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Dodge returns to the Woodward Dream Cruise for 2019

by Patrick Rall on

For many years, Dodge and Mopar had a sprawling display at the annual Woodward Dream Cruise at the corner of Woodward Avenue and 13 Mile Road, but when that property was purchased and developed a few years back, the company found themselves without a proper Dream Cruise display in 2017 and 2018. That will change for the 2019 event, but you won’t find the official Dodge display at 13 Mile in Royal Oak. This year, Ma Mopar will set up shop this year in “The Loop” in Pontiac, joining forces with the huge crowd of racers from the Modern Street Hemi Shootout to create a display that is sure to pack more power than any along the route.

Dodge Woodward

While the Woodward Dream Cruise is really all about the tens of thousands of classic and modern vehicles that line the famous Detroit street, the event has become big enough that many large companies have gotten involved. Most notably, the American automakers have set up displays that have gotten larger and more elaborate over the years, with Ford setting up shop at 9 Mile Road in Ferndale while Dodge/Mopar and Chevrolet had their displays at or near 13 Mile Road in Royal Oak. These corporate displays allowed the automakers a chance to show off their latest performance vehicles and in the case of Ford and Dodge, the companies also featured privately owned vehicles.

MSHS

However, when the 2017 Woodward Dream Cruise kicked off, the Dodge display was gone from the corner of 13 Mile Road, with construction destroying the huge plaza lot that the company had used for years. Ford and Chevrolet still had large, prominent displays, but Dodge and Mopar were nowhere to be found in terms of a corporate spread.

Dodge Woodward

At first, this left Mopar fans without a key location, but the folks from the Modern Street Hemi Shootout did their best to fix that problem. Series boss Dan VanHorn and his team of high performance volunteers acquired a huge area on the northern end of the cruise route, in the Pontiac portion of Woodward Ave known as “The Loop”. Not only did the MSHS area give their racers someone to park and show off their Mopar muscle cars, but it gave Dodge and Mopar Performance fans a place to go check out a huge group of their favorite type of vehicles in one location. This area also had a few new display vehicles that were provided by FCA and television personality Steve Magnante was on hand, running a trivia contest and giving out cool Mopar swag to those who got the right answers.

Dodge Woodward

For the 2018 Dream Cruise, the Modern Street Hemi Shootout lot got even more exciting, with the folks from Livernois Performance bringing out their mobile dyno, allowing those folks displaying their vehicles in The Loop to see what kind of power they are putting to the ground. I parked my car in this area in each of the past two years and I had some fun of my own on the dyno, with my Hellcat Challenger laying down 644 rear wheel horsepower.

Dyno

In fact, the 2018 MSHS area was big enough and popular enough that quite a few FCA executives were on hand with their own vehicles, including Tim Kuniskis in Demon VIN #1.

Dodge Woodward

The Modern Street Hemi Shootout crew provided Mopar fans with a destination at the Dream Cruise in 2017 and 2018, and it seems as though FCA finally realized the importance of having an official spread along Woodward, as for the 2019 event, Dodge will join the MSHS crew in The Loop.

MSHS

FCA has not made an official announcement yet, but the organizers of the MSHS shared this on Facebook earlier this week:

“Dodge has rented a large section of the lot that joins ours on Woodward and is using that to bring in their entire rig, display, cars, giveaways and your typical Dodge fanfare.”

Based on that information, it sounds as though Dodge/Mopar plans to bring much of what they used to display at 13 Mile Road to The Loop. As a result, Mopar fans who stop by will be able to check out the latest and greatest Dodge products in one part of the parking lot while the other will be packed full of the fastest and most powerful modern Mopar-powered vehicles on the street.

Dodge Woodward

In the image below, the Modern Street Hemi Shootout area is circled in yellow while the new Dodge/Mopar official area is circled in red. The other portion of the parking lot has been pretty full in each of the past two years with an assortment of non-Mopars, and we expect that it will remain the same for 2019, allowing non-Mopar owners somewhere in The Loop to show off their machines.

Dodge Woodward

If you want to display your modern Mopar in the MSHS area, you will need to act quickly, as when this announcement was made earlier this week, the lot was about 60% full. The lot was completely full in each of the past two years and with Dodge joining the MSHS, I am confident that parking spots will sell out in a hurry, so if you are interested in getting a spot with the MSHS, click here to head to their website to buy your parking pass. The parking pass includes access to the incredible spread of barbecue that the MSHS has had for each of the past two years, so for the price of admission to the lot, you get a great parking spot, a great location to watch the action and great food.

Dodge Woodward

Finally, we should point out that the reason for the Modern Street Hemi Shootout having a Woodward Dream Cruise parking area is that it is part of their annual HEMI’nsanity event in Metro Detroit. This begins on Friday before the Dream Cruise, when the series makes its stop at Milan Dragway, about an hour from Pontiac. The cars, trucks and SUVs will race all day at Milan before cruising to Woodward for the Friday night festivities and on Saturday, many of those insanely powerful Mopar machines will be on display, fresh off of the track.

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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