Woodward Cruising

I was there


1949 Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe 2-Door Sedan

Written by Mike Brazeau

It’s hard to believe that this year is already the 14th annual Woodward Dream Cruise. I attended almost every cruise beginning with the first one in 1995.

I have always owned antique and classic cars, but the first few years I attended the cruise without a car to participate with. None of mine were road ready but I attended anyway, just to get a chance to look at all the Chevys, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, Buicks and Cadillacs. I owned a 1954 Cadillac at the time and it had just been painted and was in fine running order, but it still needed the chrome redone and new interior, exhaust, tires and brakes.

Then in 1998, I purchased a 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe 2-Door Sedan. I had friends living in Royal Oak at the time, just a few houses off Woodward Avenue. With parking at a premium and the thousands of cars and hundreds of thousands of spectators, I now had the perfect spot to cruise from and to park and rest at.

As a kid in high school in Detroit’s southern suburbs, we usually cruised Telegraph Road. Although I lived in the area my whole life, cruising Woodward was a new experience to me. I was excited and looking forward to my first Woodward cruise. We would start the day by making a "loop", which usually took a couple of hours, after which we would rest a while and then walk up to Woodward and watch the cruisers for a while and then repeat the process a few times during the day. I would usually leave home at 8:00am and get home about midnight. A lot of people start cruising on the Wednesday or Thursday before, making it a 4-day event, but one 16-hour day was always enough for me. Driving a car all day that doesn’t have power steering and power brakes is hard work and I don’t know how people did it years ago.

1959 Chevrolet Impala Woodward Dream Cruise Poster

Then a few years ago my friends moved from Royal Oak and I didn’t take my car for a few years, although I attended with some friend and relatives in their Camaros and Cutlasses.

Last year I took my 1980 El Camino Royal Knight. This year I will be returning with my 1949 Chevrolet, as it was 1 of 100 cars to be chosen to participate in the GM Century Cruise.