FERNDALE, Michigan — As classics start to gather on Woodward Avenue, some enthusiasts are getting some last-minute prep work at Wetmore’s on Woodward Avenue between Nine Mile Road and I-696 in the town that claims to have started the World’s Best Traffic Jam in 1995. The numbers of classic American and foreign cars, especially hot rods, muscle cars and sports cars will continue to grow, jamming Woodward Avenue from Nine Mile Road in Ferndale up through the Dream Cruise’s epicenter around 13 and 14 Mile in Royal Oak, north through Birmingham and up to Pontiac, especially on Thursday and Friday night, and all-day Saturday.
The Wetmore’s building is itself a classic. It once was a Packard dealership. A black-and-white photo at the Ferndale Historical Society shows a late-‘40s Packard displayed out the crow’s nest now occupied by a gutted, yellow 1964 Chrysler Newport sedan. Now a one-story building, as a luxury brand dealership, it clearly had two floors.
On Tuesday morning, a yellow 1973 Chevrolet Corvette convertible awaited service, parked just off Woodward behind a 1978 Ford F-150 Ranger pickup truck. There was a ’68 Chevy Camaro RS inside, already receiving attention.
It’s not too late to buy your own car for cruising along Woodward through to Saturday. There’s a 1967 Plymouth Barracuda, with 318 V-8 and 727 Torqueflite automatic, for sale on Wetmore’s auxiliary lot. Asking price is $18,500.
And on Tuesday, Wetmore’s mechanic Dave Peskey drove his 1968 Datsun 2000 roadster from his home in Metamora, some 40 miles north of here. Dave bought the Datsun’s body shell from California in 1989 and by ’91 had finished mating it with the mechanicals of a rusty Michigan example, in a frame-off restoration. He didn’t want it to be another red Datsun 2000, so he painted it a shade of 1990s Corvette turquoise. On Wednesday, he was planning to drive in with his ’62 Datsun Fairlady, a three-seater that can accommodate his wife and son.
No trailer queens on Woodward. I’ve written that for many years now, but 2018 is one of those rare years that Dream Cruise Saturday does not conflict with the Pebble Beach Concours on Sunday, and the Monterey Historics all weekend long. Thanks to a golf tournament Pebble’s trailer queens will have to wait until next weekend.