Most unusual cars at the Dream Cruise
Automotive freak flags were flying at this year's Woodward Dream Cruise with the annual parade of oddities sprinkled among the Motor City's finest.
Dave Fawcett of Independence, Kentucky, came to the Dream Cruise for the first time this year with his 1961 International Scout. It's usually a brand for farm equipment and tractors, but Fawcett has held onto this gem of a truck for nearly 30 years, waiting for the right time to restore it.
The unique and boxy red ride is a tribute to his father, who he calls "the best man in the world."
Over at the Performance Park show in Royal Oak, a 1970s racecar opens like the jaws of an alligator to welcome the driver. The "Color Me Gone" 1977 Monza Funny Car, owned by Jim Matuszak of Caro, Michigan, is a restored "flopper."
Matuszak doesn't race the car — it's restored exactly to its 1977 specs, so it's missing some safety requirements for today's track — but he revved the engine for the crowd every hour or so during the Cruise.
Then there's the "Ratillac," a matte black 1988 Cadillac Brome customized by Alan Cleland of Warren. He found the old Caddy on Craigslist a year ago and spent the last 12 months customizing it from top to bottom.
From the black paint job to the skeletons in the front seat, Cleland has only one explanation for his customization: “I just wanted something kinda different,” he said.
At the other end of the spectrum is Pat Wiegand's 1955 Ford Thunderbird. The Macomb Township resident refers to it as “the Barbie car.”
“It’s a color that was in my poodle-skirt,” she said. "A lot of attention for the pink car. I let the little girls sit in it. They get dragged here and don’t want to come, but then they see it and they get excited."
Every aspect of the '55 T-Bird is sweet as candy. Her license plate says QT 1955, Barbie is on the dash, a Lamb Chop puppet is on the gear shifter and a few other pink stuffed animals are arrayed in the car.
Last but not least is a 1992 Michigan State Police Service Package Mustang, parked Saturday in Mustang Alley in Ferndale. Owned by Ann and Mike Patterson, the car was in service from 1992-1997. It has a 5.0-liter, 225-horsepower engine mates to a four-speed automatic transmission.
Staff writers Ian Thibodeau and Lauren Abdel-Razzaq contributed.