Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise: Scenes From Mustang Alley

snake pit

The Snake Pit. A bank parking lot along Nine Mile Road reserved for Cobra owners.

Gear heads at last weekend’s Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise enjoyed clear-blue skies, warm temperatures and thousands upon thousands of examples of the automobile industry’s finest wares including more than 800 Ford Mustangs corralled in Mustang Alley, a five block stretch of Nine Mile Road from Woodward Avenue to Hilton Road in Ferndale. Since there were nearly one hundred more Mustangs registered this year than last, organizers had to shoe horn them into every nook and cranny they could find since Ferndale couldn’t spare any more acreage along Nine Mile.

My buddy Chuck (’13 Boss 302 in Grabber Blue) and I (’13 Performance Package V-6 in black) found ourselves in the parking lot behind Como’s right off Woodward, a great base to work from as we checked out all the other ponies in the Alley and the day-long parade of iron on Woodward itself. Sensory overload sets in fairly quickly but a few interesting Mustang’s were worthy of note.

shinoda boss

Karen Shinoda carried on her father’s legacy by offering after market performance upgrades for fourth generation Mustangs.

Yes, that Shinoda. Karen Shinoda, daughter of Larry Shinoda, the father of the Boss 302, formed Team Shinoda – now Shinoda Performance Vehicles – to carry on the work her father had begun in developing an aftermarket upgrade kit for fourth-generation Mustangs.

Mustang II Cobra

Mustang IIs are treated with respect in Mustang Alley.

he much-maligned Mustang II was represented in Mustang Alley. Say what you want but this generation of the pony kept the Mustang name alive through an unbroken 50 year history. Technically, not even the Corvette can make such a claim as there were no regular production ‘vettes for 1983.

grande 1

This ’71 Grande is more than a pretty face.

Grande3

Luxury was defined a bit differently back then. No air conditioning, no power windows or locks, no leather upholstery but plenty of wood-grain plastic.

Grande2

Vinyl roofs seem like a silly affectation now but in 1971 a car seemed naked without one.

If you weren’t around then you might not understand. Dress up packages that invariably included vinyl roofs were all the rage in the early 1970s and there were plenty of Camaros, Challengers and Javelins that sported them, too. This car means business, though, as it sports a 429 CobraJet engine the puts out 375 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. This near perfect example is one of only 34 that were optioned out this way.

mustang accessories

Talk about silly affectations. This ’65 Mustang is a tribute to gimcrackery.

mustang accessories

The fuzzy dice are the tip of the iceberg here.

mustang accessories

Those whitewalls are attached to the trim rings not the tire. Seriously.

mustang accessories

Just in case you thought you should take this car seriously, the owner put a stampede of horses in the grille. Only one of them is correct for the car.

After market accessories are a much more serious business today, it would seem, than in the 1960s. The owner of this well preserved ’65 dolled it up with as many period-correct geegaws as he could find. The package includes NOS Rotunda (a Ford parts brand) trim rings and “porta-wall” ersatz white sidewalls, custom Baby Moons, custom grille insert, Mooneyes metal flake steering wheel, Lake pipes with custom cap covers, seat belt retractors, Highlander whiplash restraints (which look absolutely useless), a vinyl litter bag hanging from the window crank and much more. Notice the lack of a “289” badge. This car is motivated by the lowly 200 cubic inch inline six and a 3-speed floor mounted stick. Fancy yes. Fast no.

skeleton

Hanging onto your Mustang to the bitter end – and beyond.

The passion for Ford Mustangs runs deep among some owners. This owner apparently never intends to let go of his.

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