Even though there is no rule against coming to the Dream Cruise in a newer car, there is definitely a stigma.
“In the spirit of the event, what it was built for, we really urge people to come in older classic vehicles,” said Tony Michaels, executive director of the Cruise.
For some car enthusiasts, “classic” is defined by something more than age alone.
“At the Dream Cruise, there’s everything, and anybody who’s there better be OK with it,” said Clint Spevak, a retired Chrysler employee from Bloomfield Township. His car of choice: an ’06 Chrysler Crossfire SRT6 roadster. As a member of the Crossfire Car Club International, Spevak shares his love of the short-lived marriage between Daimler-Benz and Chrysler, which began in 1998 and ended in 2007.
“It lasted just under 10 years, and it’s gone,” said Spevak. “The car is kind of a souvenir of that episode in automotive history.”
Jim Dimond is another retired Chrysler employee who fell in love with the Crossfire, in spite of its less-than-stellar reception with the public. He and his ’07 Crossfire roadster will be out cruising Woodward on Saturday with other club members.
“I’ve been amazed at the passion the owners have,” said the Rochester Hills resident. “I get it with the Porsches and BMWs, the Mustangs, but I’ve never seen a club as enthusiastic as these Crossfire owners.”
That’s what prompted the creation of the Detroit chapter of the Crown Vic Boys, a group for people who admire Ford’s Panther platform cars, including the Crown Victoria, Mercury Marauder and Grand Marquis, and the Lincoln Town Car. Most of the members have customized their cars with accessories such as large wheels, special paint jobs and lighting, and sound systems.
“It’s about what we came up with,” said club president Kya Schultz, a Detroiter who owns a police cruiser-style ’05 Crown Victoria. “It’s the styles we saw when we were growing up.”
The club is fairly exclusive, with prospective members undergoing a trial period to make sure they represent the group well. When they make their appearance at the Cruise, the members know they might not be welcomed by everyone.
“We get a lot of flak from some people when we go to these classic car cruises because they don’t consider us classic,” said Wayne resident DJ May, vice president of the club and owner of an ’06 Grand Marquis GS low rider. “But these are our cars. You connect with these cars, and you meet a lot of people who feel the same way.”