The Woodward Dream Cruise is billed as the largest one-day car event (well over 1 million people will attend) that lasts a week to ten days depending on who’s scheduling what events. This year Roadkill Nights sponsored by Dodge kicked off Dream Cruise week on Saturday with a car show, 200 Vipers drift rides, and of course shutting down Woodward Avenue in from of the M1 Concourse to create a 1/8th-mile dragstrip.
If you are into hot rods, drag racing, or the whole Roadkill scene, then this is the place you wanted to be.
Roadkill Nights was a pretty impressive production which used a large portion of the M1 Concourse. There was a car show on the skid pad along with displays from Mopar, Haggarty Insurance and Mecum Auctions among others. There was a stage that had a hair metal cover band that was actually pretty good, to the point I had to go over and make sure it wasn’t really Winger playing. Ok, sure Winger sucked, but the band did a very credible cover.
There were several other sections set aside for other car clubs and organizations with an interesting variety of vehicles, and of course, there were two rows of Vipers on either side of one of the pit roads with every flavor and color of Viper you like.
Part of the road course was set aside for the “Thrill Ride” where passengers would be taken drifting in a Charger, Challenger or even a Viper. There was also a nice section of straightaway where on the Friday preview, we saw 110 on the Hellcat Challenger we went for a ride in. If you didn’t sign up early, you were waiting for well over an hour to get a ride, but the smile on peoples faces let you know it was all worth while.
The signature part of Roadkill Nights is of course “legal street racing” on Woodward Avenue. The 2016 event had around 400 cars racing on Woodward, this year the number was trimmed down to 150, which seemed about the right amount. That said between several short bursts of rain that shut down the track for 20-40 minutes at a time, and far too much time set aside for the “celebrity” drag races, there was quite a bit of downtime. Even with that the stands were packed overlooking Woodward, when filled there were in excess of 20,000 people at a time watching the racing, and exhibitions which included the Dodge factory backed Top Fuel Funny Car and Dragster, along with a “match race” between David Freiberger in his 1970 Super Bee and Mike Finnigan in his Blasphemi 55 Chevy.
This was the third Roadkill Nights as part of Dream Cruise week, and you can see the changes and evolution of the event. The first year was in the parking lot of the Pontiac Silverdome, last year was the first on Woodward. While the event certainly has room to improve, when you have 60,000+ people coming through the gates and all look to have smiles on their faces, they are getting most of it right.
Even if drag racing or the hot rod culture isn’t your thing, this was a fun event to attend, and if you are coming to Dream Cruise in the future, Roadkill Nights is worth attending.
Created with flickr slideshow.