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Part two of Jacob Joseph's special feature on Woodward Avenue.
We got to the parking lot and there were two businesses there which hadn't closed for the night, a coffee shop and a sandwich shop, good things to have around if you plan to be up late. There was a superbly preserved El Camino SS parked at one end of the lot and a couple of WRX's at the other. Not surprisingly, the El Camino crowd looked as though they might have been old enough to be the other group's parents.
Keith parked right between the two groups, and both noticed the Camaro. We stood there in the parking lot for maybe ten minutes before another Camaro showed up. It was murdered out, and played a menacingly loud V8 soundtrack as it rolled slowly through the parking lot, its owner taking note of the other cars there. He slowed down to a crawl as he passed us, but continued on when Keith showed no interest in racing him. He reached the end of the parking lot and pulled back onto Woodward, turning left and passing back in front of where we were standing.
He reached the light at about the same time as a BMW X5 M, also dressed all in black. "I've seen this X5 M before," Keith said, smiling "you're going to want to watch this." The light turned green and the Camaro's V8 roared to life, breaking loose the back tires for a second before hurtling the Camaro forward. A spectacular sight which made it all the more impressive when the Bimmer stepped away from the Camaro as if it was standing still. No drama, just a chirp and he was gone.
We were still waiting for Mat and his friends, so Keith suggested we head down the street to see what was on display in the windows of a couple of exotics dealerships a little further up Woodward. After spending a bit of time ogling all of the metal from Porsche and Lotus, I couldn't help but chuckle at the dystopian view of Detroit which so many people have. Sure, Detroit has some neighborhoods which resemble those from such movies as Robocop or The Crow, but if you were ever under the impression that all, or even most, of Detroit looks like that, you'd be badly mistaken.
We headed back to the parking lot and met up with Mat. The owners of the Camaro and the X5 M were at the other end of the lot, and they had been joined by the owner of a C6 Corvette (again, in black). They sat on the low wall at the edge of the lot, talking and laughing with their hoods up. Other cars of note which were common sights on Woodward at the time of this writing include: a twin turbo C6R built by Katech and powered by e85, a Viper ACR in red and black, a Charger SRT8 with a Procharger kit and a claimed 800hp at the wheels, a couple of Murcielago's, a 911 with a claimed 1000hp, and a Lexus LFA.
It was starting to get late, and Jeff and I still had to make the drive back to Cleveland, so we left Keith talking to the young owner of a Scion tC, who was highly impressed with the Camaro, and headed to the freeway. We left with exactly the impression we had hoped to come away with. Detroit on an average Saturday night in the summer is home to the real heart and soul of what it means to love cars. Regular people with the cars they actually own in the company of other people who share their love for the automobile.
The people were friendly too; I didn't see anything like the cold brush-off our staff photographer received from the owner of an Aston-Martin in Geneva when our man tried to compliment his car. We got back to Cleveland in high spirits and wanting a couple of beers. The bars were closing but we knew a couple places that would let us in anyway, since those are the kinds of friends we have in Cleveland. Photos copywrite Matt Trombley