Ford Does It right with the Mustang Alley at the Woodward Dream Cruise
by Patrick Rall
The Woodward Dream Cruise has turned into more of a spectator event than a celebration of the automotive history of Detroit, but thanks to Ford Motor Company, there is still a massive area that is truly all about the cars.
While you will find more than just Mustangs in the gigantic Ford display that runs along 9 Mile Road in Ferndale, straddling Woodward Avenue, the largest portion of the Blue Oval area is dedicated to the performance car that has carried the torch in American performance uninterrupted for almost 50 years. While other automakers have parking lots dedicated to their display, Ford Motor Company's Woodward Dream Cruise display runs for nearly a mile of 9 Mile Road, with many of the parking lots flanking East 9 Mile Road also packed full of Ford displays, family fun and tasty carnival-type foods.
Running along East 9 Mile Road, Mustang Alley is not just a sprawling spread of the fabled performance car, it is also filled with privately owned Mustangs from every era of the car. While Chrysler and General Motors both offer a look at some high quality examples of privately owned vehicles from their past, Mustang Alley really gives show goers an amazing look at the timeline of the Mustang.
From the earliest 1964/65 Ford Mustangs to the 2012 Mustang Boss 302, from stock form with the original tires to cars that have been fully modified for race use, Mustang Alley has it all. As you walk through Mustang Alley, both sides of the street are tightly packed with Mustangs from the last 48 years and the majority of the business parking lots along Mustang Alley are also full of Mustangs. Those that are not chock full of the original pony car include a variety of food and drink vendors, Ford factory-offered displays with fun for the kids, vendors selling official Ford apparel, and a chance for visitors to the Ford area to climb in and feel every vehicle from the current Ford lineup.
Ford knows that the majority of the spectators and exhibitors at the Woodward Dream Cruise are interested in performance cars so like the 2010 cruise, Ford used the 2011 WDC to once again show off the Boss 302 Mustang. Ford had a handful of new Boss Mustangs to sit in and one tipped onto its side to show off the unique undercarriage workings of the best handling Mustang ever built in a Ford factory. Ford also used this year's Dream Cruise to show off the new Ford Focus ST - Ford's newest attempt to strike out into the sport compact segment. Based on what I've seen of the new Focus ST, this should certainly be a popular choice in the compact performance car market.
Finally, along with plenty to see and do, Ford Motor Company had a variety of kiosks giving out free shirts sporting the 2012 Mustang Boss 302. The Woodward Dream Cruise is an interesting event, but it can be tough to get around unless you enjoy walking 4-5 miles through thick pedestrian traffic. So if you've never been to the Dream Cruise and you are planning on attending in the future, which I highly recommend you do, make sure that you plan on parking near the intersection of Woodward and 9 Mile Road to check out the incredible Ford display.