Wired for the road - The South End: Arts & Entertainment

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Wired for the road

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Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 11:32 am, Fri Apr 5, 2013.

The sun is out and cars are cruising downtown.

Chido Johnson is the man to see about a car.

A car built from wire and creative spunk, that is.

Johnson said he began making cars from wire when he was a kid.

“Two years ago, I did a piece called ‘My Pink Caddy,’” he said. “I made a 1973 pink Cadillac and pushed it all the way from Jefferson (Avenue) to Eight Mile (Road) and Woodward (Avenue).”

During the execution of the project, Johnson thought to himself how cool it was to own a car he hadn’t had the pleasure of owning then.

He wanted to share this experience with as many people as possible in the Motor City.

“The whole tradition of making wire cars is linked to Detroit; Detroit’s Woodward Avenue was where the first cars from the assembly line drove,” Johnson said.

“Making a wire car and pushing it with a stick is never about destination. It’s about fantasy and dreams, but it’s also about getting dirty and making stuff. The idea of having those cars that dream … come back all the way to Detroit and roll their tiny wheels on Woodward is like a dream fulfilled again. It’s like blessing the soil.”

Anyone who is interested in making a wire car and joining the cruise is welcome, he said.

The idea of the event is to give people a chance to make and have something they’ve always wanted and can be proud of.

Every wire car has a story within itself. A wire 1967 Chevy meant more than what meets the eye for a man and his son. During the early days of the Woodward Dream Cruise, the owner of the wire Chevy couldn’t afford the car and because of that was forced to view classic car cruises from the sidewalk.

After hearing about Johnson’s wire car cruise years later, he and his son came in and built the wire Chevy.

Johnson said he is planning a wire car cruise with lowriders in southwest Detroit May 5 for Cinco de Mayo.

“With the wire car project, people are constantly calling me, wanting to be involved,” he said. “It’s no dead zone; it feels like there’s no stopping.”

The wire cars are on display at the old Cadillac dealership located on Cass Avenue and Amsterdam Street.

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