August 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Detroit automakers rolling out new, classic cars for Dream Cruise displays

Chevy Certified Service Rescue Squad Silverados will cruise Woodward Avenue on Saturday, with technicians ready to assist vehicle owners of any brand who need help with flat tires, dead batteries or other light repairs. (Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)

Woodward Dream Cruise fans will find plenty of fast, hot and classic cars to ogle over during the 18th annual event — including lots of new metal and favored displays from the Detroit Three.

As presenting sponsor of the Woodward Dream Cruise, General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet brand will have a big presence at this year's cruise, which typically draws more than 1 million people and an estimated 40,000 classic and muscle cars.

Chevrolet's famed Corvette is celebrating its 60th anniversary and will be the highlight for Chevy at its display Saturday at Old Woodward in Birmingham. Look for Detroit graffiti artist Shades to paint a Corvette-inspired mural that's expected to take him most of the day.

"We've got sort of this life-size timeline, Corvette timeline we're setting up that will have real Corvettes and real Corvette engines," said GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson. "So if you're a Corvette fan, it's a great way to kind of come and relive the history of Corvette. And we'll have some of our cars there, cars that are owned by collectors."

Members of the GM design team will host a car show 1-9 p.m. Wednesday at the Northwood Plaza at Woodward and 13 Mile. The show will feature personal vehicles and live music.

GM for the first time this year is equipping two black Chevrolet Silverado pickups as Rescue Squad pickups, which will help classic car owners who become stranded or break down during Saturday's cruise. Matthew Hargreaves Chevrolet and Les Stanford Chevrolet dealerships are providing a certified technician in each truck who can help with light repairs or flat tires.

And, yes, the rescue squads will help drivers of other makes, too.

"You don't just have to be driving a Chevy. They'll help anybody," Wilkinson said. "It's just a way for both us and for the dealers to just build some good rapport and try to be visible and try to help people."

Chevy's performance division also is setting up shop at Memorial Park north of 13 Mile, where it will showcase production and show vehicles and performance parts Thursday through Saturday.

Chrysler Group LLC's said the 75 vehicles it will display Saturday at Woodward and 13 Mile is its largest collection ever during Dream Cruise. Among the highlights are a 2013 Dodge Dart Rally Car, 2013 SRT Viper, Moparized cars and trucks, Ram's Raminator Monster Truck and more than a dozen classics from the Walter P. Chrysler Museum.

"The Woodward Dream Cruise is the perfect place to showcase the dynamic vehicles each of our brands has to offer as enthusiasts from all over the country come together to celebrate classic and current car culture," Reid Bigland, Chrysler's sales chief, said in a statement.

Also new this year, Dodge has partnered with Steve Magnante, a SPEED TV auto reporter, who beginning Wednesday will cruise with Dodge representatives in a 1970 Dodge Polara. They'll interview owners of classic and current Dodge vehicles, which will be streamed live on the Dodge brand blog, www.redlinedodge.com.

Down Woodward to Nine Mile in Ferndale, Mustang fans Saturday will find Ford Motor Co.'s Annual Mustang Alley, which will feature more than 800 Mustangs from 1964 to today. Fans will be able to check out the 662-horsepower 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, street and racing version of the Boss 302 and the Mustang GT and V6 Coupe, plus see a 20th anniversary display of SVT (Special Vehicle Team) performance vehicles. Formula D racer Vaughn Gittin Jr. also will make an appearance and Ford professional drivers will "burn out the box."

For the second straight year, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Michigan Chapter is teaming up with Ford to auction off a Mustang, this time a one-of-a-kind 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca. The car has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $51,500.

"The goal was to sell 50,000 tickets and we're about halfway there and things are going very strong," said Cheryl Rothe, marketing and public relations manager for the chapter.

Last year, the chapter raised more than $52,000 when it raffled a Mustang GT convertible.

Raffle tickets are $10 or three for $20 and details on how to buy tickets is available at www.nationalmssociety.org/chapters/MIG/index.aspx. Tickets are available on Saturday at Mustang Alley until the drawing at 5 p.m.

mburden@detnews.com

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