August 16, 2012 at 7:57 am

Chevy in Cruise mode

Members of the General Motors design team showed their cars Wednesday at Northwood Plaza on Woodward. Dick Ruggin, left, now retired, was design director for Chevrolet from 1996-2000. Heís with Ed Welburn, vice president of design for GM, in front of a 2013 Camaro. (Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News)

Woodward Dream Cruise fans will find lots of new metal and displays from Detroit's Big Three.

As presenting sponsor, General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet brand will have a big presence at the 18th annual cruise, which typically draws more than 1 million people and an estimated 40,000 classic and muscle cars.

Chevrolet's Corvette is celebrating its 60th anniversary and will be the highlight for Chevy at its display Saturday at the intersection of Woodward and Old Woodward in Birmingham.

Chrysler Group LLC will display 75 vehicles — its largest collection ever at the Dream Cruise — at 13 Mile and Woodward on Saturday. Highlights include a 2013 Dodge Dart Rally Car and a 2013 SRT Viper.

And Ford Motor Co. will have its Mustang Alley on Woodward at Nine Mile in Ferndale. It is teaming with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Michigan chapter to auction a one-of-a-kind 2013 Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca. Price tag: $51,500.

At GM's Corvette display, Detroit graffiti artist Shades will paint a Corvette-inspired mural, a feat expected to take him most of Saturday.

"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."

GM for the first time is equipping two Chevrolet Silverado pickups as Rescue Squad pickups, which will help classic car owners who become stranded or break down during Saturday's Cruise. Certified technicians in each truck can help with light repairs or flat tires.

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

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's display also will feature Mopar-ized 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 is cruising with Dodge representatives in a 1970 Dodge Polara. They'll interview owners of classic and current Dodge vehicles, which will be streamed live at www.redlinedodge.com.

Ford's Mustang Alley in Ferndale will include 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 performance vehicles. Formula D racer Vaughn Gittin Jr. will make an appearance, and Ford professional drivers will "burn out the box."

Last year's raffle of a Mustang GT convertible raised more than $52,000. Raffle tickets are $10 each, or three for $20. Details are at www.nationalmssociety.org/chapters/MIG/index.aspx. Tickets are available Saturday at Mustang Alley until the drawing at 5 p.m.

mburden@detnews.com

(313) 222-2319