Baby, let’s cruise
By Puakea Olaisha Anderson
Special to the Michigan Citizen
ROYAL OAK — Families and friends gathered to show off classic cars, years of hard work and domestic auto pride at this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise Aug. 18. The Woodward Dream Cruise, which stretches from Pontiac to just north of Eight Mile Road, began 18 years ago as a fundraiser to restore a Ferndale soccer field. Today, car lovers from London, Richmond, Virginia, Ohio, Georgia, California, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Detroit make the event.
2nd to None, a mostly African American car club, founded by Ted Reynolds, joined this year’s Dream Cruise. Four years ago, the retired General Motors executive, who owns a black 1963 Chevy II Nova and a 1978 Chevy Malibu, began the club.
“We wanted to start a car club that represents the type of cars that we build and drive,” said Reynolds. Reynolds named the car club 2nd to None because he believes their cars are peerless. Reynolds, however, believes the Dream Cruise should go to Detroit.
“The Cruise should run all the way to the city of Detroit, where Woodward begins at the Detroit River. The city of Detroit residents will have to take action to make this happen on a consistent basis.” Reynolds said.
Every year, the Dream Cruise is criticized because it avoids Eight Mile and the city of Detroit. One Ferndale business, the Magic Bag, wrote on its marquee: “The Woodward Dream Cruise: Avoiding the actual Motor City since 1995.” Attendees in past years were also mostly white. But every year, the Dream Cruise attracts more African Americans.
George Hamilton of 2nd to None lives in Oakland Township and left the London Olympics early so he could cruise Woodward. Hamilton owns a 1954 Ford pick-up and a 1933 Ford Coupe, which he purchased for his wife. “I think the Woodward Dream Cruise will only get better and more and more people are getting bit by the car bug,” said Hamilton. He also said London car lovers anticipate the Woodward Dream Cruise annually.
Bonita Terrell has participated in the Woodward Dream Cruise for 13 years. Terrell was one of the very few women who had a muscle car at the event. Her inspiration for cars came when she met her boyfriend 14 years ago and she purchased a 1969 Chevy Camero, which is in mint condition.
“I love it. I love the Dream Cruise because you meet so many people,” Terrell says. She also believes her hobby is financially viable. Her ‘69 Camero has been appraised for $29,000.
Raymond Skipper of Richmond, Va. and 2nd to None member has attended the Dream Cruise religiously for the past three years. Skipper has a 1971 Corvette Stingray that he has owned for 20 years. He enjoys sharing his love of vehicle variety with his club members.
“My friends, that are a part of the Detroit community, have a diversity of vehicles from the original 1957 Chevy,” says Skipper. “I love automobiles.”
Photo Courtesy of Puakea Olaisha Anderson