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The first annual Cruisin’ Hines event was held this past Sunday in Westland, Michigan. Unlike most car cruises, the Cruisin’ Hines event is closed to non-special interest vehicles. The police close off Edward Hines Drive, which runs the length of Hines Park, and only registered cruisers are allowed on the Drive. So unlike most other cruises, you only see special interest vehicles and you can actually see the cars driving at more than a snail’s pace. The Park and the Drive are perfect locations for a cruise and not just because of the winding road and nice scenery, there’s automotive history too.
The park and the road exist because Henry Ford wanted Wayne County to build dams on the middle Rouge River so he could use the hydroelectric power for his Ford Village Industries sites. Ford owned thousands of acres of Rouge valley bottom land that was otherwise worthless because you can’t build on a flood plain and the Rouge regularly floods in that area. So he donated the land to the county to be used as a park in exchange for the county building access roads and three dams, two of which still stand. There were some unique cars in the cruise, I even spotted a Mercury Bobcat, a badge engineered Ford Pinto, in beautiful condition. This was one of those events where you just set the cameras up on the tripod and walk away, the cool cars were that plentiful and most appeared to be doing the full loop so we got video of them going and coming.