Woodward Dream Cruise: It Shouldn't Work, But Somehow it Always Does
Vinsetta Garage Lives! Flip HD recorder -- not so much.
If you're a regular visitor to MSN Autos and/or the Exhaust Notes, you're probably aware that Condon and Tannert spent the better part of last week out in Monterey, getting their Gatsby on whilst mingling amongst some of the finest collector automobiles in existence.
The sad reality is, I've never even been to the Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance. Which is not entirely a bad thing, as I look ridiculous in a hat. But judging by the sheer size and duration of the event -- the three day Concours is bookended by automotive events held throughout the Monterey Peninsula -- covering it must be more a marathon than a sprint. At any rate, as hammers dropped and trophies were presented in California, the new guy (that would be me) was out in Detroit, hoofin' it up and down Woodward Avenue for the 17th Annual Woodward Dream Cruise.
They'll be a feature story and picture gallery up on MSN Autos later this week, but I thought I'd take a moment to mention how shockingly well the Dream Cruise went down this year. On paper, I can't think of a more volatile mix for enticing roadside chaos: line the road with over a million spectators, encourage 40,000 gearheads -- many in cars straight from the drag strip -- to cruise up and down the most legendary strip in the world, and mix it all with a very small but very vocal contingent of locals who actually detest the cruise, and hate the fact it runs through their communities. Yet in over 12 hours on the strip, I saw not a single confrontation. Weird.
If there's any downside to the WDC, its that the activity is so spread out. Woodward Ave. (M1 in official state nomenclature) is over 21 miles long, and 16 miles of the route make up the preferred cruising strip. So coverage of the event can at times be hit or miss.
If you've ever cruised Woodward, you've no doubt noticed the historic neon signage of the former Vinsetta Garage. Opened in 1919, it's been sitting empty for a about a year now while locals and preservationists feare it's destruction. The good news is that Clarkston restaurateur Curt Catallo has purchased it and plans to preserve the building exactly as it sits, calling the upcoming restaurant simply, “Vinsetta Garage.”
Curiously, Vinsetta was built and operated by the family of a dear friend of mine, who had this to say:
My Hungarian immigrant grandfather Mike Kurta Sr. built Vinsetta Garage in 1919. My dad and his siblings were raised in an apartment in the back of the building, and many members of my family and I worked there throughout the years. My dad ran it until selling the business in the 1990s. Our family is delighted at this good news!
As this year's Dream Cruise came to and end, so too, it seems, has my beloved Flip HD video recorder. On a downward spiral of self-destruction for weeks, I only managed to record the following two (less-than-stellar) videos of this years Dream Cruise before it quit.
Hey, I love going to see the "best and most beautiful" autos driving down Woodward for the Cruise.
My son and Grandaughters live just a few blocks from Woodward so have been to see a few times; and was just @ the Vinsetta Garage parking lot about a month ago. Can't wait to see the 28 Model A
Roadster cruise one of these years; gooooo CHAD
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