Best Cars of the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise

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The 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise is a celebration of automotive diversity, and we were there to cover it in person, from hearses and emergency vehicles to Broncos, Mustangs, Camaros, and Mopars, to the insights from “Mr. Camaro”—Motor Trend remained the place for the best Woodward car content. But is it possible to pick from the dizzying array of cars we saw? Absolutely. Keep reading to hear about our 10 favorites from the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise.

More 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise coverage:

  • Classic Ford Broncos Corralled at the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise
  • Classic Emergency Vehicles at the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise
  • Cruising with Fiat-Chrysler/SRT’s Mark Trostle
  • Cruising With Ford/SVT’s Hermann Salenbauch
  • Cruising With Mr. Camaro, Al Oppenheiser

1946 Lincoln Continental Sedan

Like all automakers in the immediate post-WWII years, Ford had to improvise on “new” cars after suspending vehicle design and development work for years to focus on the war effort. As a result, the 1946 Lincoln Continental was really a 1942 Lincoln Continental with a new nose. This place-holder was replaced in ’49 by the Lincoln Cosmopolitan, with the Continental name to return in 1956 as a stand-alone brand. Still, this be-chromed example earns the distinction of being the last V-12 Lincoln and a particularly beautiful example. –Scott Evans


1961 Chrysler Imperial Custom Two-Door Southampton

Deprived thus far of the pop-culture resurrection that Ford’s Continental brand experiment has enjoyed, Imperial speaks directly to our love of the the underdog, the uncommon, and the survivor. Although it had an illustrious history prior as a Chrysler model, in the 1950s Imperial became to Chrysler as Continental did to Lincoln, only to be reabsorbed as a nameplate rather than a brand in the 1970s. Although anyone will agree its waning decades weren’t kind to the Imperial name, and some will argue the superiority of the “Airflow” Imperial of the 1930s (with good cause), for our money, the brand unquestionably peaked in the early 1960s. This 1961 Imperial Crown is Virgil Exner at his best, all massive fins, freestanding headlights, hanging rocket-booster taillights, fender-mounted mirrors, and stainless-steel accents. Although the styling remains polarizing to this day, it’s rocket-age hubris and excess at its apex, and this immaculate survivor makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. –Scott Evans


1971 AMC Javelin AMX

You’d better believe our love of the automotive underdog extends to AMC, even if Gremlins and Pacers don’t excite us much. Sorry, Wayne, but I want a Javelin. In addition to a great name, the Javelin brought just the right amount of AMC funkiness to the muscle car scene in its second generation. We’ve been suckers for the high-performance Javelin AMX like this ’71 model since the first time we watched a pair run at the historic races at Sears Point. It took three days of looking to find a Javelin prowling Woodward, lurking between the endless Mustangs, Camaros, and Challengers, but it was worth it to see this lightly modified example in the perfect paint scheme. –Scott Evans


1974 Bricklin SV-1

Sticking with the misfits theme, here’s what has to be the world’s cleanest Bricklin SV-1. Full of neat ideas and horrendously bad execution, the SV-1 was both well ahead of its time and a product of it. Malaise had begun to set in amongst North American automakers, and even independent Bricklin was no exception. Quality problems sent the car and the company out to pasture, which makes the condition of this particular car so notable. Canada’s sports car wasn’t to be, but it was just a minor speed bump in Malcom Bricklin’s high-flying career, nudged between the introduction of Subaru in America and the importation of the Yugo. Hey, when Bricklin bets, he bets big. –Scott Evans


1964 Ford Ranchero

“Truclet” says the license plate on this ’64 Ford Ranchero that caught the eye of the “girls from Motor Trend” while we were out cruising. Pristine, with clean lines and a gorgeous mix of blue and black, the Ranchero inspired GM to produce a competitor: the El Camino. The ’64 Ranchero was second-generation and based on the Ford Falcon. A two-door utility coupe with a bed is no longer considered practical in today’s world, but on Woodward it looked right at home. –Alisa Priddle


1950 Hudson

This 1950 Hudson two-door convertible stood out: classy and curvy like a famous big-screen movie star. We followed it for a while, then pulled up alongside to better admire it. The exterior: Jersey blue, according to the owner who bought it in 1978. He drives it twice a year, and that always includes cruising on Woodward. Beautiful. –Alisa Priddle


1988 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce

Bella! This original Spider Veloce, with simple but sexy design courtesy of Pininfarina, set my heart aflutter. Like any exotic Italian car, it has its quirks, and the owner says the footwell is so small he removes his left shoe so there’s enough room for two feet and three pedals. But surely that’s part of what makes owning and driving an Alfa Romeo so special. –Alisa Priddle


1976 Hillman Imp

How cute is this little cousin to my Sunbeam Alpine? Introduced a few months after my birth in 1963, your technical director appreciates that it was the first mass-produced British car with an all-aluminum engine. Conceived as the anti-Mini, said engine sat long-ways in back (another British first), driving the rear wheels. Despite these innovations and a rear window that opened hatch-style for loading luggage into the rear seat area, sketchy reliability and a propensity to flip if the tire pressures were way out of whack killed the Imp’s reputation and future. This 1976 model is from the last year of production. –Frank Markus


1955 Cadillac Coupe de Ville

We were all thinking about riding on the freeway of love in a pink Cadillac during this weekend, as we mourned the loss of Detroit denizen Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. And although the car in her popular video for that song was a ’55 Cadillac Eldorado, this long, low, lovely example from “south of the (Detroit) border” in Ontario, Canada, was close enough. –Frank Markus


1963 Chevrolet Bel Air wagon

I’m a sucker for station wagons of any sort, and the carefully conserved and curated patina on this one really caught my eye. The vacation destination stickers in the back window (including one from Hell, Michigan), the hot-rod pedal car in the way back, and the even more heavily patinated pedal car and bike on the roof rack really complete the ultimate Woodward tableau. –Frank Markus






















The post Best Cars of the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise appeared first on Motor Trend.



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