Curvaceous, colorful cars fill a 16-mile stretch of M-1 for the 17th annual Woodward Dream Cruise Aug. 20.
The official timing is 9-to-9 that Saturday, but locals know car owners begin flaunting their metal earlier in the week.
Most communities along the route join in with planned festivities and car shows. To best appreciate the display of automotive style and muscle, walk portions of Woodward from Ferndale to Pontiac or observe the passing scene from the comfort of a curbside lawn chair — unless, that is, you’re at the wheel of a classic.
> The world’s largest one-day automotive event draws an estimated 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars annually.
> The Dream Cruise pumps more than $56 million annually into the metro Detroit economy, a market-research study found.
> There’s no cost to cruise.
A Sampling of Cruise Weekend Events
> Hundreds of classic cars parade along 12 Mile Road for the family-oriented CruiseFest Aug. 19. Activities include inflatables for children, vendors, food, and a concert.
> Nearly 300 classic cars will be on display along Old Woodward.
> Aug. 17: Some 500 Corvettes will be on display at the Radisson Kingsley Inn beginning at noon for the Corvettes on Woodward Food Drive & Cruise. The admission-free event raises funds and collects food for Open Hands Food Pantry, a Gleaners partner. Visitors may drop off food or buy raffle 50/50 tickets. Music by DJ Eric; coney dogs sold by the hotel. (Parking is at a premium; check adjacent lots, including the lot north of the hotel.) At 7:30 p.m., Corvettes will parade down Woodward to 11 Mile Road, where the food donation is delivered. Information: Larry Courtney; 586-218-8616, email@example.com.
> Aug. 18: Chevrolet’s Centennial parade on Woodward begins at 2 p.m. at Long Lake Road. Volt owners will cruise in their cars, along with various vintage and notable Chevies.
> The annual Bloomfield Township Classic Car Show (Aug. 20, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz of Bloomfield Hills) includes food, music, bleacher seating, and official Cruise merchandise. Gull-wing DeLorean cars also will be on view in honor of that vehicle’s 30th anniversary. Admission is free. Next door, at Comerica Bank, hand-built reproduction Cobras will be displayed, along with vehicles from several car clubs. Parking, just north of Mercedes-Benz, is $5, with proceeds going to three charities.
> Rock ’n’ Live performances by local musicians, Aug. 18-20; ferndaledreamcruise.com for details.
> Classics & Cruisin’ Legends vehicle show at Vester and Woodward, Aug. 20.
> Mustang Alley display of original, restored, and customized Ford ponies at Woodward and East Nine Mile, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Aug. 20.
> Concert at 9:30 p.m., Aug. 19. Reserved seats/lawn, $10. Various events in downtown Pontiac, Aug. 20.
> On Cruise day, in addition to the city’s Cruizin’ Car Show, look for the MISSL Impala enthusiasts car club on display where Woodward splits for the loop.
> General Cruise parking downtown in the Phoenix Plaza parking structure and other city lots.
> To mark its 100th anniversary, Chevrolet will display new 550-horsepower ZL1 Camaros and Chevy Sonics in Memorial Park (13 Mile and Woodward). About 300 classic cars of all makes will also be on display at the park.