By Craig Cole
Cars are a vital part of American culture, no different than Coca-Cola or Uncle Sam.
And where better to see a huge variety of motor vehicles than on Woodward Avenue during the annual Dream Cruise? This event bills itself as the largest single-day car event in the world, attracting some 1.5 million people and around 40,000 classic vehicles. If you can’t find something you like here, it probably doesn’t exist.
Here are 10 of the greatest famous cars we spotted in Metro Detroit, vehicles that starred in TV shows and movies.
10. General Lee
General-Lee speaking, we counted more than one vintage Dodge Charger dressed up in this iconic orange livery from the Dukes of Hazzard, a staple TV program from back in the day. True to form, this example wears the “stars and bars” rebel flag on its roof, though this is perhaps in poor taste… still. We’d also hazard to bet this Mopar is equipped with a horn that plays Dixie. It’s a well-done tribute to a classic show, though it’s perhaps not the most tasteful vehicle around.
9. Ghostbusters Tribute Jeep
Who ya gonna call? This Grand Wagoneer isn’t exactly the Ecto-1 that the original Ghostbusters drove but these dudes get major points for trying. One of them even wielded a mock proton pack that shot bubbles at unsuspecting passersby.
8. The Monkeemobile
Built around a Pontiac GTO, the Monkeemobile is an over-the-top piece of work with a modified interior, comically large engine, and garish styling additions. It served as transportation for The Monkees, a band from the 1960s that curiously also had a TV show. Figure that one out.
7. Mutt Cutts
Who doesn’t love a bit of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels? Arguably, this comedic duo’s pinnacle achievement was the 1994 film Dumb and Dumber. Paying tribute to this motion picture, someone dressed up a Ford E-Series with yards of brown carpet to recreate the comedians’ “Mutt Cutts” ride, a modification that practically begs you to reach out and touch it. We do wonder what happens if you get caught in a rainstorm, though…
“It’s got a cop motor, a 440-cubic-inch plant. It’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It’s a model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on regular gas,” said Dan Aykroyd while playing the role of Elwood Blues in The Blues Brothers. We’re not sure if this vehicular tribute is similarly equipped, but it sure looks the part. Gotta love this gnarly Mopar!
5. The Batmobile
Who’s your favorite superhero? Spiderman, Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern? If you’re a Batman fan, you’d definitely be drooling all over this car, which looks like it could have been the one that starred in the 1960s TV series. #ItWasSoBeautiful
4. Wayne’s World AMC Pacer
Want an AMC Pacer? No? OK, how about one that’s styled like the one from Wayne’s World? Does that pique your interest? This is a fine specimen with bright-blue paint and flames plastered along the sides, perfect for Woodward!
3. The Munster Koach
Remember The Munsters? Yeah, the TV show that was a suspicious imitation of The Adams Family. Anyway, an imitation of this ghoulish group’s family ride was on display near Woodward Avenue. A dressed-up T-bucket sporting an oversized engine and plenty of funerary trimmings, this machine is both gaudy and wonderful at the same time. Seeing it makes us want to see if anyone’s uploaded this series to YouTube…
2. The Mystery Machine
Lookie here, it’s The Mystery Machine from the Scooby-Doo franchise. Rut-roh! The specifics of the vehicle underneath that colorful and oh-so-retro livery are uncertain, but it’s most likely a Chrysler van given the proportions and some of its interior details. “I would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!”
1. DeLorean DMC-12
Back to the Future is one of the best movies ever made! If you don’t agree, feel free to f–k right off. This gorgeous DMC-12, complete with a factory-fresh stainless-steel body was proudly on display at Dream Cruise. No, it wasn’t built to mimic Doc Brown’s time machine; you won’t find any time circuits or a flux capacitor on board, but its owner was dressed the part, complete with a digital stopwatch around his neck and a frizzy white wig. Also, there were “SAVE THE CLOCKTOWER” pamphlets under the windshield wipers, a brilliant touch.