Saturday, August 20, 2005
Photoblog: The 2005 Woodward Dream Cruise
Dream Cruise Signs
Today was the famous Woodward Dream Cruise, a gigantic gathering of people who like cars, and who like to drive their cars slowly up and down Woodward Ave, while looking at other people who are doing the same thing.
It is pretty lame, actually, if you live near Woodward. Traffic becomes increasingly heavy the week before the cruise, and for the entire weekend, Woodward is impassable. I made peace with this, however, and decided to go to Birmingham and take some photos.
The Dream Cruise was cursed with heavy rains for the first half of the day. As late as 4:00, it was still raining steadily, and quite a few drivers bailed out early.
Birmingham Theater Area
Fords in Birmingham
Ford Motor takes over downtown Birmingham
Ford set up a large area in the downtown Birmingham park, where a large number of old Fords were on display, as well as new products. There were many Mustangs, old and new, as you might expect. There was also a strong Saleen presence, and lots of Shelby related displays.
1967 Mercury Cougar
I am not sure exactly what this is, I think it is a 2006 Focus ST. It is not much different from the 2005, that I can tell, except that Ford added a very agressive loooking front fascia, probably cribbed from the outgoing European model.
2006 Focus ZX4 ST (?)
Mobility Mustang GT--This car had a spinner knob on the steering wheel, and hand controls for the throttle and brakes.
2007 Shelby Cobra
2007 Shelby Cobra Engine
Shelby Concept Car
Saleen Mustang GT
Saleen was suprisingly well represented at the Ford area. There were numerous variations of the Saleen Mustang, as well as a S7 and a Focus.
GT40--An original example
A Bigfoot was parked by the Birmingham Police HQ.
After an over-dose of Ford corporate stuff, I decided to walk down Old Woodward to see the non-sponsored cars.
Pair of Edsels
Pair of Bentleys
Austin Healey Club
Cobra (Replica) Alley--Most "Shelby AC Cobras" that you see are replicas. Real ones are rare and very expensive.
1962 Chrysler LeBaron
Pontiac "Spirit of Daytona" race car, designed to race in the rain.
Interior of the Pontac Daytona race car
Pontiac Daytona race car engine
After walking for a while south on Old Woodward, I found myself in the Chevrolet display area. GM was showing off a collection of race cars (NASCAR, etc.) but most of these were covered with tarps after the rain. The Chevrolet product lineup was there, unlocked, and people were crawling around the vehicles. Product "models" were on hand to answer any questions about the cars, such as "Does this V8 Impala have front wheel drive?". (It wasn't me).
Chevrolet HHR. The HHR doesn't have much to see under the hood, but it does have lots of room inside and a nice interior for the price. I'm not excited by the retro styling, but overall, it seems to be a nice package. You can order one with a 5 speed manual transmission, which is a big plus in my opinion.
Impala SS with 5.3L V8 (but front wheel drive). I 'm not sure what I think about the new Impala. It has a crisp, clean design, but it is bland.
Impala SS interior
Monte Carlo--GM tried to sharpen the lines of the new Monte Carlo. It is less ugly than the previous model, but not less bland.
Woodward view, southbound, near the Chevrolet area
Leaving the Chevrolet area, I walked to the next light and crossed Woodward, near Borders Books.
Old School Cruising
Pickup Hoops (heh)
Porsche Carrera GT. This was parked near an exotic car dealership, and it was attracting a lot of attention.
Segway. This guy was also attracting a lot of attention, but not in a positive way, I think.
Saleen S7. Not content with displaying in the Ford area, Saleen also had a display area set up on Woodward ave., showing an S7.
Saleen S7 cockpit
Update: I saw this guy the day after the Dream Cruise. Note the 9/11 Mural on the underside of his hood. He also had scissor doors, a DVD system with subwoofer, and the obligatory cold air intake.
Noble M12. The importer of the Noble M12 was on Woodward on the northbound side. The M12 is a small volume car built in South Africa, but sold here as a kit car to avoid OBD and crash regs. It is powered by a modified Ford 3.0L V6, with twin turbos, and claims 352HP.
Noble M12 cockpit
DeTomaso Pantera Club. I was not aware of the story of the Pantera, but one of the owners was nice enough to tell me about it. This amazing looking car was built for Ford, and was powered by Ford 351 Mustang engines. Only a small number were imported, and they are quite collectible, but not as prized as other Italian exotics.
"Modified" Hyundai (heh). I'm sure the blue plug wires are worth at least 10HP.
Her sign says "Burn it out" on the other side.
SmartCar. There were a small parade of these at the Dream Cruise. I am not sure if they were there from Daimler, or were Canadians mocking us.
Tricked out 300, with scissor doors, spinners, DVD, etc.
Elvis and Marylin together?