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Woodward Dream Cruise: Sat 8/17


Full Member
May 11, 2002
Royal Oak, Michigan
GM Powered American Muscle at the Woodward Dream Cruise

DETROIT -- GM Powered American Muscle in the form of nearly 125 performance and heritage cars and trucks are at center stage in four major display areas hosted by General Motors during the 2002 Woodward Dream Cruise, Saturday, August 17. An added highlight this year will be the wedding of two GM employees who love the Cruise so much that they decided it was the perfect spot for the nuptials.

"For GM, the 'Cruise' commemorates its roots in the car culture of America and its participation is a tribute to our employees and the public who love these vehicles and what they represent," says Ed Lechtzin, GM Communications director of event planning. "The spirit of the 'Cruise' is in showcasing specialty and vintage vehicles that were the 'gotta have' cars and trucks of past eras. However, we're adding a harbinger of tomorrow's 'gotta have" vehicles in the Pontiac Solstice concept and the soon-to-be-introduced Chevrolet SS roadster and Cadillac XLR."

GM vehicles and events for the 8th annual Cruise will be centered at the Birmingham Triangle, where Woodward and Old Woodward meet in Birmingham; Memorial Park, just north of 13 Mile Road in Royal Oak; and the newly reopened Athens Coney Island, south of 14 Mile Road.

Cars as old as a 1936 Pontiac sedan and 1939 Buick Phaeton and as new as the 50th anniversary Chevrolet Corvette, as well as the XLR and SSR roadster will be bright and shiny on Saturday. On the truck side, GMC is celebrating its 100th anniversary with such fun trucks as a 1915 Stake Truck, a '41 Fire Truck and '49 Market Truck. Chevrolet celebrates its truck heritage at the Triangle.

While Joe Vitale's '57 white Corvette won't be on display in Memorial Park, he and Deana Hinske will be married at 8 p.m. live on WXYZ-TV Channel 7 on Cruise Day. Joe, a test technology engineer at the GM Technical Center in Warren, met Deana, a communications integrator in the Quality Group at the Tech Center, on the job. When the time came to plan a wedding, there was no other place in their mind than the Cruise.

"Joe won a spot in the "Passion For Your Vehicle" contest last year and we had the time of our lives," explains Deana. "We dressed like we stepped right out of the 50's!

"When Joe proposed shortly after, we discussed a variety of options for a wedding and, of course, thought about a place that had special meaning to us. The Dream Cruise won hands down. And it's always beautiful weather on this day - hopefully a guarantee that it will remain a long-time trend," she continued.

"Two GM employees, one of the greatest GM vehicles ever made, and the largest gathering to celebrate passion amongst them," she said. "What more could we desire?"

Among the Cruise Day fun events for families in the Chevrolet display at the Triangle will be entertainment with clowns, a magician, caricature artists and live music by "American Dream" playing every ? hour. On Cruise Day, the Pontiac-GMC area in the southern portion of Memorial Park will also have a number of fun activities for enthusiasts and their families, including live performances and autograph signings by Ronny and the Daytonas who recorded the classic "Little GTO" song in the '60s.

"There are so many GM employees in the Detroit area who have a real passion for automobiles that we also set up an area in Memorial Park so they can display their lovingly restored cars and trucks," says Lechtzin. "More than 100 employees entered their vehicles for one of the 15 prime spots along Woodward."

Here's what some of the nearly 1.5 million Cruise attendees will see at the GM sites on Saturday, August 17:

Athens Coney Island (on Woodward south of 14 Mile Road) is headquarters for a display of approximately 25 performance vehicles of past and current vintage and current concept vehicles. Oldies 104.3 WOMC will broadcast from this location. Here's a sampling of some of the hottest vehicles:

1959 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: William Mitchell, former vice president of GM Design, created the 1959 Stingray with a chassis purchased from Chevrolet Engineering and his own design for the thin-shelled fiberglass body. The design theme for the 1963 Corvette Stingray can be seen in this earlier model.
Pontiac's Solstice Coupe and Solstice Convertible Concepts: These 2002 concept cars won the AutoWeek "Best of Show" award at this year's North American International Auto Show. The two-seat roadster captures the true essence of Pontiac excitement.
Cadillac XLR: This pre-production roadster was conceived from the concept Evoq as an American expression of an ultra-luxury, open-air roadster with proportions, presence and features classic to the GM flagship division. Its cutting-edge form is inspired by the art and science philosophy.
Chevrolet SSR: This stunning pre-production performance roadster wraps years of Chevy heritage in a design that features prominent front and rear fender flares, a V-8 engine, rear-wheel drive, great dynamics, a rounded power-retractable roof and lots of space.
Chevrolet Bel Air Concept: Nothing says "retro" like the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. The 2002 concept vehicle combines the smooth flowing lines of a 4-passenger convertible with the power and performance of a high-tech drivetrain. The egg-crate grill and the chrome-ringed windshield provide the look that is traditionally Bel Air.
Cadillac LMP 02 Racer: This elegant race car features all the latest in sports car technology and was designed by a trans-Atlantic team based in the U.S. and the United Kingdom for endurance racing in the LeMans series.
Memorial Park - South (at the corner of 13 Mile & Woodward) will be headquarters for Pontiac-GMC and its salute to the heritage of the legendary GTO and the 100th anniversary of the GMC brand. In addition to 21 historic Pontiac cars and GMC trucks, Pontiac plans to have its NHRA Race Truck present as well as a number of fun elements for enthusiasts and their families:

Live performances and autograph signings by Ronny and the Daytonas fame and originator of the hit song - Little GTO.
Coloring books and balloons for the kids.
A tie-in with Oldies 104.3 WOMC through an on-stage promotion with various activities. WOMC will also broadcast from the Pontiac-GMC spot.
Pontiac, GMC and Ronny and the Daytonas licensed merchandise will be available for purchase.
Also in Memorial Park South will be an interactive SAFE KIDS safety vehicle display, a raffle for a historic GTO offered by the Romeo Lions Club and booths for the United Way of Southeast Michigan and the Royal Oak Boys & Girls Clubs.
Some of the "hot" vehicles included in the Pontiac-GMC area are at least four Pontiac GTOs, performance versions of a '69 Grand Prix Steamer and the Grand Prix G-Force. Heritage trucks such as the 1915 Stake Truck, a pre-war '41 fire truck and a '56 pickup - all beautifully restored, will represent the GMC nameplate.
The 1967 Pontiac GTO, which is featured in the action-packed film, "xXx," starring Vin Diesel and Samuel L. Jackson, will be on display.
Memorial Park - North (at the corner of 13 Mile & Woodward) will be a GM-branded area with displays of heritage and performance vehicles, restoration parts, historic engines - and more. Here's a brief look at what Cruisers can expect to see:

Fifteen employee-owned vehicles will be parked in a prime spot directly facing Woodward Avenue. These vehicles were selected from nearly 100 entrants in the "Passion For The Vehicle" employee contest
A "performance" display of four vehicles, also facing Woodward, will be set up by Mark Reuss and the GM Performance Division. These built-for-the-Cruise Specials include:
Classic Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird models modified to perfection in a cooperative effort with GM Powertrain and GM SPO/Performance Parts.
Pontiac Sunfire Super Tuner.
Chevrolet Silverado SS Pickup: This is a contemporary expression of Chevy muscle that responds to enthusiasts who have migrated to full-size pickups. The Silverado SS, created from a 1500 extended-cab short bed, adds fun and excitement without forfeiting Silverado's proven strengths and capabilities.
GM Powertrain will present a historic engine display
GM Service Parts Operations will provide Cruise aficionados with a display of restoration parts
20 vehicles from GM's heritage collection, including a '62 Buick Special, '59 Cadillac Eldorado, '28 and '46 Chevrolet Suburbans, the '85 Oldsmobile G-Body based Darth Vader, an '87 1,000-horsepower Buick GNX and a '77 GMC Motorhome.
The "Triangle" where Woodward and Old Woodward divide entering Birmingham is once again headquarters for Chevrolet with the biggest array of automobiles by any brand -- approximately 60 vehicles. In addition to approximately 25 performance/heritage Chevrolets such as the Corvette Shark, Monte Carlo '02 Brickyard 500 pace car, '57 Bel Air, '56 Apache, '64 Impala and, of course, the soon-to-be-introduced Chevrolet SSR. There also will be:

A display of past concept vehicles
A display of 20 vintage Chevrolets
The Monte Carlo tour rig and display
The Corvette Tour display
The Chevy Dream Shop
OnStar and XM Radio displays
On Cruise Day, Chevrolet plans family entertainment with clowns, a magician, caricature artists - and more - and live music by "American Dream" playing every ? hour
Oldies 104.3 WOMC will broadcast from the Chevrolet area

I might be making the trip ;D
I was in Pontiac for four weeks and folks are going nuts up there waiting for 1.6 million folks at the event - wahoo ;D
CADILLAC XLR AND CHEVROLET SSR SET FOR PRE-INTRODUCTION DRIVES DOWN WOODWARD .... The media and the thousands of attendees at the 2002 Woodward Dream Cruise will get an early, pre-introduction look at two of GM's hottest new cars - the Chevrolet SSR roadster and the Cadillac XLR. Both will join 125 other heritage and performance cars and trucks at three GM locations during the Cruise.

The vehicles will be driven to their display spots Friday afternoon by President and CEO Rick Wagoner in the Chevrolet SSR and GM North American President Gary Cowger in the Cadillac XLR.

Wagoner and Cowger, along with other GM executives, will converge for a post-drive snack at GM's Cruise headquarters, the new Athens Coney Island.

The drive by Rick Wagoner and Gary Cowger will start from the Birmingham Triangle at approximately 5:00 p.m. and conclude at the Athens Coney Island around 5:30 p.m.

Yeah, I gaurantee a few SSR roadsters will be there.
I really like them. They had a few at the Cleveland auto show this past year.
Power retractable roof
Big V8 power matched to HUGE rear tires
Awesome design inside & out
Sounds like a lot of fun. Wish I could get down there for that. At least I can see the photos when they get posted, right?