The recently opened Driving America exhibit at The Henry Ford is fantastic. It’s fitting t
The Ford Racing "Week on Woodward" Tour was planned to be something very different from our normal Road Tours. For the first time in Road Tour history we would spend an entire week in one city. The logical choice was the Motor City and the logical time was August as Detroit gears up for the largest participant automotive event in the world: the Woodward Dream Cruise. It was also the first tour where another magazine would join in the fun of a Road Tour. Muscle Car Review Editor Drew Hardin joined us, and readers were also invited to join in the fun.
Our plans for Saturday included The Henry Ford, which is the official new name for the Henry Ford Museum and adjacent Greenfield Village complex. Most of the Road Tourians chose the Henry Ford Museum and the Ford River Rouge truck assembly plant as their destinations for the day. The new auto display area of the museum, Driving America, is now open and proved to be a big hit.
Next to the Henry Ford Museum is Greenfield Village. Among the many historic buildings on
Sunday started with the daily drivers' meeting at 9 a.m. and then we headed down Michigan Avenue to the World Headquarters of Ford Motor Company. The Sunday before Woodward has for a number of years been the date of the Mustang Memories car show that is organized by the Mustang Owners Club of Southeastern Michigan. The show has grown to be the largest one-day gathering of Mustangs in the United States.
At 2 p.m. we headed to Milford and the famous Baker's Cruise that is, and has been, a fixture in Detroit for many years. Chris Baker and the Baker family have continued the Sunday night tradition started by Chris' father years ago.
On Sunday the destination was the World Headquarters of the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn
Our first visit on Monday was to the new Pratt and Miller Restoration Shop. Pratt and Miller's expansion into the restoration and hot rod areas began just a few years ago. Like everything that the Pratt and Miller organization undertakes the restoration facilities are state of the art. Next was a stop at the headquarters of Lingenfelter Motorsports. Ken Lingenfelter has amassed one of the most amazing collections of high-performance and special-interest vehicles on the planet. Collection manager Mike Copeland introduced Ken who explained the history of his collection and interesting details about the vehicles on display. The Lingenfelter Collection focuses mainly on high-performance Chevrolet vehicles from the muscle car era but has plenty of other marques on display.
The Baker Sunday Cruise in Milford is a Detroit tradition. Road Tour participants Dwayne a
After lunch we traveled to the Roush Industries plant in Plymouth, Michigan. Manager Kevin McLaughlin provided an up-close look at what goes into a '13 Roush Mustang. The entire conversion takes place inside the plant and the Roush folks are proud of the fact that almost all of the components are manufactured in the United States and in many plants around the Detroit area.
Our afternoon of sensory overload concluded with a visit to the Roush Collection of race cars and special-interest vehicles. Cars that were driven by some of the most famous names in NASCAR were lined up inside the building.
Tuesday was history day on the Ford Racing Week on Woodward Tour. Our morning stop was at the Piquette Model T plant near downtown Detroit on Piquette Avenue. This was the first building where Henry Ford "mass produced" automobiles until 1911. It predates the assembly line concept.
Pratt and Miller is best known as the company that builds those amazing 24 Hour Corvettes
After lunch we gathered in Grosse Point north of Detroit on the shores of Lake St. Clair. For over two hours we were all fascinated as we toured the mansion and grounds of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford Estate. Completed in 1927 this was the family home of Henry Ford's only child Edsel and his wife. The house and grounds are maintained as they were when the Ford family occupied them for so many years. It was a look back in time at the life and style of one of the most important families in the history of the automobile in America.
Wednesday after our morning drivers' meeting we headed west toward our first stop of the day at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The weather was great and the drive through the rolling Irish Hills was the perfect way to start the day. After a quick look at the speedway facilities it was time to move on.
It’s pretty obvious that Ken Lingenfelter is fond of Corvettes. The Lingenfelter Motorspor
Our afternoon destination was the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan. The Gilmore setting is unlike any other auto museum in the nation. It is located on a site that is more like a horse farm than an auto museum. Large restored barns hold some amazing vehicles from all eras. The Gilmore Museum should be on everyone's bucket list.
Thursday the Road Tour took a trip north to the city of Flint. For the last few years Flint's Back to the Bricks celebration has coincided with the Woodward Dream Cruise. It has grown to a city-wide car show that brings 100,000 people to downtown Flint on Friday and Saturday. We had been invited to join in the kickoff festivities on Thursday afternoon.
On our way to Flint we decided to visit the Walter Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills. The Chrysler Museum tells the story of Walter Chrysler and how he built a company and brand that survived many changes and highs and lows to remain one of the Big Three automakers. The Mopar name has been synonymous with high performance for many years and has a well-deserved and very loyal following.
If the discussion is Ford performance the name Jack Roush comes up immediately. We had acc
We met at the Hot Dog Shop in Gland Blanc and at 4 p.m. and were given a police escort to downtown Flint where there were reserved parking spaces. We were special guests at a kickoff party and were treated to a great meal. It looked like Flint was ready for a big weekend and we appreciated being invited to take part in the kickoff. Thanks to event director Al Hatch and his team of volunteers who make this happen every year.
After our Friday morning drivers' meeting it was a short drive to Dynotech Engineering, the official driveshaft sponsor of the Road Tour. They are well known in the hobby for their high-performance driveshafts that help get the power to the pavement for street rods, muscle cars, and drag racers nationwide. We were greeted with coffee and doughnuts and given a behind-the-scenes look at their production facilities.
The Roush Vehicle Collection included some of Jack Roush’s famous NASCAR vehicles. While t
After a stop in Ferndale for a look at Ford's Mustang Alley it was time to make our way to our own special spot on Woodward where we had arranged for a parking area in Memorial Park in Royal Oak for Friday and Saturday. We found ourselves located at the center of the weekend's activities. Bob Millard, Steve Novecel, and a team of folks coordinated the set up at the park for the city of Royal Oak.
The fun went into the evening on Friday and started back up again early Saturday morning. By Saturday afternoon Woodward Avenue was packed. It was the reason we were there and none of our group was disappointed. It was a great week in Detroit. It was a special Road Tour and Editor Drew Hardin and the Muscle Car Review participants added to the fun. Many thanks to my wife, Mary Ann, for helping with the logistics of getting 70 vehicles and 130 people on the same page all week.
The building restoration is continuing at the Piquette plant. There were many examples of
We are already looking at next season and a possible return to the Woodward Dream Cruise. Stay tuned. We will keep you posted with the details. Go to our website www.streetrodder.com for in-depth coverage of our Week on Woodward Tour, and details of next year's schedule.
The Piquette Plant was the first building that Henry Ford built specifically for auto asse
This beautiful estate in Gross Point was built in 1927 by Edsel Ford. It was where he and
Our longest trip of the week took us three hours west to the Gilmore Museum. On our way we
The buildings and restored barns on the Gilmore grounds hold amazing automotive treasures.
The Walter Chrysler Museum holds much more than just Mopar vehicles. The displays do a gre
Our visit to Dynotech Engineering gave us a close look at the equipment that goes into con
The Ford Racing Week on Woodward Road Tour participants were special guests at the Back to
We had the perfect spot in Royal Oak to enjoy Friday and Saturday at the Dream Cruise. Our
Nancy and Jay Shoaf won the Surf City Garage Attention to Detail award and a $100 gift cer