Hunter HouseOnce lined with a couple dozen pre-franchise drive-ins, Woodward left the cruising culture behind in the 1970s. The last remaining burger joint is Hunter House in Birmingham, at Woodward and Maple. It's been serving up sliders, fries, and sodas in the same white porcelain building since 1952. With tile floors, a stainless steel wrap-around counter with swivel stools, and a menu unchanged since the Truman administration, Hunter House oozes street cred, possibly more. Maybe not gourmet cuisine, but a fun trip back to one of the few surviving burger joints. Cash only. If you want to complete the Woodward cruising circuit, continue north to Square Lake Road, site of the famous Ted's Drive-In, and make a U-ee.
Kar KraftFrom Woodward, it's about a 45-minute ride out to the small, outlying town of Brighton, home of Kar Kraft, the assembly plant that built the Boss 429 Mustangs. The BlackJack makes a fine road car. Highway miles are tight and comfy, and the high-powered stereo makes the miles pass without having to shout down an overly loud exhaust.
We're going to see if we can find the old plant based on the decades-old memory of Charlie Henry, who used to make deliveries there. I take Exit 147, then turn right onto Spencer Road. The third right is East Main which becomes West Main past Grand River Avenue. Turn right on N. 4th St. and follow the bend to the right which becomes Walnut. Take a left on N. 2nd, and another left right away on Whitney. At the end of Whitney you'll see a long white building with two garage doors on the south end. These are the doors where the completed Boss 429s rolled out. It doesn't look like much today, but it matches period photos showing Boss 429 production.
I've found it. The Boss 429 plant still stands. I'm in a special place. It seems like there should be a plaque or something, but there's nothing here but neighbors wondering what I'm doing.