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Where to park your Mopar at the Woodward Dream Cruise

by Patrick Rall on

The Woodward Dream Cruise is a spectacle like nothing else. Tens of thousands of classic cars line Woodward Avenue for miles as it runs through a handful of Detroit suburbs while hundreds of thousands of people watch from the side of the road. Along the route, many parking lots are occupied by clubs and others are open to the public, provided that the people looking to park there have a vehicle worthy of being shown off.

In the past, Mopar had a huge display at the corner of 13 Mile Road and Woodward Ave, but that corner of the intersection has been purchased and transformed into a parking garage – leaving FCA without their familiar spot. As a result, Mopar has focused its attention on the Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge event last weekend, so if you are heading to the Dream Cruise, you won’t find an FCA-themed display from the company.

However, thanks to the organizers of the Modern Street Hemi Shootout (MSHS), there is an area where Mopar fans can check out some of the most powerful road-going Chrysler products in the world. For the second year in a row, the MSHS has reserved a huge parking lot in the Woodward Loop in Pontiac and as this piece goes live, they have about 50 parking spots remaining.

This was where I parked last year and it is where I will be parking this year for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is that an area with over 200 modern and classic Mopars is a pretty awesome place to park and display your own Mopar, but this parking area has far more advantages than just the vehicles on display. All of the images in this piece were taken at the MSHS area during the 2017 Woodward Dream Cruise.

First, if you park in the MSHS area, you have in-and-out privileges, meaning that you can jump in your car and go for a cruise without worrying about losing your parking spot. Once you’ve had enough of cruising or doing burnouts, you just head back and park with your Mopar friends.

Second, with the MSHS lot being located in the Woodward Loop, there is far less traffic, so cars are actually moving, unlike areas like Royal Oak, where you have the same vehicles sitting in front of you for a half hour when you watch from the roadside. Also, since it is in Pontiac and not an area like Royal Oak that likes to profit from ticketing cruisers, the street in front of the MSHS area is more likely to play home to some smoky burnouts.

Third, they have a judged car show sponsored by Professional Auto Collision in Flint, the mobile dynamometer from Livernois Performance, music by DJ Head and great food. This includes a whole hog barbecue from Cohoctah Cook’n and roasted corn on the cob from R & L Produce by VanHoutte Farms in Waterford.  Oh, there are also “private” port-a-potties in the parking lot, which you won’t find in many parking areas along the cruise route.

Parking in the Modern Street Hemi Shootout area for the Woodward Dream Cruise is $60, which is reasonable for a spot that includes the ability to come and go, bathrooms, barbecue and light traffic. For those who aren’t familiar with the parking situation along the cruise route, parking a few blocks off of the street typically costs $20-30, and those are just public lots – not places where you would show off a car and you can’t come and go.

Click here for more info on the MSHS Woodward Dream Cruise parking passes and if you are coming into town early and you want to check out some of the quickest modern Mopars in the world, you can also use this link for information on how to attend the Modern Street Hemi Shootout event on Friday, the 17th.

Places to See More Mopars

If you are planning to cruise the Dream Cruise and you are looking for the best spots to check out some awesome Mopars along Woodward Ave, you can stop by the following locations. Keep in mind, these areas aren’t likely to have parking spots (unless otherwise noted), but if you are on the move by car or on foot and you are looking for groups of Mopars, these are your best bets.

-DAMM (Detroit Area Modern Mopars) will have a group at Woodward Camera.

-There will be a group of Challengers at The Rusty Bucket.

-North Oakland Mopar Muscle has its main club location north of 14 Mile in the bank lot, its right next to the Dairy Deluxe. A satellite location with all Mopars is north of 12 mile on the west side by the cemetery, I will be at that location.

-There will be a pop up shop for Mopar and dodge apparel and gifts at poesy gifts at 13 1/2 (Normandy) and Woodward.

-Motor City Viper Owners will be just north of 16 Mile on the east side Saturday.

-Michigan Mopar Muscle and Walter P Chrysler will be set up at Huntington Bank SE corner of Woodward and Long Lake. That lot is full, but spectators can park in the big lot of the Law firm behind bank parking lot.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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