they aren't particularly fast at it. Woodward has always been about classic American cars and muscle cars with their modern reincarnations welcome. The actual cruise day (every third Sat of August) is becoming infested with way too many normal vehicles full of gawkers taking up the left two cruise lanes with their bro trucks, minivans, sedans, low-riders, rice burners and others that don't belong there. I've been going for 14 years straight and the best days are definitely the weekdays leading up to the official Cruise Saturday. There's way less normal cars and much more rolling antiques, classics and muscle which is what we're all there to see. If you love American classics and muscle, the Cruise is a must-see event. Here are some Youtube links I've found that do a good job of capturing it at various points along with the 24 mile route. Most of the Dream Cruise is this with the appropriate Oldies music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGcerTPYymA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPGRfPzS7J4 Woodward's northernmost loop through Pontiac is definitely where the most hoonery takes place. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3huqUQ90m6c http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTjSfhlVkuU
        The_Zachalope
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TriShield
        "The actual cruise day (every third Sat of August) is becoming infested with way too many normal vehicles full of gawkers taking up the left two cruise lanes with their bro trucks, minivans, sedans, low-riders, rice burners and others that don't belong there." Welcome to the reality of a public road.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Love Great Danes
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well cruise was a little disappointing, I didn't see one minivan cruising!
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice, but what's with the last image? A current-gen Mitsubishi Eclipse!? Really?
      EJD1984
      • 3 Years Ago
      One of the lucky few that have gotten a new Caprice should be in this dream cruise as well. :)
      Michael Phipps
      • 3 Years Ago
      @TriShield Yep, oldies with 104.3 WOMC broadcasting live from the Cruise route. Can't beat that soundtrack all week during the cruise. Great that the Cruise survived the Blackout of 2003
      Chase
      • 3 Years Ago
      Watched The Next Karate Kid yesterday with the red 442 as the boyfriend's car. I love how it looks.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Jasen
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can we get any details on that new Ford Mustang Boss 302 with Grabber blue paint and decent looking wheels on the Dyno? On the Ford website you can't order a Boss in Grabber Blue, and also the wheels are horrible looking compared to the one in the picture. Whats the deal? And how much power did it make?
      MechE
      • 3 Years Ago
      As I flipped through the pictures I was starting to think that every single car looks great and I would love to get some seat time in them, until the 928 with way oversized rims and 2' ground clearance, then the eclipse, boxster, ugly C-class convertible, rolls royce and I'm not a fan of the 3 custom vettes (at least not the rims on them).