Autopalooza celebrates metro Detroit’s automotive heritage with new events

April 5, 2016  

Detroit, Mich. – The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) and the MotorCities National Heritage Area (MCNHA) announced the Autopalooza lineup today during a press conference at Cobo Center.

Autopalooza is a series of world-class automotive cruises, races and shows throughout metro Detroit that celebrate southeast Michigan’s automotive heritage.

Autopalooza 2016 will kick off with the return of Shell Eco-marathon Americas on April 22-24 at Cobo Center. Students from North and South America – including ten Michigan schools – will drive their low-slung, futuristic vehicles on the city streets of Detroit near Cobo Center to achieve one goal: to drive the farthest distance, using the least amount of energy. University of Michigan student and team project manager Agney Deshpande participated in the press event and shared how the competition has helped his team come up with bright ideas that may have a positive impact on future mobility.

“We are proud to be recognized by Autopalooza this year in celebration of southeast Michigan’s automotive heritage. At Shell, we share a common passion to make the connection between the past, present and future of automotive transport,” said Niel Golightly, vice president, external relations for Shell. “Programs like Shell Eco-marathon demonstrate the importance of collaboration between communities, industries, corporations and governments to help prepare future engineers to address tomorrow’s energy solutions.”

Legendary four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears spoke about the highly anticipated Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, which returns to the 2.3-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park June 3-5. The weekend event will feature the cars of the Verizon IndyCar Series, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Trans Am Series and the trucks of the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks presented by TRAXXAS.

“The Grand Prix is proud to once again be part of the Autopalooza celebration in Detroit,” said Bud Denker, Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “Where else but the Motor City can you find such a unique collection of automotive events and we’re excited to help the region start its summer at the Grand Prix.”

Two additional events have been added to the Autopalooza lineup – the All American Cruise in Westland, July 9 and the Car Capitol Celebration in Lansing, July 30 – expanding the reach of the auto celebration.

“This year we have three new and exciting events that honor our cultural heritage so deeply rooted in the automotive industry,” said Shawn Pomaville, executive director of the MCNHA. “Southeast Michigan is known throughout the world for its rich automotive legacy, and our summer series of Autopalooza events celebrates that heritage.”

Autopalooza also has a significant economic impact on the metro Detroit region. The DMCVB calculated that the annual revenue generated from the Grand Prix, Concours d’Elegance and the Woodward Dream Cruise alone may exceed $110 million.

Other Autopalooza events include the following:

  • FireKeepers Casino 400 NASCAR Weekend, June 10-12 in Brooklyn
  • Eastpointe Gratiot Cruise, June 18 in Macomb County
  • Motor Muster, June 18-19 in Dearborn
  • EyesOn Design, June 19 in Grosse Pointe Shores
  • Cruisin’ Downriver, June 25 in southern Wayne County
  • Sloan Museum Auto Fair, June 25-26 in Flint
  • Concours d’Elegance of America, July 29-31 in Plymouth
  • Clinton Township Gratiot Cruise, Aug. 7 in Macomb County
  • Back to the Bricks Weekend, Aug. 16-20 in Flint
  • Woodward Dream Cruise, Aug. 20 in Oakland County
  • Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Weekend, Aug. 26-28 in Brooklyn
  • Cruisin’ Hines, Aug. 28 in Westland
  • Old Car Festival, Sept. 10-11 in Dearborn
  • Orphan Car Show, Sept. 18 in Ypsilanti

For information on all of the 2016 Autopalooza events, visit


Austen Smith
MotorCities National Heritage Area
313-259-3425 ext. 302

The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market and sell the metropolitan Detroit area on a worldwide basis as a destination for leisure and business travel including conventions, trade shows, corporate meetings, tours and incentive travel to maximize additional visitors, visitor expenditures, state and local tax revenues and job opportunities.
More than 700 businesses are represented in the DMCVB’s membership. The DMCVB was founded in 1896 as the world’s first convention and visitors bureau.