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Automotive Diversity in Ferndale: Woodward Dream Cruise 2019

Check out the gems from the city where the event was founded in 1995.

No one likes to tout the Woodward Dream Cruise more than Ferndale, Michigan, which claims to be the city where the event was founded in 1995, as a fundraiser for a local soccer field. Today, Royal Oak and Birmingham, Detroit suburbs to the north, host more of the action in the week leading up to Dream Cruise Saturday. Ferndale's kickoff, though, begins when the city closes off Nine Mile Road to traffic east and west of Woodward Avenue. The city even placed a "no bike parking" sign in front of my favorite bike shop a couple of days before the official cruise, until the shop owner asked to have it moved. Many of the businesses on Woodward in Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Birmingham, and nearby on perpendicular streets like Nine Mile close on Dream Cruise Saturday.

I took a quick stroll down Nine Mile in the calm before the motoring storm. Here's what I saw:

Ford's sponsorship gives it a big presence on Nine Mile.

Matthew Bolduc, a middle-school math teacher who lives in Milan, Michigan, saved this 1964 Plymouth Valiant V100 (the base trim model) wagon from the crusher. It had previously served as a delivery car for a Ypsilanti brew pub, and the original 170 cubic-inch slant-six, coupled to a three-speed pushbutton automatic, has 226,354 miles on it. The water pump, fuel filter, and battery are the only replaced parts under the hood, Bolduc says.

These "Ghostbusters" fanatics do have a '59 Cadillac ambulance, but it's down with a mechanical problem, according to "Winston," so it's the 1978 Jeep Wagoneer this year.

Inexplicably, this 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix's engine has been replaced with a 455.

Future and then former Ford PAG brand siblings Volvo and Lincoln coexist at Dream Cruise.

1966 Pontiac GTO.

1966 Ford Mustang 2+2.

A far from factory-original 1969 Plymouth Road Runner.

Pretty original 1969 AMC Rambler American with a base inline-six.

1973 Ford Torino.

1966 Chevrolet El Camino.

Kids appreciate classic Mustang design.

An original, and rather low-spec 1966 Chevrolet Caprice.

1954 Kaiser Darrin.

A 1975 Bricklin SV1 with a '68 Ford Mustang in the background.

1967 Buick GS400, with rare four-speed manual. The GS400 just skirted GM's 400-cubic-inch A-body rule with its 401-cubic-inch "nailhead" V-8.

What happened to Buick performance during the Roger Smith years.