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Engines roar. Sometimes, tires smoke. And thousands pop the hoods on the rides they polished up for the Woodward Dream Cruise.

The annual Woodward Dream Cruise is sensory overload for car buffs, but some rides this weekend had a little extra pizzazz that set them apart from the swarm of metal at the cruise.

One stand-out was nestled in Mustang Alley on Nine Mile in Ferndale. George Kern brought his fully customized Roush Stage 3 Mustang up from Fountain Hills, Arizona, for the Dream Cruise. The pony car was dripping in chrome, and it was one of the only Mustangs on the strip with scissor doors. Where most ‘Stangs wowed with pure muscle, Kern’s offered a bit extra.

Another eye-catcher, a 1950s blue Impala, was a stunner that slowly rolled down the right-hand lane on Woodward, giving those set up on the curb something unique to ogle. Among all the Detroit muscle pounding the pavement, the massive ode to Americana rumbled along, it’s mustachioed front end giving way to long, sweeping tail fins at the rear.

Then there was Joe Hornacek of Rochester Hills and his 1931 “Good Humors” Model A ice cream truck. Literally, there's nothing cooler than this.

He rebuilt it himself and handed out free ice cream along the cruise route. He might have been one of the most popular vehicles at the event, given Saturday’s high temperatures.

A candy red 1961 Corvette was as much an eye-catcher as a family heirloom. Larry Dixon’s 1961 Corvette C1 has been in his family since 1972, though for much of that time it was in crates. Dixon of Rochester Hills started a rebuild in ‘99. He and his father, Lawrence, finished the ‘Vette in September 2001 — and Lawrence died two weeks later.

“The last picture I have of my dad,” Dixon said, “is in this car.”

But one of the most unique Dream Cruise vehicles was the Jackson, Michigan-built 1954 Kaiser Darrin 161 parked in Royal Oak. It's purportedly the first-ever production fiberglass car in the United States and one of the first-ever American sports cars. Oakland, Michigan, resident Terry Trasatti owns the beast and said he drives the roofless car with pocket doors all the time.

Staff writers Neal Rubin and Nora Naughton contributed.

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau

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