Roadkill Nights Cruise-In Goes Public

Since Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge started back in 2015, the Cruise-In area has been a key component of the popular festival of horsepower. When the event was first held at the Pontiac Silverdome, the Cruise-In vehicles were parked alongside the temporary race track and when Roadkill Nights moved to the M1 Concourse, the show cars were lined up in the grass lining the portion of the facility’s road course closest to the racing action on Woodward Avenue. From 2015 through 2022, the Cruise-In area was inside of the venue, so if you wanted to see the show cars, you had to buy a ticket and head inside.

The 2023 chapter of Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge introduced a new location in downtown Pontiac and one of the key changes was that the Cruise-In area was moved from inside of the venue to Saginaw Street, bordering the western side of the main event area. This allowed anyone who was in downtown Pontiac on Saturday, August 12 to check out the show cars without buying a ticket, making the Cruise-In portion of Roadkill Nights 2023 free to the public.

While Roadkill Nights is Powered by Dodge, both the racing field and Cruise-In field are open to all makes and models, but the Dodge brand vehicles were predominantly grouped together in one area while the non-Dodge and non-Mopar® vehicles were at the other end of the display on Saginaw Street. Also new for 2023, the Cruise-In vehicles had to apply, similar to the drag racing program, and vehicles were selected from the applications to provide the best mix of vehicles.

As has been the case in past years, there was a heavier mix of modern muscle in the Dodge Cruise-In field, with plenty of HEMI® engine-powered Challengers and Chargers – including R/T, Shaker, Scat Pack, SRT® 392, SRT Hellcat and Redeye models on display. There were also representatives from the Viper and Durango communities, as well as one of the coolest modern Dodge Magnums in existence.

The classic Dodge Cruise-In participants were fewer in number, but they represented a much wider spread in type and technology. A monstrous Plymouth Barracuda racecar was joined by several classic Darts, Chargers from the 1st and 2nd generation, a massive Chrysler New Yorker and a Plymouth Scamp, but it wasn’t all rear-wheel-drive, V8-powered machines. Carroll Shelby’s impact on the Dodge brand was on display in the form of a Shelby Charger Turbo, which relies on a turbocharger four-cylinder engine to power the front wheels, but a Dodge Rampage was also on display, showcasing the versatility of the 1980s platform.

Due to the new setup for 2023, the Dodge Cruise-In display didn’t seem as huge as it did at the road racing complex, but the event organizers made sure that a wide variety of classic and modern vehicles from the brand’s history were showcased.

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A good day indeed…