5 really weird cars seen at the Woodward Dream Cruise

Detroit News staff

Of course, there was a gigantic shopping cart driving up Woodward Avenue Saturday. Where else would it be?

The Woodward Dream Cruise is a renowned and revered showplace for some of the most arresting vehicles ever made. It's also a repository for weirdness, which is part of the fun.

Last year, there was a guy with a motorized recliner. Making the rounds a few years before that was a van that looked like it was driving upside down. A gigantic shopping cart?

Merge over and make room.

A giant shopping cart called the Shopper Chopper and driven by Cal VanSant (built by VanSant and son-in-law Brent Muster) delights Dream Cruise spectators along Woodward Avenue near 13 Mile in Royal Oak on Saturday.

The cart, it turns out, is a promotional item for BJ's Wholesale Club, an eastern chain expanding soon to Southeast Michigan. So it loses some weirdness points for that.

But the Shopper Chopper was made by two guys from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, not some big garage in California. So it gets the weirdness points back.

The engine is down on the bottom shelf, where you maybe slide a pack of paper towels. The two passengers rode in the basket. The driver, Cal VanSant, who built the rig with his son-in-law, was on that little shelf near the handle where a woman puts her purse.

The whole thing was probably 10 feet tall. It makes you hope that next year, somebody brings in a new outdoor equipment store: Who doesn't want to see a gigantic rolling snowblower?

This lime green 1973 AMC Ambassador was once a police vehicle in Cleveland.

Poised to give chase Saturday, assuming the shopping cart is capable of speeding, was a lime green 1973 AMC Ambassador police car.

It was an oddity on two counts. AMC made police cars? And they were the color of Mountain Dew?

Yes and yes. From 1972-78, the Cleveland police force drove lime green patrol cars as part of a federal study on visibility. Since the feds stopped picking up the tab, the color scheme in the city of the Browns has reverted to black and white.

John and Cheryl Rese, 60 and 58 from Armada Township, show off Cheryl’s beefed-up 1915 Model T.

John and Cheryl Rese of Armada Township arrived with a darker shade of green and a different level of peculiarity.

Cheryl, 58, was working as an in-home nurse two years ago when a patient decided he could no longer drive his 1915 Model T and gave it to her. It has yellow accents, chrome sidepipes, the engine from a 1967 Chrysler Imperial, and a small storage case in the rear that John, 60, added out in the barn.

For those familiar with the Model T, the most unusual feature would be a functioning passenger-side door. It's there because the body was made in Canada — and everyone knows Canadians are more welcoming.

Terry Moreland sits next to his 1971 Bronco.

Terry Moreland of Akron, Ohio, had his 1971 Ford Bronco tricked up so he could bed down.

It has a homemade camper shell, complete with awning, plopped atop the yellow body of the primordial SUV. He slept there the night before the Dream Cruise with his dog, Lexi.

“This thing’s been around,” said Moreland, 55, and now it can be yours. A sign in the front window says it's for sale.

(Lexi not included.)

Tim Borgne, 52, of Owasso, Oklahoma, shows off an explosive 1928 Chevrolet on Saturday.

For whatever obscure reason, Tom Borgne of Owasso, Oklahoma, opted for a military theme when he bought a chopped 1928 Chevrolet.

Borgne, 52, put a deactivated bomb from a World War II B-17 in the back, built seats that look like standard equipment on a bomber, and separated them with a four-inch Navy shell.

The deactivated bomb in back.

In case that was all too subtle, he named the car the F-Bomb.

“You have never seen an automotive event like this," said Borgne, who grew up in Troy and has timed his last five visits home to overlap the third Saturday in August. “This is the ultimate car experience.” 

It can be the ultimate weirdness experience, too.

Staff writers Neal Rubin, Kalea Hall, Alex Nester, Evan James Carter and Ian Thibodeau contributed.