Pre-Dream Cruise Corvettes event leaves M1 Concourse

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Corvette aficionados of all stripes have spent years rushing to a pre-Dream Cruise event to show off their prized possessions while revving up with others who love the classic car’s contours and style.

They can still do so when attending “Corvettes on Woodward: Drive2End Hunger” next month, but a relatively new centerpiece has hit a red light.

This week, coordinator Larry Courtney took to his Facebook page to announce that the event, which moved to Pontiac’s M1 Concourse last year and featured more than 100 red, white and blue Corvettes arrayed in a giant American flag, won’t take place as planned.

The 70-year-old Warren resident declined to offer specifics Tuesday about the cancellation but stressed other activities associated with the event slated to start Aug. 16 — including tours of the area GM Heritage Center and Lingenfelter private car collection — will continue. And participants still are asked to bring food donations or at least $10 to benefit Oakland County’s Open Hands Food Pantry.

“We just had to make a few changes this year,” Courtney said. “Unfortunately, it was very last-minute.”

Tied to the annual Woodward Dream Cruise and attracting diehards from around the world, “Corvettes on Woodward” was launched as a parade in the early 2000s and eventually added tours as well as the focus on giving back, he said.

The event previously drew hundreds to the Kingsley Inn in Bloomfield Hills but relocated last year to the M1 Concourse — an 87-acre playground for auto enthusiasts large enough to accommodate the flag-shaped assembly.

As recently as last week, Courtney wrote on his Facebook page that he needed at least 117 Corvettes to form the flag for the Aug. 16 demonstration. Days later, he was still seeeking red and white ones.

Canceling the concourse event wasn’t easy but opens the doors for other possibilities, Courtney said. “We’re going to reinvent what we plan on doing. We don’t have a limit.... We just are fortunate that people come. It’s time to reinvent the whole event. And that’s basically what we’re going to do.”

News of the change sparked some panicked calls and messages from those who planned to attend. Online, some expressed surprise but vowed support for Courtney’s efforts.

“Sorry to hear,” one supporter wrote on his Facebook page. “Your presence in the Corvette community amazes us all.”

Another posted: “You are a blessing to the Corvette community and a (blessing) to all those to whom you have organized to help others throughout the years. “I’m sorry for this years frustration.”

For information about Corvettes on Woodward, email MichiganCorvetteEvents@gmail.com.