SAM MEMMOLO Takes you on a Tour of
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The Woodward Dream Cruise is a mid-summer classic event that celebrates the cars, music, and memories of cruisin’ in the 50’s and 60’s.
The world’s largest one-day celebration of the car culture attracts more than 1.6 million visitors. The Woodward Dream Cruise route stretches 16+ miles through nine host townships and cities including Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, and Pontiac.
What a sight! Woodward is a week long happening with events scheduled in different areas throughout the week, but the official event takes place the 3rd Saturday in August. This year’s event happened on August 21, and ran from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Dream Cruise takes a lot of planning and manpower. There were literally hundreds of policemen and policewomen to help keep the fun orderly. The police were great, and they were in and on everything from motorcycles, bicycles, on foot, and in squad cars. I was impressed with the extremely professional attitude displayed by all the uniformed officers I met. The combined effort of all the different law enforcement agencies made for a great time. With 1.7 million people, estimated at spending an average of $ 75.00 per person, the event brings over $125,000,000 into these host townships. A great way to keep neighborhoods with character alive and well!
I have always wanted to go to The Woodward Dream Cruise. Diana and I have several friends who live in the Detroit area, including Mike Eaton and his wife Sandy of Eaton Detroit Spring. In addition to being good friends and wonderful people, Mike and Sandy advertise Eaton Detroit Spring products on our website. Mike also made the new springs for Diana’s 1939 Chevy Master 85 Street Rod.
Mike invited us up to cruise in his beautiful Ford Panel Truck or his wife’s vintage Corvette. Just my Luck, Diana couldn’t make the trip due to business commitments, but my opportunity was just around the corner.
There’s a group of terrific auto parts stores in the Detroit area called Murray’s Discount Auto Stores. With close to 100 stores (some open 24 / 7) you can be sure to get the great parts at the right price. Murray’s stores are well merchandised, clean and bright, and well stocked. Their product lines include some of my personal favorites, like Lubegard Products and of course Greased Lightning and Orange Blast.
So when the folks at Greased Lightning / Orange Blast called and asked me to visit with them at Murray’s, I couldn’t refuse. What an opportunity! Travel to the Woodward Dream Cruise and represent a great product at one of Detroit’s best known, most progressive auto parts stores, was something I absolutely could not pass up!
I traveled to Detroit with my friend Dan. We arrived in Royal Oak Friday evening and had a long, leisurely dinner sitting in the Vinsetta Café, right on Woodward Avenue. We had great seats with a panoramic view and were able to watch all the magnificent vehicles and throngs of people as we dined. What a way to kick off a weekend! Great food, great service, and a spectacular view!
Dan and I got breakfast early Saturday morning so we could arrive at Murray’s Royal Oak store by 7:15 a.m. I was knocked out by the flurry of activity with Murray’s employees scurrying around; setting up tents, getting bottled water packed on to the ice, and making everyone feel right at home. These volunteers had been there for a while when we arrived. I toured the store with the Jim Mangiapane, Murray’s Vice-President, and then I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Klein, President of Murray’s.
Michael was terrific! His upbeat and positive attitude could be seen and felt in every one of the Murray employees who donated their precious Saturday to make the event a huge success. Murray’s Discount Auto Stores was raising money for a terrific charity called “Leader Dogs for the Blind”. These fine folks are a non-profit group that raise and train service dogs for vision impaired folks that may not otherwise have the ability to get this special gift.
Michael made the whole thing fun for everyone. Murray’s employees were making sure that folks had cold bottled water to help with hydration in the August sun. They also handed out fans to the cruisers so they could stay cool as they braved the 16 mile journey in classic cars & trucks that may not have had air conditioning. The Murray employees worked tirelessly to help raise as much money as they could for the Leader Dogs.
Dan and I worked in the Greased Lightning vendor booth along with the super hard working Bill Haugh. We passed out samples of Greased Lightning and Orange Blast, along with some valuable coupons. The crowd seemed to love it, and gave generous for donations for the Leader Dogs.
J.B. drives the Greased Lightning rig, and sets up all the gear. He brought the Greased Lightning truck, and the Orange Blast Legends Racer. The weather was terrific, and the sight of all those classics and Hot Rods made me crave some good cruisin’. I actually talked Dan into getting out to cruise in Greased Lightning’s 1931 Chevrolet Pick up. I rolled out the windshield, dropped it in gear, and there we were, Cruisin Woodward!
As you can see in the pictures, one day was not enough for this car nut. I was out on the street with millions of other spectators and participants until the very end, about 9:30 p.m. I could have done it all again the next day, but the event was over.
I hope I made a little bit of a difference; at least enough to get invited back next year. If you do nothing else, be sure to get to the Woodward Dream Cruise and experience it for yourself.
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