The Woodward Dream Cruise is a classic car event held annually on the third Saturday of August. The WDC Event spans much of Woodward Avenue from Pontiac through Ferndale in Oakland County, Michigan, all the way to the State Fair Grounds inside the Detroit city limits, just south of 8 Mile Road.
Today, the Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest one-day automotive event, drawing 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe. You can see muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles dating across several decades. The majority of the cars on display are those that were available and prevalent during the 1950s, 60s and early 70s prior to the OPEC oil embargo, which led to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations of 1975 and the proliferation of more fuel-efficient, family-friendly, and less powerful automobiles. However, the Woodward Dream Cruise also welcomes vehicles of all models whose owners have either scrupulously maintained or customized their car to create a unique vehicle or statement.
Most people think of Royal Oak as the epicenter of the Woodward Dream Cruise, but the Cruise actually started in Ferndale in 1995 as a fundraiser for a new soccer field. The first Cruise was about ten times more successful than the organizers expected and grew from there to become an annual event. The Cruise now draws over 40,000 classic cars from all over the world. And why shouldn’t it? Woodward Avenue was the main drag for GM, Ford and Chrysler back in the day, when drive-ins were scattered up and down its length. The Woodward Dream Cruise is now Metro Detroit’s biggest event.
I wish someone would say the truth about the Woodward Cruise. In the 50's teenagers didn't all have TV's, we certainly had no idea what a computer was, and we didn't have a lot of money like the Teen's of today have, so we would all chip in 25 or 50 cents, give it to the kid that had a car for gas, and we would cruise Woodward, Girls looking for Boys, and Boys looking for Girls. The Cops used to really get mad at us, tell us we were starting a traffic jam, and if we didn't go home they would through us in jail. I have to laugh cause Police that direct the Cruise now are probably the grandchildren of the ones that yelled at us to go home. We would go to Ted's Wigwam (a drive through) and get a burger & fries, cruise some more and go home. It was a way to have fun. I remember when the movie "Grease" came out, a teeny bopper I worked with asked me if I saw Grease. My answer to her was, See it, Hell I lived it. At the very first dream cruise, my two daughters came with me, I don't think they ever believed me about Cruisen, My oldest daughter and I entered the Twist contest and we won 1st prize, I guess it was probably because of everyone that entered, we were the only ones that knew what we were doing. I taught her well!