Ford Motor Company will be at the heart of the action when 1.5 million car and truck enthusiasts flock to the city of Ferndale, Mich. for the start of the 2008 Woodward Dream Cruise on Aug.16.
"It's a great place for us to be because it truly reflects the essence of Woodward -- car lovers coming together and cruising, just like they've done for decades," said Robert Parker, Ford car marketing manager. "The Dream Cruise originated in Ferndale 14 years ago, and the city has been the home to Mustang Alley for the past 10 years."
Ford's display of new and classic vehicles will be the largest and longest-lasting of any automaker along Woodward Ave. It will spread more than a mile along 9 Mile Road east and west of Woodward, and it will be open from Aug. 15 through Aug. 17.
On Aug. 16, Mustang Alley - the single largest display of Ford Mustangs in the country - will feature an estimated 450 different muscle cars.
"This year marks the 45th anniversary of Mustang, and we're hoping to have a Mustang from every year from 1964 to 2008," said Parker.
"Hundreds of enthusiasts have already registered their cars for this year's show," said Michael Gorden, Ford Product Development supervisor, who has been organizing Mustang Alley for the past several years. "Every year, we line up hundreds of Mustangs on five blocks along East 9 Mile Road. It's a pretty impressive sight."
As in previous years, organizers of Mustang Alley will hold a raffle and auction for special Mustang merchandise, such as a Shelby GT hood autographed by automotive legend Carroll Shelby. All of the proceeds will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
In addition to Mustang Alley, the 2008 Ford area will feature a Model T display celebrating the 100th anniversary of the iconic car credited with "putting the world on wheels," as well as an array of new vehicles, including the new Ford F-150, Flex and Focus Coupe.
"It will give people an opportunity to see our new products and also learn a little bit about our history all in one space," said Parker.
Unlike other venues along the Dream Cruise route, Parker says the Ford location will be user-friendly.
"The area is large, but we tried to make it very compact so that people won't need a shuttle bus to get from one end to the other," he said. "It should be easy for families and enthusiasts to navigate."
The Ford area will also feature live classic rock and roll entertainment, two food courts and a kids' play zone, which will include an interactive bus from The Henry Ford and a "pop-up music studio," presented by Fender.
"There will be a tent full of Fender instruments and amplifiers next to the stage where people can have their own jam sessions," said Parker.
Ford's monster truck "Blue Thunder" will make a special appearance in the Ford area on Aug. 17.
In addition to the company display, Ford will also have a strong presence in Ferndale's 14th Annual Classic Car Show.
"Ferndale will have a car show within our car show, and half of the vehicles in the display will be Ford vehicles," said Parker.
Woodward Dream Cruise is the world's largest one-day celebration of classic car culture. The event attracts more than 1.5 million visitors and more than 40,000 muscle cars, street rods, custom collector and special interest vehicles.
Mustang owners who would like to register for Mustang Alley should log into www.motorcityterminators.com.
In conjunction with the Woodward Dream Cruise, Ford will sponsor and participate in a new automotive event called NextCruise, which is making its inaugural debut this year. NextCruise is designed to add an environmentally-friendly and future-looking dimension to the Woodward Dream Cruise by expanding the relevance of this event from what is primarily a retrospective of automobiles from the past to include vehicles for the present and future.
NextCruise takes place August 15-16 in Pleasant Ridge. Ford will showcase several sustainable technologies including hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell power, and advanced powertrain, as well as have vehicles on hand for test drives.
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