Every year, car enthusiast young and old line the streets of historic Woodward Avenue in Southeast Michigan to see automotive Americana on the move. Other car enthusiasts, who are lucky enough to own the classic and modern muscle cars the event is known for, get to drive in the Woodward Dream Cruise itself. There is no experience like it, one that is centered entirely around a love for cars that runs deep through the veins of American culture.
In this unprecedented year however, car events are being canceled left and right, with the revamped summer Detroit Auto Show, SEMA Show, and Woodward all falling victim to Coronavirus. Even though it won’t happen this year, The Woodward Dream Cruise is something that can’t be replaced.
But according to the Detroit Free Press and other outlets, the Oakland County Republican Party is trying to do just that: replace the Woodward Dream Cruise with a “MAGA Cruise” held on Saturday, August 15. Attendees are, “to prominently display American and Trump flags or respectful signs that support President Trump and Back the Blue,” the Free Press quotes from Oakland County GOP Chairman Rocky Raczkowski.
This is the exact day the Woodward Dream Cruise was supposed to happen. The only reason it exists is because the organizers are stealing the day and concept of the Dream Cruise, taking advantage of its cancelation.
Put simply, this event distances itself from the inclusivity of American car culture and the Woodward Dream Cruise. Historically, over one million people annually congregate for the Dream Cruise out of a love for cars, not politics, making it the world’s number one single-day automotive event.
One of the most fabulous things about car culture is the lack of politics involved. People, regardless of who they are and their sociopolitical standpoints, can share a love for cars. The biggest divider you’ll ever encounter at the Dream Cruise is the age old Mustang vs Camaro argument. Putting politics, especially politics this divisive during a time of extreme polarization, in the heart of a car event puts a stain on the fabric of our car culture.
Is it a major disappointment that the Woodward Dream Cruise was canceled this year? Yes, but we understand that it had to take a rain check to stop the spread of a potentially deadly virus, which ultimately is far more important that the four wheeled noise makers we write about here.
Putting a political rally that masquerades as a car show does nothing to fix the reasons the event was canceled in the first place. The Dream Cruise was canceled for a reason, and the MAGA Cruise ignores it entirely, despite Mr. Raczkowski advocating for people to stay in their own car. We doubt this will be managed. But with Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet all staying home, there will be less of a reason to walk around.
If the organizers want to put on a political rally, go for it. At Muscle Cars and Trucks, we aren’t here to take political biases, and if Joe Biden was doing this, our stance would be the same. The MAGA Cruise, a political rally, is in no way a replacement for the Woodward Dream Cruise we know and love.