Last year, before this site even existed, I was invited by the folks at Ram Trucks to drive one of their concept trucks during the 2014 Woodward Dream Cruise and cover it for one of the sites I was working for. The truck in question was the 2013 Ram Rumble Bee Concept. The Woodward Dream Cruise is an amazing experience, but when you’re in a one-off vehicle surrounded by literally millions of enthusiasts, you get to really experience the joy of being an automotive journalist.
It could’ve been any vehicle, from any manufacturer, but the experience would’ve been the same. With the matte paint job and awesome exhaust, people knew it was something special, even if they didn’t know what it was.
Driving down Woodward Avenue, one of the most common questions I received (yes, while driving. Woodward is less cruise and more traffic jam) was “how much power does it make?” Well, since it was only the 5.7L HEMI V8, less than 400hp. But still, it sounded awesome and that’s all people cared about.
It also drew out some fans specific to the truck. Apparently on Friday night, someone saw me driving down Woodward and told his wife that he HAD to find me and check out the truck. Hours later, as I was attempting to park in the Kroger parking lot across from the Dodge setup, he came running up to me. He just wanted to look at it. I opened it up and let him poke and prod and climb around in it. He was an 8 year old boy during that moment.
I had similar experiences throughout the event. Driving a special car during the Dream Cruise means you’ll always be talking to enthusiasts, repeating the answers to the same questions over and over (and no, it’s not the V10 from the Viper), but it’s just such an amazing experience.
Why? As an automotive journalist, I’m just as in to cars as everyone else. I’ve been to many a car shows where people don’t really want to show off their rides. I’ve seen concept vehicles where the idea of letting anyone near them is crazy talk. To be able to, without manufacturer supervision, take one of their concepts and bring it to the people was an experience I’ll never forget.
Sharing my love of cars with the people is really exciting, and it’s why I really enjoy doing what I do. It could’ve been any manufacturer, with any car, but Woodward will never be the same for me.