'Vettes, Camaros get GM in gear for Dream Cruise
From newer muscle to certified classic, a parade of cars rumbled Wednesday through General Motors Co.'s Warren campus, heading directly for Woodward Avenue.
Among them was Ray Miller's 1959 Corvette — the first car he ever bought with gas station wages when he was just 13 years old.
"This car was in my wedding party," said Miller, hands in his pockets as he circled the red and white two-toned 'Vette. "I've done a lot of work on it over the years, but recently I took nine years to totally restore it."
Miller, who retired last year after 39 years with GM, brought the Corvette to his son's wedding earlier this month, recreating the "Just Married" pose he did with his wife, Sue, at their wedding.
The design retiree joined more than 100 GM design employees to cruise in their personal whips from the Tech Center in Warren to Memorial Park in Royal Oak in a kickoff to the Detroit automaker's Woodward Dream Cruise celebration.
Ricky Lewis, a 3-D printer for GM, brought along a newer member of the Detroit muscle car family: his 2010 metallic blue Camaro SS with a custom paint job under the hood. The domineering panther under the hood is a nod to Camaro's history, he says. In 1966, the Camaro's code name at GM was "Panther."
Emblazoned on the fuse box cover is the definition GM gave when reporters first asked what a Camaro was: "A vicious animal that eats Mustangs."
Just in time for the return of the Blazer for Chevrolet, Stefan Rittenbery, a sculptor for GM design, can cruise in his 1972 K5 Blazer. It was an impulse buy of sorts when he and his wife were on their way to Yellowstone National Park a year ago.
"I've wanted one of these for 18 years," said Rittenbery, before starting up the hulking SUV. "My wife drives it more than me, though. She says it's her car."
Not everyone showed up in the team uniform, though. Among the fleet Tuesday were Alfa Romeos, Lamborghinis and even an old 1977 AMC Wagoneer dressed up as the Ghostbusters Ectomobile.
Eric Lindow, a Ghostbusters enthusiast, converted the Wagoneer into an Ectomobile in 2014 in preparation for a meet-and-greet with original Ghostbuster and Detroiter Ernie Hudson.
"This Wagoneer was wedged away in my mom's garage," he said. "I built all of this, bought some of the lights on Craigslist, all in about a week."
By late morning, the Dream Cruise fleet's engines were roaring, heading to the Ninth Annual Design on Woodward at Memorial Park in Royal Oak.