Mustangs and Camaros galore... but also hearses and V8-powered skulls
The 2016 Woodward Dream Cruise has come and gone, and with it, over a million people and tens of thousands of cars. Yes, there were Mustangs and Camaros and Challengers, along with gawking civilians in minivans and crossovers, filling the 16-mile (26-kilometre) stretch between Ferndale in the south and Pontiac in the north. We cruised up and down Woodward Avenue and then parked along the Ferndale/Pleasant Ridge border to watch the classics roll by – what we assembled is a mixed list of some of the weirdest cars on Woodward, and some of our just plain favourites. Highlights to follow.
1964 Plymouth Belvedere Wagon
Even on Woodward, station wagons just aren't common enough. So when a good one pops up, we're obligated to appreciate it. We'll forgive the Ohio plates, and instead salute this excellent and extremely clean 1964 Plymouth Belvedere Wagon – the red body and white roof makes a classic combo that's set off by a matching surfboard on the roof. This thing looks at home cruising Woodward as it would parked on the streets of a sleepy California surf town.
American cars dominate Woodward, but every so often, a truly fascinating foreign car will pop up. And cars don't get much more foreign than this Nissan Pao. Friend of Motor1 Chris Paukert just picked up the right-hand-drive Pao – as evidenced by the temporary paper license in the rear window – and drove it out for a cruise. Make no mistake, Paukert's Pao was one of the rarest cars in this year's Dream Cruise.
If Skeletor wanted to cruise Woodward, this is his vehicle. We weren't able to stay alongside and chat with the driver, so we can't tell you what kind of engine the owner fitted – it's obviously some kind of V8 – or even what platform its owner started with. But does that really matter? There's a giant skull in place of a cabin and there's a huge bat hood ornament. That's good enough for us.
2016 Toyota Camry Interstate Batteries NASCAR Replica
Commercialization of the Woodward Dream Cruise is an unfortunate side effect of its huge popularity. Businesses big and small recognize that with 1.5 million pairs of eyeballs along a mere 16 miles of road, there are big opportunities for (mostly) free advertising. We aren't sure about Interstate Batteries' play. Trotting out a 2016 Toyota Camry wrapped in vinyl so it looks like a NASCAR (and an accompanying promotional truck) to an event dominated by American cars seems shortsighted.
1961 Buick Flxible Hearse
Kudos to Wessels and Wilks Funeral Home for parking a very appropriate car outside their Woodward Avenue building. Based on a 1961 Buick Electra (we're guessing), the hearse's owner dropped the suspension to a perfect height. Armed with a 401-cubic-inch Nailhead V8, we're sure this would be a speedy and comfortable ride to the afterlife.
Check out even more Woodward Dream Cruise cars in the gallery below.
Photos: Brandon Turkus / Motor1