In the 1960’s and early 70’s, there were three Detroit area street racers that couldn’t be beat – a legendary Hemi-powered 1967 Plymouth GTX, known far and wide as the Silver Bullet, a modified 1949 Cadillac known as Bad Cad Zeus that was burning up Gratiot Avenue, and a 1961 Ford Galaxie Starliner called Orange Crush that roamed the north suburbs.
The Silver Bullet was the most famous of all the Woodward
cruisers, powered by a 650 horsepower Hemi engine provided
by Mopar to test racing components. The car was originally
owned and modified by Jimmie Addison, a Birmingham gas
station mechanic with Mopar connections, who raced it to
fame up and down Woodward. The Silver Bullet was so
dominant that Car Craft magazine once called it ‘the
absolute ruler of Woodward Avenue”.
The Bad Cad Zeus was an east side bruiser with a modified
Chevy L88 engine. Originally owned by Gary Ellinger, this
4,300 lb behemoth with a Corvette ‘Big Block” could cover a
quarter mile in less than 12 seconds at speeds reaching
The Orange Crush is powered by a monster 427 SOHC-powered,
622 horsepower Ford racing engine, a car so powerful that
Hot Rod magazine called it “Battlestar Gallactica”.
Incredibly, this car is still in the hands of it original
owner, John Vermeersch.
Legend has it that these three cars never lost a race.