The Woodward Dream Cruise, presented by Ford, is always a chance to remember our past. This year marks the 23rd anniversary of the 16 mile journey through 9 communities up and down America’s first paved road M-1.
The ’50’s & ’60’s were a romantic time on Woodward Avenue. A time when automotive enthusiasts went to great measures to enhance the performance of the products that the Big 3 were producing and street racing became the pastime of a generation.
Among the most famous of Detroit’s street racers, was Connie Kalitta, a kid from Mt. Clemens, who had a knack with a wrench and a need for speed. Speed became a way of life and a career for Mr. Kalitta as he is recognized as one of America’s most famous NHRA drag racers, nicknamed “The Bounty Hunter“. He was the first driver credited with exceeding 200 MPH at a sanctioned event.
Connie still owns Kalitta Motorsports as well Kalitta Air, an international air freight company based a Willow Run Airport outside of Detroit.
I had a chance to remember his days “waxing” the competition on Woodward with Mr. Kalitta recently: