M1 Concourse Celebrates 60th Anniversary of World’s First Muscle Car

The anniversary celebration features 64 GTOs, hundreds of vehicles on display, live music, food, activities and more to kick off the Woodward Dream Show.
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Photograph courtesy of Woodward Dream Show/M1 Concourse

The Pontiac GTO, the first American muscle car, will take over the Woodward Dream Show (not to be confused with the Woodward Dream Cruise) in August to celebrate its 60th anniversary with car enthusiasts and the public alike. The anniversary celebration will bring together an exhibition of 64 GTOs and more than 650 hot rods, custom cars, cruisers, and muscle cars.

The Pontiac GTO is known for its unmistakable rumble of a V-8 engine, fire-spitting double exhausts, and ability to go from zero to 60 mph in under six seconds. The GTO, nicknamed the “Goat,” the “Tiger,” and “The Great One,” is said to have led to a generation built on performance and speed, setting Detroit’s muscle car culture in motion.

According to Motor Trend, the GTO was created after Pontiac experienced great success in the NASCAR Grand National Series in 1961 and 1962, just as baby boomers were reaching the driving age and needed wheels. Pontiac’s division head, John DeLorean, saw the need and over 32,000 GTOs passed through dealerships in its first year.

The 60th anniversary celebration of this Detroit innovation will kick off the Woodward Dream Show and Parade on the third weekend in August.

“We’re going to have 64 Pontiac GTOs from across the country come together on the plaza at our event center,” said M1 Concourse CEO Tim McGrane in a press release. “It will be among the largest gatherings of GTOs in the United States and a must-see way to start Dream Cruise weekend at our Woodward Dream Show.”

Tickets to the GTO anniversary celebration include access to rare and unique cars, People’s Choice Awards voting, parking, local food and drinks, live music, entertainment, and more. General admission tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for children. Kids six and under are free. VIP tickets, which include on-site parking, catered food and drink, and second-level views, are $160 each.

Eat from local food trucks like Green Lantern, Union 212, Chick-A-Dee, Batter Up, and Sucree. There will also be ‘60s-themed live music and a family-friendly zone for the kids. Tickets also include access to the Insiders’ Garage Symposium, a panel of local and regional leaders discussing cars, car builds, and more.

The Woodward Dream Cruise, on Aug. 17, is metro Detroit’s biggest automotive event. The parade celebrates car culture, bringing thousands of custom collector and special interest vehicles to Woodward Avenue. The cruise spans nine communities from Ferndale to Pontiac, many of which are also hosting their own community events throughout the weekend.

M1 Concourse is a premiere automotive and entertainment venue. The 87-acre property holds a 28,000-square-foot event complex, a 1.5-mile closed track, 255 private garages, and a full schedule of events. The M1 Concourse also hosts the American Speed Festival, Cars and Coffee, Cars Under the Stars, and other automotive festivals.

“We invite everyone to join us for this unique opportunity to take part in a historic event that honors the region’s automotive legacy,” McGrane said in a press release. “It’s a day of cars, community, and culture and it all starts at M1.”

For tickets and more information, visit m1concourse.com, and visit hourdetroit.com for more community events.