In coordination with WORLDPAC, Akebono Brake Corp. hosted some of WORLDPAC’s best Akebono customers, in a memorable event-filled weekend for winners of a recent sales contest.
Winners of the sales contest were treated to two-and-a-half days jam-packed with entertainment related to the automotive industry, in none other than the birthplace of the automobile – Detroit, Michigan.
“Early in the year, when the planning for our partnered event started, we came up with the idea of holding it in Detroit,” said Edward Gerhardt, Akebono marketing and data services manager at Akebono, “What better time or place than holding it in August with the main attraction being the 25th Annual Woodward Dream Cruise?”
The symbolic event, which was held on Aug. 17, was attended by more than 1 million people, viewing roughly 40,000 muscle cars, street rods, custom, collector and special interest vehicles.
The two-and-a-half-day Akebono/WORLDPAC event started on Thursday evening with a guided tour of downtown Detroit, by the by the Detroit Experience Factory driving down the same streets as of some of the world’s first automobiles, reviewing history of 100-plus year-old buildings as well as the remarkable revitalization and expansion of developments, new and old. The evening was closed-out with dinner at the Detroit Shipping Company.
Friday started at Akebono Brakes with a formal presentation by Akebono and industry veteran Bob Peters, chief engineer of friction, and a facility tour filled with interactive displays. All attendees received a gift bag of swag along with a custom made, personalized brake pad, to remember the event. The afternoon included a trip to Dearborn, Michigan, where attendees, experienced Ford’s Rouge Factory Tour, one of many activities at The Henry Ford museum, where they witnessed the manufacture of the Ford F-150.
Friday evening concluded with a mostly quiet (more on that in a moment) evening at The Lingenfelter Collection of cars in Brighton, Michigan, a private collection of almost 200 cars in the 40,000-square-foot facility. In attendance was Ken Lingenfelter himself, who personally met and mingled with the group throughout the evening. The evening ending with a jolt, when the exotic Enzo Ferrari was brought to life, for all to hear, an exotic car with a very unique sound.
Saturday morning started about 9 am with the early-birds gathering along the East side of Woodward, just North of 14 Mile Rd. in the heart of the Woodward Dream Cruise Event. The weather throughout the day was near perfect, which brought out anything and everything imaginable that had wheels and a motor. The evening concluded with a group dinner at the hotel where newly formed friends, shared their unique, personal experiences.
“The event was a complete success, it couldn’t have gone better,” said Jeff Puccini, brand marketing manager at WORLDPAC. “This is one of those things, as you are planning or if you were attending, you think, yeah that sounds fun, it should be OK. This was not just an OK event; I know every person went home completely amazed and will forever remember this experience.”