The Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association is gaining support for a classic-car event designed to piggyback off the popular Woodward Dream Cruise held every year in Detroit.

Creating a Windsor version of the cruise, which draws thousands of spectators and participants, would attract many southern Ontario car lovers and would be well supported from the region, according to the Canadian Transportation Museum in Essex.

"I think it's long overdue. I think we should be embarrassed that we haven't done this up until now," said Mickey Moulder, vice-chairman of the transportation museum.

Moulder told CBC the DWBIA has been in contact with the museum for support. The organization is pledging to help bring participants in for the Saturday drive that would coincide with the Dream Cruise in Michigan on Aug. 20.

Hammering out details

DWBIA chairman Larry Horwitz said they are working with the city over the details of the cruise which he calls "really basic."

"People get in their cars. They drive down the street," he said. "We're working right now with the police department to try and make it safe and attractive for the community."

Larry Horwitz

Larry Horwitz says people who live and work downtown are upset by a decision to eliminate an hour of free parking that had long been offered at city-owned parking garages. (CBC)

Horwitz doesn't think the Woodward Dream Cruise would draw too many cars away from the Windsor event.

Many of the southern Ontario participants that usually attend in Detroit are getting frustrated by treatment they receive at the border, claimed Harry Bergman, chairman of the transportation museum.

"I would sooner participate over here [rather] than over there any day of the week," he said.

Bergman says the Ouellette Avenue cruise would be "good for the city and good for everyone who participates."

Classic car owner and car show organizer Len Langlois from Chatham-Kent believes car owners in that area would also be interested in attending.

"I think we'd have some participation from the Chatham area," he said.

Make it international

If the event is successful, Coun. Rino Bortolin would like to see Detroit and Windsor work together on something with a much larger scope.

"Maybe a few more of these and the Detroit dream cruise would be willing to partner officially to make it an international dream cruise," he said.

Bergman and Moulder say their organization has tried to get a similar event going in the past but met with opposition from the city.

This time, though, there appears to be support on council. Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens is in favour of the event.

"Certainly we know the Woodward Dream Cruise is a very successful event," he said. "To the extent that they can get any of those folks who participate in the Dream Cruise to pay a visit to the City of Windsor and help share in that spirit of our car history is very, very positive."