Gratiot Dream Cruise 2012

Detroit, Michigan is the center of America's automobile industry. Gratiot Avenue is the biggest street on the east side of Detroit, and once every year, we have a huge event called the Gratiot Dream Cruise. The Dream Cruise is an annual event that is a celebration of cars. At the Dream Cruise you can see hot rods, custom cars, classic cars, and a few very unusual cars that you may not see anywhere else. There is actually more than one Gratiot Dream Cruise, there are two, one is held in June in Eastpointe (generally between Eight Mile and Ten Mile), the other one is held later in the summer in Clinton Township, around Thirteen Mile. Since I live in the neighborhood, I went to the Gratiot Dream Cruise on June 16,2012 and took pictures. I came back with pictures of Fords, Chevrolets, Buicks, Dodges, Oldsmobiles, Volkswagens, and even a few AMC's and Opels.

Thousands of people gather on Gratiot Avenue on the day of the Dream Cruise. The Gratiot Cruise is more than just people cruising up and down Gratiot Avenue in custom cars. There's also enertainment. The picture above shows a bans that was set up on the sidewalk. There were also hot dog stands and cotton candy stands set up on the sidewalks. Some people also put up tents, so they can sit in the shade and watch the cars drive by.

The photo above shows a Dodge Viper. The Dodge Viper was first introduced as a show car, that was put on display in the 1998 Detroit Auto Show, and it went into mass production in 2002. In 2012, they marked the 20-year anniversary of Dodge Viper production. In the background of this photo, you can see some blue and white tents, there were people camped out in tents in the middle of Gratiot Avenue.

The photo above shows a Buick from the 1950's.

The photo above shows a 1950's Chevrolet.

The photo above shows a Dodge Charger from the 1970's

The photo above shows a 1950's Ford Thunderbird.

The photo above shows a hot rod based on a 1970's AMC Gremlin. Note the supercharged engine.

The photo above shows an American Motors AMX.

The photo above shows a 1960's Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray.

The photo above shows a 1950's Oldsmobile.

The photo above shows a Chevrolet station wagon from the 1980's.

The photo above shows an Opel GT, from the 1970's. Opel was the German division of General Motors.

The photo above shows a 1960's Ford Thunderbird.

The photo above shows a 1962 Ford.

The photo above shows a 1970's Dodge Charger.

The photo above shows a Plymouth Barracuda.

The photo above shows the Plymouth Arrow. In the 1970's the popular 'mini sports car' made in Japan was the Datsun 240Z. The Plymouth Arrow, made in the late 1970's and early 1980's, was the American alternative to the Datsun 240Z, the Plymouth Arrow was roughly the same size as the 240Z.

The photo above shows a 1959 Studebaker Lark.

The photo above shows a custom Volkswagen. The front end is made from an add-on kit. The original Volkswagen headlights could be used, but they were removed from the steel fenders and re-installed in the fiberglass front piece. The fiberglass aftermarket kits were popular for building custom Volkswagens in the 1970's, they remained popular well into the 1980's.

The photo above shows a hot dog stand set up on Gratiot Avenue. To add to the festivities in the Gratiot Cruise, hot dog stands like these were set up along the route.

The photo above shows one of the tents set up on Gratiot Avenue during the Gratiot Cruise. This tent was actually a T-shirt stand where you could buy T-shirts.

The photo above shows some of the stands set up on the sidewalk. On the left is a cotton candy stand, on the right there's a stand that sell sunglasses.

The photo above shows a Chevrolet hot rod, at the curb on Gratiot Avenue.

The photo above shows some of the cars seen on Gratiot at the Gratiot Cruise. The car in the foreground is a Dodge Charger, the one right behind it is a Ford Mustang.

The photo above shows a Dodge Challenger. The style of this car may remind you of a 1970's Dodge Charger or Chevrolet Camaro, but actually it's a recent design. This is an example of 'retro' design, in which classic design elements from an older car are incorporated into a more modern vehicle.

The photo above shows a custom Volkswagen bus.

The photo above shows a 1960's Ford Econoline van that's been rebuilt as a dragster.

The photo above shows a Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray from the 1970's.

The photo above shows three custom hot rods lined up near the sidewalk on Gratiot Avenue.

The photo above shows a Chevrolet El Camino. The design of the vehicle combines elements of a car with elements of a pickup truck. In the 1960's and 1970's Chevrolet made the El Camino, while Ford made one that was similar, Ford's version was called the Ranchero.

Photographs by Anthony Ratkov.

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