Once again despite some serious thunderstorms, Detroit and its suburbs celebrated the automobile industry in a grand way. The Dream Cruise in Detroit re-establishes Detroit’s reputation as the Motor Capital of the World.
Since its start in 1995 the Woodward Dream Cruise has become an institution. The event was originally founded to raise funds for local soccer program. Now it has become a tradition drawing 1.5 million people who line Woodward Avenue, metro Detroit’s central thoroughfare, to watch 40,000 vehicles snake, peel and rumble their way north for 16 miles through eight communities. Occasionally, organizers have threatened to cancel event and received tons of complaints so the tradition carried on seventeen years later.
A little over two years ago, the U.S. auto industry was in free-fall, worse than today’s stock market. Both Gm and Chrysler were petitioning Washington for government bailouts. Parts companies were in bad shape too, feeling the pain from the automakers they sell to. Today, however, the U.S. big three despite the gyrations of the stock market and threat of a double-dip Recession, are on solid ground, earning billions and restructured in such a way as to withstand whatever comes next in the economy. To celebrate the monumental success of the industry many auto leaders stepped up to celebrate and fund this weekend’s big event. Specifically, Chevrolet took main sponsor role to usher in the mother of classic car weekends and celebration its 100th anniversary.
Besides the big American favorites, there were some foreign makes found at the Dream Cruise, mostly VWs, BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes. The Motor City also lured a handful of Saabs, Alfa Romeos, Jaguars, Volvos, Minis, MGs, Triumphs and Sunbeams. A Toyota Land Cruiser from the 70s and a Datsun Z sports car were also crowd pleasers for the event.
The events demonstrate to the world just how important the city was to the history of the automobile and how important it is to the automobile’s future. The love affair with the automobile is alive and well. A million people show up every year to cruise or watch 20,000 vehicles roll up and down Woodward.