24 August 2016

More than anything else, the Woodward Dream Cruise is about self-expression

Muscle cars are a big deal at the Woodward Dream Cruise. Especially given the role that they played in Woodward’s history and establishing its primacy as a car guy destination. As described in a previous article, this is where the OEMs brought their latest and greatest to test and battle unofficially.

But Woodward’s wider theme is self-expression – witness the countless donks, imports, hot rods, trucks and vans that have been customized. While some mods are mild tweaks, maybe wheels and paint, some defy description. Check out the Cosmic Cruiser, for instance. Following are 10 hot rods, trucks and vans that we enjoyed and wanted to share. They might not be your taste, but you’ve got to respect the work and vision.

  1. An ominous sky and a more ominous hot rod, a ’32 Ford Coupe roars by with a tunnel-rammed Chevy Small Block and dual quads. (photo by Josh Scott)
    ’32 Ford Coupe

  2. This International pickup truck shows off a custom intake that disappears into the firewall. Might not be turbocharged, but it might. Best not to challenge it... (photo by Josh Scott)
    International pickup truck

  3. Pretty, classic Deuce (’32 Ford) rolling north on Woodward Ave, on Thursday, August 18. Notice how light traffic is? That’s because the Dream Cruise is two days away. (photo by Josh Scott)
    ’32 Ford

  4. Standing so close to the road as this 1956 Ford F-100 screamed by, our photographer risked deafness to bring you this shot. The word “loud” does not do it justice. (photo by Josh Scott)
    1956 Ford F-100

  5. A 1936 Nash is the art deco canvas for traditional scallops-into-flames. It was lined up for Roadkill Nights Show-n-Shine on Friday, August 19. (photo by Josh Scott)
    1936 Nash

  6. Set up for drag racing, this T-bucket doesn’t have doors or a proper roof (or roll bars for that matter). All you get is a massive engine, massive rear tires and just-long-enough wheelie bars, which you’ll need. (photo by Josh Scott)
    T-bucket

  7. This little VW dragster and 1939 Ford Tudor Coupe are lined up to enter the M1 Concourse for Dodge’s Roadkill Nights racing. (photo by Josh Scott)
    1939 Ford Tudor Coupe

  8. The Willys Jeep Truck was built from 1947 through 1965 and was restyled only once, in 1950. This one appears more suited to a muddy trail than Woodward, sporting large aftermarket tires, but then again everything is at home on Woodward. (photo by Josh Scott)
    Willys Jeep Truck

  9. One of the wildest rides spotted cruising Woodward (or anywhere) was the Cosmic Crusier. It originally debuted on the show circuit in 1978 and has undergone multiple changes since, including four additional wheels. Today, it’s powered by a 600hp, 454-ci LS6 V-8 and is over 36 feet long! (photo by Josh Scott)
    Cosmic Crusier

  10. The most surprising thing about this lime ’32 Ford is that it’s actually powered by a 302-ci Ford engine, rather than the ubiquitous Chevy Small Block. It was also one of the cleanest Hot Rods cruising Woodward. (photo by Josh Scott)
    ’32 Ford

6 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Wildbill Whidbey August 24, 2016 at 16:12
    Ok, we understand some of these may sound out.....but where is the proof? Tag it on! Let's hear them!
  • 2
    Daren Stone El Dorado Hills August 24, 2016 at 17:38
    #4 has a 1956 grille, but the angled windshield pillars mark it as a 1953-55. Dad is still wheeling around north Florida in the '55 we built on an early Blazer chassis. Fun truck. BTW, I almost had a seizure when I saw that THAT VAN ! Keep up the good work.
  • 3
    chuck gifford roaringbrook twp pa August 24, 2016 at 20:32
    wish i was there this year .my wife and i were there last year and had a great experience woodward is unbelieveable we also went to clarkston to see our good friends dave leeroy and jay and the gang at southern moters where we bought three great carshope to make it there next year
  • 4
    Dan Canada August 25, 2016 at 13:04
    Picture #1 isn't a '32 Ford. Seems to have a Model A body, but that's not a Model A roof. Fiberglass body ,maybe?
  • 5
    Dave Glenn Clawson , Mi. August 25, 2016 at 17:46
    As for picture #1, My vote is '31 Chevy, since it's not a ford roof of any year.
  • 6
    Bob Schaefer Prior Lake, MN August 29, 2016 at 10:32
    Photo # 7: The '39 Ford is a Coupe ... and yes it does have two doors but the term Tudor identifies a completely different body style that also had two doors. Ford also produced a Fordor and it had four doors. That's how it is with old Fords.

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