The Woodward Dream Cruise is as much a gathering of personalities as it is a celebration of all things automobile. All sorts of people flock to America’s first paved highway to show off their cars and trucks, which all too often are perfect embodiments of their owners. The slow roll through the spiritual home of the American automotive industry is a satisfying traffic jam for some, while others seem to want to prove they’re king of the strip. Usually this results in spinning tires or revving engines, but as one Dodge Viper owner found out Saturday night, it can end up much worse.
According to a report in The Detroit News, the driver of a Dodge Viper lost control and struck a parked vehicle and a building Saturday night towards the end of the Woodward Dream Cruise, leaving a female passenger with a broken arm. The crash took place just before 10 p.m. on the 45000 block of Woodward, in Pontiac. No spectators were injured in the crash, despite one 16-year-old boy having to evade the crash, according to the newspaper.
While the slow moving parade of cars happening between Ferndale and Birmingham is a more buttoned-down, family friendly affair, Pontiac is known to be a more rowdier, no-holds-barred scene of the annual Dream Cruise. It’s also the location of the raucous Dodge-sponsored Roadkill Nights event that happens the week prior. Dodge had an official display in Pontiac this year, while Ford and Chevrolet set up several miles south. Despite the incident, the happenings in Pontiac are much more fun than in the more established areas of Woodward, in our opinion.
The Dodge Viper is known for being a bit of a widow-maker, particularly when talking about early examples. The massive V10 engines under the hoods are known for making big power and torque figures, while Vipers offered no traction control until its final generation, which began production in 2013. Judging by the published photo on the newspaper’s website, the wrecked Viper in question looks to be either a third of fourth generation car, meaning it made at least 500 horsepower and 525 lb-ft. According to The Detroit News, Eyewitnesses at the scene reported that evening rains could have played a role in the crash, which is certainly possible when talking about a car with no driver aids like this one. Vipers of this era were also known for their stock run-flat tires, and the rubber’s inability to manage the power output in less than ideal conditions.
Crashes like this one do not usually happen at the Woodward Dream Cruise simply because it is hard to get going fast enough to have such a wreck. While we hope this crash wasn’t caused by the driver fooling around, we are going to use this as a PSA for everyone to check the date codes on their tires, and behave safely. It might just save your car, or yourself.