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2018 Woodward Dream Cruise: What to know and where to go

It's a riot for the senses

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If there's anything that proves Detroit's motor-oil-in-the-veins, gearhead bonafides, it's the annual Woodward Dream Cruise, which will bring an anticipated 1.5 million or so people from near and far, plus tens of thousands of classic and custom and just plain weird cars, to a 16-mile portion of Woodward Avenue on Saturday for the 24th year.

Loved by gearheads, collectors and the merely curious, who see it as the Motor City's version of Mardi Gras, and loathed by others, who deride it as the world's largest traffic jam, the Dream Cruise is nothing if not an explosion for the senses. What will you see there? Well, as Autoblog Managing Editor Greg Rasa put it last year, "There are historic cars. And works of art. Some are worth vast sums of money, and some are rat rods and rust buckets. And some are bizarre creations that make you ask, 'What were they thinking?'"

A few things are certain: You will see many incredible automobiles. There will be plenty of T-shirts and other merch, official and not-so-much. It will be crowded, and probably hot. The Cruise will officially go from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., though of course cruisers have been out already for weeks. And there are plenty of attractions, both on and off the pavement of Woodward.

Tony Michaels, the Dream Cruise's executive director, said the event is special for the Detroit region. "Together we celebrate the automobile and what it has meant to us," he told Autoblog. "To see the these fantastic vehicles and the proud owners says so much about who we are and our pride.

"People should take it in to see history running 16 miles down Woodward Avenue and to be a part of the greatest automobile event in America."

Ford is once again serving as the Dream Cruise presenting sponsor and will hold the 20th anniversary of the Mustang Alley at the corner of Nine Mile and Woodward in Ferndale, where it expects as many as 1,000 Mustangs to line up. It will also show off its lineage of trucks at 13 Mile, along with several performance vehicles at Duggan's Irish Pub at 31501 Woodward in Royal Oak. The company on Thursday unveiled the 2018 Mustang Cobra Jet drag car to celebrate the nameplate's 50th anniversary. Just 68 examples are planned of the $130,000 limited-edition model

Other Ford activities include:

  • Sales of tickets for a raffle of a one-off Kona Blue Mustang Bullitt, starting at the media clubhouse at 2 p.m. Friday. The raffle itself takes place in November and will support juvenile diabetes research.
  • A parade of Mustang Bullitts, featuring the new 2019 version and historic Bullitt models, down Woodward starting at 7 a.m. Saturday
  • Family fun activities at Pleasant Ridge Park and Pioneer Park in Royal Oak

Chevrolet, meanwhile, will once again have a display in the city of Birmingham in the triangle district on Old Woodward, where it will showcase its lineup of mostly current but also some heritage cars, plus its Performance and Motorsports display at 13 Mile, spokeswoman Afar Farah said.

FCA, meanwhile, staged drag races in Pontiac, though weather cut the festivities short, and Mopar icons like 1960s Chargers and Challengers are always well-represented among the cruisers.

While the Cruise has typically been a suburban event, there are a couple of spinoff events in the city proper, too. The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant will host a Super Roll from 8 to 10 a.m., complete with donuts, coffee, Motown music and a roll up to the Dream Cruise. Further downtown, the inaugural Motor City Muscle is a three-day, free "Rock-n-Muscle Car Festival" featuring more than 120 musical performances on seven stages.

A full events and route map is here. And don't miss Autoblog's tips and tricks
for visiting this year's Dream Cruise.

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