While the word "autopalooza" may very well describe our summer on the AMSOIL/Street Rodder Road Tour, there actually is a website called Autopalooza.org. It is where you can find all the cruises, car events, and automotive happenings that take place in the Southeast Michigan area. Since this includes the Motor City itself, Detroit, the list of activities is huge. One of the largest and most famous is the Woodward Dream Cruise that takes place one weekend in August every year in Southeast Michigan. The 2013 Autopalooza.org Road Tour started at the opening weekend of the Bonneville Salt Flats Speed Week, way out west in Wendover, Utah. While our ultimate destination was the Dream Cruise and all the activities surrounding the event, our travels across the country were exciting as well.
This is one shop rag that the Road Tour participants won’t use for cleanup. They were made
After a 450-mile drive on Monday we arrived in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for the evening. We were greeted in Cheyenne by the folks from the Cheyenne Rods and Customs and Cheyenne Classic Chevys. They had spread the word and over 100 rods and classics turned out to meet us. Tuesday we were pounding the pavement again and after a 500-mile drive we landed in Omaha. Diane and Andy Anderson invited us to visit their Gas Pump Heaven facility for a tour and a cookout. Diane and Andy are longtime street rodders and also manufacture gas pump and gas station–related items that we all wanted to take home and put in our own garages.
It was a short drive on Wednesday to our lunch stop in Des Moines, Iowa, and a visit to the brand-new Karl Performance facility. A division of Karl Chevrolet, the performance facility is huge and covers all aspects of our hobby, including complete paint and upholstery areas. We were all intrigued by their conversions that re-body brand-new Corvettes with the iconic body styling of the early '60s Corvettes. After lunch at Karl's we continued on to the Joliet, Illinois, area to relax a little and get our cars cleaned up after those long days on the highway.
We arrived at the Gilmore Auto Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, which is just north of Kalamazoo by noon on Thursday. The Gilmore is unlike any car museum we have visited over the years. The display buildings are located on acres of manicured grass in a horse farm–like setting. Each building contains a different style of classic vehicles, special-interest cars, and motorcycles. A new exhibit is the "American Legends-Hot Rods and Customs" that was put together by Dennis Lesky of Ionia Hot Rod Shop. This temporary display is one you will want to see while it is still at the Gilmore.
Our first stop on Friday in Detroit was at Dynotech Engineering. For the last few years th
We arrived in Detroit on Thursday evening. It had been a jam-packed trip from Bonneville but there was more in store in the Motor City area. Friday morning we enjoyed coffee and doughnuts with the folks at Dynotech Engineering. We got a behind-the-scenes look at how they manufacture the driveshafts that are used in a wide range of applications from NASCAR vehicles to our own Road Tour cars. From Dynotech we headed to the Stahls Automotive Foundation collection. Assembled by car enthusiast Ted Stahls, the collection contains a wide range of classic and special-interest vehicles in a beautiful display area. With the help of many volunteers Ted Stahls shares his collection with everyone who has an interest in these classic beauties.
By noon we were on our way to a true piece of history for car enthusiasts. Located in Shelby Township, the Packard Proving Grounds Historical Site was originally opened in 1927 by the Packard Motor Car Company at a cost of $1 million to serve as a test track and proving grounds. Closed after World War II the grounds changed hands and most of the track area itself was sold. In 2002 the grounds were turned over by then-owner Ford Motor Company to a group of dedicated Packard and classic car enthusiasts. The original buildings are being persevered and restored and we were even able to park our vehicles in front of the original garages on the grounds.
Saturday is the big day at the Woodward Dream Cruise. For a 13-mile stretch of Woodward Av
Each year on Friday evening of the Woodward Dream Cruise Weekend the city of Berkeley hosts a huge cruise of its own. Many of our Autopalooza.org Road Tourians participated. By Saturday the day had finally arrived. Saturday is the official day of the Woodward Dream Cruise and 13 miles of Woodward Avenue are jammed with vehicles cruising, hundreds of thousands of folks walking the sidewalks, and displays and vendors fill every patch of asphalt in sight. It really is an automotive circus that every car enthusiast should take part in at some point in their lives. Stay tuned as we may just head back to the Dream Cruise in 2014 for another Week on Woodward.
It was a great week on the Autopalooza.org Road Tour. Go to the Road Tour section of streetrodder.com to see the expanded coverage and to check out the complete 2014 Road Tour schedule.
The Autopalooza.org Road Tour started on the Salt at Bonneville. It was the kickoff to Spe
After arriving in Detroit on Thursday evening we got together on Friday morning at the hot
Diane and Andy Anderson not only own Gas Pump Heaven in Omaha, they are rodders too. They
The newest building on the ever-expanding Gilmore grounds is the Model A Ford Museum. This
Karl Performance has recently opened in Des Moines, IA. The huge facility is part of the K
Sarah and Chuck Warren were presented the Golden Shine Award. They had traveled with us on
One of the biggest events of the Woodward Dream Cruise weekend is the Friday night Berkele
We visited the historic Packard Proving Grounds in Shelby Township north of Detroit. This
We were able to park our cars on the very spot where over 75 years ago Packard vehicles wa