Every Mustang Lover Must Attend the Woodward Dream Cruise, Aug. 17

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Mustang Alley

Ford Mustang is the most popular car at Detroit’s incredible event, with the biggest single-model display.

While we don’t have any official statistics, anyone who has attended the Woodward Dream Cruise will likely agree that the Ford Mustang is the most popular car at the unique event in Metro Detroit. Whether you are talking about the tens of thousands of vehicles on the 16-mile cruise route itself or the endless numbers of vehicles lining the parking lots along that stretch, the mighty Mustang is everywhere, but if you want to see an epic collection of the original pony car in one place, Mustang Alley is the place to be.

In fact, the massive Ford corporate display that extends along 9 Mile Road in both directions crossing Woodward Avenue, which includes Mustang Alley, is worth the trip to Detroit on its own, but while you are there, you can enjoy the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Mustang Alley

Ford at the Dream Cruise

Chevrolet has two corporate displays at the Woodward Dream Cruise and Chrysler used to have a large display, but in the past decade, no automaker has put together a layout that could rival that of Ford Motor Company. Located at the intersection of 9 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue in Ferndale, Michigan, the Ford display serves as the southern end of the cruise route while the “Woodward Loop” in Pontiac serves as the northern end.

Mustang Alley

Ford’s display extends along 9 Mile Road, away from Woodward to the east and west, with tons of new vehicles on display, food and beverage stands, fun for the kids and live entertainment. On the western side of the display in past years, there is a collection of new Ford trucks, a stage for live music, food and beverage stands and a family fun area with things like bounce houses and spray-on tattoo vendors.

Mustang Alley

The street is closed, so there is plenty of room to roam, making this the best place for families to hang out at the Dream Cruise. There are also some restaurants along this stretch and plenty of public parking on the west side of Woodward.

Mustang Alley

On the east side of the cruise route, the Ford factory display on 9 Mile Road generally begins with a new Mustang suspended on its side, giving attendees a chance to see the pony car from every angle.

Mustang Alley

That car is generally joined by an assortment of new Mustangs parked on their tires, along with other performance models like the Focus RS and the Fiesta ST. In this area, you will also find Ford apparel for sale as well as more food and beverages, but this stretch of 9 Mile Road plays home to one of the greatest automotive displays you will ever see.

Mustang Alley

This is, of course, Mustang Alley.

Mustang Alley

Woodward’s Crown Jewel

Even if you aren’t a hardcore Ford fan, Mustang Alley is an amazing display, covering nearly a mile of 9 Mile Road with absolutely nothing but Mustangs.

Mustang Alley

Every generation, every trim level and every aftermarket tuning package, including a ton of race cars, are lined up side-by-side on both sides of the road. In addition to the cars on the road, literally every parking lot along that stretch is also filled with Mustangs, so as you make the walk down 9 Mile Road, you won’t see another vehicle shy of a few big rig tow vehicles.

Mustang Alley

Mustang Alley is so packed and so impressive that it is hard to explain, but attendees are likely to see a model that they have never seen before, only to see another one further down the road.

Mustang Alley

Displays along this stretch vary, but in the past, Mustang drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. has had a large display, Roush often has a big spread in one of the parking lots and there are usually parking areas filled with Shelby models.

Mustang Alley

Best of all, if you have a Ford Mustang and you want to be a part of the festivities, parking in Mustang Alley only costs $20, but parking it limited and it generally sells out.

Mustang Alley

Once it is sold out, you can still attend the Woodward Dream Cruise with your pony car and check out the sprawling Ford display, but you won’t be able to park in Mustang Alley. Click here for more info on parking with thousands of other Mustangs.

Mustang Alley

This year’s Woodward Dream Cruise is being held on August 17, but there is automotive fun to be had along the cruise route throughout the week leading up to the day of the big cruise. The event should be on the bucket list of any gearhead, but if you are a Ford Mustang fan or owner, you will see pony cars like never before.

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"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

Rall can be contacted at [email protected]

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