Weirdest Rides: Dream Cruise Top 10

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

The 2016 Woodward Dream Cruise wasn't just for car buffs.

Scattered among the classic Camaros, rebuilt Mustangs and luxury automobiles were eye-popping, unique rides that often defied explanation. Here are just a few.

A mystery vehicle shaped like a skull drives south on Woodward near 13 Mile.

10. Slow but steady 

A 1902 Rambler slowly rolls down Woodward.

A rare turn-of-the century "horseless carriage" navigated a Dream Cruise full of speedy, tricked out cars.

9. Dodge Brothers vs. Father Time

Miles Hoffer of Saginaw shows off his heavily modified 1920 Dodge Brothers.
Miles Hoffer of Saginaw shows off his heavily modified 1920 Dodge Brothers.

When Miles Hoffer’s car was built, Woodrow Wilson was president, World War I had ended, movies were silent and the average life span was just under 55 years old.

“It’s a 1920 Dodge Brother’s and it still runs,” said Hoffer, a Saginaw resident who retired from GM in 2007. "Most of it is original, including the spare tire on the back which is 95 years old.”

Hoffer bought the car from a guy in Saginaw for $1,500, he said.

“He just got tired of working on it,” Hoffer said. “It drives pretty well, but I didn’t drive to the Dream Cruise from Saginaw. I drive it back and forth to car shows and parades. I figure it has about 86,000 original miles on it.”

But Hoffer has had to make some concessions to Father Time, slowly mutating the vehicle into a pieced-together rat rod:

“The gas tank on the back is original, but there’s another neoprene gas tank inside of it to keep it from leaking,” Hoffer said. “The original engine still worked, but I replaced it a  450 cubic inch engine from a 1978 Dodge pick up truck. The dash board is original, but I had to put in some new gauges, including a new speedometer and cable. The old cable would only go up to 50 mph and would have burned up if I hadn’t replaced it.”

Hoffer had no plans to drive his rat rod on Woodward during Saturday’s Dream Cruise.

“This is my third visit to the Woodward Dream Cruise, but this time I’m going to watch this one from the parking lot on 13 Mile and Woodward which is for Dodge/Chrysler vehicles only.”

8. Sweet treat

Mike and Sue Berardi of Canton sell ice cream in front of their working 1973 Ford F250 ice cream truck on Nine Mile in Ferndale.

These Canton residents knew just what to do when faced with a hot, muggy Cruise.

7. Skull cruise

A car covered in skulls drives down Woodward.

Can you count the number of skulls?

6. Storybook on wheels

A Winner the Pooh inspired car drives down Woodward.

Classic cars, scary rides and weird contraptions are almost normal at every Dream Cruise. But a tricked-out Winnie the Pooh ride? That's new.

5. Who you gonna call?

Mike Dockeray of Warren is dressed as Peter Venkman from the movie "Ghostbusters," as he stands in front of a 1977 Wagoneer owned by Eric Milkman of Sterling Heights.
Andy Bisaha of Waterford sprays foam at 6-year-old Leak Todd of Ferndale. Bisaha was dressed as a Ghostbuster (from the second movie).

No need to worry about ghosts at the Dream Cruise; these guys had you covered.

4. Trading dunes for Woodward

A Mad Max dune buggy drives south on Woodward.

Sand dunes or Dream Cruise?

3. Don't look into its eyes!

A mystery vehicle shaped like a skull drives south on Woodward near 13 Mile.

A popular site every Dream  Cruise, this contraption featured an open cab lead by a winged creature out front. Teeth enclosed the passengers while a sinister skull stared out from above.

2. Every inch covered

A heavily decorated car rolls down Woodward Avenue on Friday.

Car-owner takes everything he owns, glues it to car, hits the Woodward Dream Cruise.

1. Sweet dreams...

A 1949-50 "rat rod/truck/hearse" at the Dream Cruise.
A 1949-50 "rat rod/truck/hearse" owned by Will Dorr of South Lyon.

A photographer who spotted this beauty advised Dream Cruisers: If you call an Uber and this pulls up, you might want to just walk."

But owner Will Dorr of South Lyon is no danger to the public. He's simply a hearse enthusiast and member of the Just Hearsing Around Club in Hell, Mich.

“It’s a 1949-50 rat rod/truck/hearse,” said Dorr, 43 of his creation. “It’s a fully functional hearse and can do funerals, except no one has ever asked.”

Videos: The 2016 Woodward Dream Cruise

Don’t think for a moment that Dorr, an energetic, very likable person, has a fascination with death or those who have given up the oxygen habit.

“I just like hearses,” said Dorr, who on Friday had his body buggy on display at a parking lot at 13 Mile and Woodward with his very-much-alive girlfriend Shelly Erickson.

Dorr’s terminal taxi is an extra long wagon that looks like it was pieced together by Dr. Frankenstein, Jack Kevorkian and Sir Graves Ghastly.

The hearse-like contraption sports suicide doors, lots of rust and bare metal, beer kegs, bells, whistles, an air horn and lights from a 1970 school  bus.

It also has flame throwers: not painted on flames, but real twin flame throwers.

“They run on propane,” Dorr said.

“I have to be careful when it’s windy out because I don’t want to scorch nearby cars.”

This creation is Dorr's fourth hearse, which he started customizing the day after last year's Dream Cruise.

“I don’t plan on leaving any time soon, but when I do I wouldn’t mind taking my last ride in the back this baby," he said.