Royal Oak park ‘a car lover’s dream’ at Cruise time

Francis X. Donnelly
The Detroit News

Royal Oak — You won’t find Performance Park on any map.

That’s because it exists only during the Woodward Dream Cruise and the two days preceding it.

But Performance Park, better known as Memorial Park, was easy to find Friday.

It had hundreds of vintage cars splayed throughout its confines at Woodward and 13 Mile.

“It’s a car lover’s dream,” said Tom Bailey of Bloomfield Hills. “It’s what we’re about.”

By we, he was referring to Metro Detroit and its history steeped in the U.S. automobile.

Clutching a camera, Bailey and a friend wandered through the park taking photos for one of dozens of scrapbooks that fill a second bedroom.

Did he have a favorite?

“All of them,” he said without hesitation.

The Performance Park Classic Car Show, which also will be held Saturday, was one of the stomping grounds of Chevrolet, the presenting sponsor of the Dream Cruise.

The automaker displayed performance vehicles, parts and accessories.

Among the 500 people at the park midafternoon was Mark Lynch of Royal Oak.

Lynch, showing off a green 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, is partial to the company. He worked for General Motors for several years.

“It’s had some hard times but it’s a good company,” he said. “It was number one for many years.”

Lynch and several friends talked about the glory days as they sat on folding chairs in front of his car.

The Bel Air sat in the outfield of a baseball diamond at the park. If baseball is a national pastime, he and his buddies were lost in another.


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Twitter: @francisXdonnell