From Belle Isle to Woodward Avenue, summer car enthusiast venues are abuzz again after the pandemic pause.
Add Willow Run Airport to the mix. And it has hot airplanes to go with the cool cars.
The third annual Detroit’s Invitational Wings and Wheels at Historic Willow Run is back this Sunday with historic cars and planes from the 1930-1969 era. Willow Run itself made history during the same period as Ford Motor Company used its hangars to crank out over 8,000 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers from 1942-45 as part of US industry’s “Arsenal of Democracy” effort to help win World War II.
“Everyone will enjoy this show,” said Yankee Air Museum President Kevin Walsh. “There are cars and planes here that are simply legendary, like an immaculate North American F-86 Sabre jet fighter and — imagine seeing this — a General Motors Futurliner, one of only nine in existence.”
Arranged on the ramp of the Yankee Air Museum, the exhibit includes the event’s “poster car” Darrin Packard — a well as rare birds like the single-seat Douglas AD-1 Skyraider and a Grumman C-1 Trader cargo plane.
The Wings and Wheels committee, which includes ex-GM product guru Bob Lutz and Wings and Wheels chairman Peter Deloof, scooped up cars from private owners as well as the GM Heritage Center, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, Stellantis/Chrysler, Nicola Bulgari Car Collection, and Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum.
“The vehicles must be totally original, no ‘resto-mods,’ no lowering kits, no late model alloy wheels,” said Lutz. “We want cars that were actually common and owned by normal people, so no Pierce Arrows, Marmon 16s or Duesenbergs. We even have a 1932 Ford Model A fuel truck in Standard Oil livery.”
Owners will be on hand to chat about their toys. Gates open to the public at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, June 13 on the west side of Willow Run. Tickets are available here
Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at [email protected].com or Twitter @HenryEPayne.