Monday, August 22, 2011

Final day and night of 2011 Woodward Dream Cruise

Welcome to the the last day of the Woodward Dream Cruise, featuring clips from WXYZ-TV's YouTube Channel.

The festivities began before dawn with Kim Russell interviewing the hot rod and classic car enthusiasts at Memorial Park in Royal Oak.

Hot Rods at Memorial Park

Kim Russell continued with three generations of the men in a family of classic car fans. One could say there were four generations of men in the family involved with autos, as the great-grandfather built cars in the Pontiac factory.

Preparing for the cruise

As the Sun rose, Kim showed that it's not just the men in the families who participate as she interviews a father who has participated in every Woodward Dream Cruise since 1995 and has been cruising with his daughter for the past 10 years.

Memorial Park cruise

WXYZ returned to the studio to continue exploring the theme of women participating in the Dream Cruise as Anu Prakash interviewed Kelly Wright, who makes purses out of license plates.

License plate purses

Yes, it's a stereotypical way for a woman to participate, but it's definitely creative. I also enjoyed the segment, although I'd never buy the product for myself and I don't think license plate purses are my wife's cup of tea. Just the same, I still think it's cool.

Back out to Memorial Park, where Kim Russell addressed concerns about the rain forecast for later that day.

Dream Cruise - Memorial Park

While the cruisers both told viewers to come out despite the rain, note that neither of them were driving convertibles.

It's not just the classic cars that get to cruise. Kim interviewed two Corvette owners, the second of whom was driving a 2010 model. I'm not surprised, as I observed that Dream Cruise "reminds me of the Rose Parade, except anyone with a good-looking car can join in." He's in very good company. Last year, I saw plenty of very nice late model cars cruising down Woodward, including one crossover SUV where the main attraction wasn't the car, but the young women riding in it. It worked for the spectators.

Memorial Park

Remember the forecast of rain that became the theme of an earlier video? It turned out that rain was more severe than expected. Not only was it briefly very heavy, but it was accompanied by strong winds and lightning. Here's what the storm did along the north edge of Royal Oak.

Viewer Matt Jonik provided this video of a power line down on Normandy in Royal Oak. Downed lines caused officials to cancel the Woodward Dream Cruise. They then reopened Woodward.
This is the most viewed YouTube video I can recall WXYZ posting. The irony is that it was shot by one of their viewers, not the station itself.

Speaking of videos of the storm that the station shot, here's the one they posted showing the aftermath of the storm in Royal Oak. Take it away, Tara Edwards!

Some people are still picking up the pieces that the storm left behind.

Royal Oak wasn't the only location ravaged by the high winds and lightning. West Bloomfield, some ways to the west of Woodward, was also hit hard.

Homes were damaged in West Bloomfield after a storm Saturday.

Royal Oak Patch has more stories about the storm's damage and how it affected the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Storms, Warnings Don't Deter Most Dream Cruisers
Severe weather moved through Royal Oak on Saturday but nothing could stop the force called known as the Woodward Dream Cruise
UPDATE: 60,000 Without Power After Storm Rolls Through, Shutting Dream Cruise
Cruise fans got hit hard by heavy winds and rains that rolled through the Woodward corridor at approximately 4:30 p.m., leaving downed trees and soaked spectators in their wake.
That was on Saturday, when 7,000+ DTE customers in Royal Oak were without power. Today's headline for this story was UPDATE: 1,500 Still Without Power Monday after Saturday Storm; that number is just for Royal Oak.

PHOTOS: Storm Cleanup, Repairs in Royal Oak on Monday

County Official Regrets not Activating Weather Siren during Dream Cruise
After seeing the damage in Royal Oak caused by high winds Saturday, some wondered why the outdoor weather sirens were not activated.
Dream Cruise Partygoers Got Lucky, Fire Chief Says
Heavy rains before the winds and additional public safety personnel on duty for the Woodward carfest played a role in saving lives during Saturday's severe storm.
As you can see, that was a major storm that hit right during the busiest part of the Dream Cruise. I managed to ride it out at the supermarket. Once I got home, I decided to stay there. Walking to Woodward was out of the question. However, I did see some of the Cruise on Thursday, when I stopped at the Kroger parking lot on 13 Mile and Woodward, so I didn't miss this year's edition.

Despite the nasty weather, the show went on. WXYZ's live coverage went on air as planned.

Wait... What's going on in Pontiac? OK... We admit it. We might have had a little something to do with this flash mob that suddenly erupted at the 2011 Woodward Dream Cruise. Oh, and we had a TON of fun with this!
A commenter wrote "the best part of the dream cruise? broadcast!!!!!" Dude, chill with the exclamation points. Just the same, he was probably right. I know I enjoyed watching the female reporters wearing poodle skirts dancing along with the rest of the faux flash mob.

Finally, the recovery of a classic car stolen during the Dream Cruise made for a perfect postscript to the event.

A 1959 Cadillac stolen from a hotel in Wixom is found in Detroit.

A man's classic car has been recovered after being stolen before the Dream Cruise.
While I called the Woodward Dream Cruise a "celebration of doomed car culture" over on Kunstler's blog, the event is bigger than ever and it will still be around next year. I'm with Ron Rodriguez. See you at the 2012 Woodward Dream Cruise!

Until then, I'll be blogging about the Satan Sandwich. Sigh, back to reality.


  1. I spent the weekend on the central cali coast, enjoying a local music/street festival that included a glorious car show as well.

    I love me some old beautiful cars..being a native Californian, its in my DNA to adore cars and their rich history. ;-)

  2. Dusty, as an expatriate native Californian, I quite agree. If there's one thing Michigan and California, especially southern California, share, it's car culture. As you can tell, that makes me love Dream Cruise, even though I know it's bad for the environment.

  3. I am a SoCal native so I totally agree about our shared love between the states.

    I have always been conflicted about my undying love for the car culture and it's affect on the environment too!

    I even think about how the old cars are even worse on our environment than we could ever of imagined back then, when I was just a wee chick who used to race the boys and relished each time I beat one of them. ;-)

    I justify it by telling myself that the older cars are not really on the roads en mass any more, they are more museum pieces to love, cherish and reminisce about.

  4. Fair enough. On a related topic, what did you think of the license plate purses?

  5. They remind me more of an 'old style' lunchbox than a purse..but interesting none the less. ;-)

  6. Now, that's a comparison I wouldn't have thought of, but it's very apt.

    As for the justification for Dream Cruise, I recalled this post from The Oil Drum:

    Dopamine Returned on Energy Invested (DREI)?

    Classic Cars in general and the Woodward Dream Cruise give a very high return of pleasure for the energy invested.