2022 March Cruise Night

Our beloved Cruise Night Director, Mike Cipponeri and his lovely wife, Diane, have been enjoying their time out of state.  In the interim, Mike Sutton has been helping out with planning the February and March Cruise Nights.

Mike found a nice spot on the west side, in Northville, called Mission BBQ, where the interior is covered wall-to-wall with photos and tributes to first responders and our great military veterans.  The Cipponeri’s were on hand to lend their support with checking everyone in and handing out badges.

There was a wide variety of smoked meats and poultry, along with tasty side dishes.  One of our favorites for the evening was the cheesy potatoes.

It was a beautiful evening with temps in the low 60’s.  We had a great turnout with 31 in attendance and we actually had 4 Vipers.  For those of us that still have our snakes in hibernation, it was nice to see and hear those Vipers.

The restaurant has a counter, where each member went to order their respective meals. With this arrangement it was impossible to have a club sponsored hors d’oeuvres tray for each table.  Instead, Mike and Diane came up with a fun drawing where numerous members won small cash prizes.

Mike Sutton and Mike Cipponeri gave a brief overview of upcoming events, and everyone is truly excited for the season to begin in earnest.

(Note: To view all photos for this event, move your mouse or cursor toward the picture, then click on the directional arrows that will appear.) You may also click on a photo where you’ll be sent to Flickr and can download your favorite.
2022 March Cruise Night

2021 Holiday Party

Our Holiday Party was held this year at the Italian American Cultural Center.  The Center was beautifully decorated for the Christmas Holiday.  This is the one time of year our members come out in the festive attire, with men wearing suits or tuxes and women wearing their beautiful gowns and dresses.  It was quite fun to see our members who we traditionally see in jeans and t-shirts all dressed up!

We had a great turnout with 78 in attendance and one stalwart member, Dave Buchesky, who even drove there in his Gen 2 Viper.  It was great seeing members, who we hadn’t seen in some time and catching up on our latest adventures.  All of our cars are put into hibernation with a few members heading south for the winter soon.  It was bittersweet knowing we wouldn’t be seeing each other for a few months.

Our hosts, Mike and Diane Cipponeri, along with the staff of the Cultural Center, showed everyone a great time.  Diane was able to secure an open bar, even with the super discounted price we paid for the evening, and everyone was enjoying the free adult beverages but in moderation.

We feasted on numerous entrees, salad and side dishes and everything was delicious.  The meal was topped off with a sampling of sweets.  After our meal, Diane gave out numerous gifts to the members with unique and creative games.  One of the games required everyone to get up on the dance floor, and dance until the music stopped.  At that time, they had to “pre-decide” whether the coin toss would be heads or tails and indicate that on their own body.  Eventually only one person remained on the floor after numerous tosses, was declared the winner, and awarded a prize.

Our thanks go out to Mike and Diane for all the hard work they put into making this a memorable evening.  We also want to thank Ann Rappaport, for taking photos throughout the evening, with a small sampling below.

(Note: To view all photos for this event, move your mouse or cursor toward the picture, then click on the directional arrows that will appear.)  You may also click on a photo where you’ll be sent to Flickr and can download your favorite.

2021 Holiday Party

2021 November Cruise Night

November in Michigan has been a rude reminder that winter is approaching.  We were lulled into having a very mild and warm fall but recently the temps have been falling into the 40’s.  In a strange about face, we had a 60 degree day for our Cruise Night, but with some rain off and on.

Our Cruise Night Director, Mike Cipponeri, found us a new venue to visit.  Our last Cruise Night of the year was held at Joe Kool’s in Troy.  Mike was a little concerned that no one would show, but we were all pleasantly surprised by the support, with 25 in attendance.  We also want to acknowledge the one lone Viper in attendance, brought by Marty Heitkamp.  Unfortunately, the rain resumed while we were dining.  Marty graciously invited us all back to his home to help him wash his car.

Our thanks to Mike and lovely wife, Mom Viper, Diane Cipponeri, for being gracious hosts and consistently working to make this the best Viper club in the country.  Everyone had a great time.  The food and service were fantastic and our thanks go out to the staff at Joe Kool’s.  Lastly, our thanks go out to Ann Rappaport, for recording another fun Cruise Night.

(Note: To view all photos for this event, move your mouse or cursor toward the picture, then click on the directional arrows that will appear.)  You may also click on a photo where you’ll be sent to Flickr and can download your favorite.
2021 November Cruise Night

Fall Tech Day

Our weather in Michigan took a turn towards winter with temps dropping to the 40’s and the threat of snow for our Fall Tech Day.  Fortunately we didn’t see any snow, but a light rain arrived during our event.  We had a fantastic response to our signup with 36 in attendance but sadly no Vipers were present, with most of us beginning to place our Vipers into hibernation.

Our Fall Tech Day was held at the garage of Wil and Carrie Thorne.  For those of you who do not know Wil or his services, he has been working on Vipers for over a decade.  He has been slowly buying up parts and specialized equipment needed to work on our cars.  He has recently expanded his services to include aligning our Vipers.

The session started with a brief overview on what we need to do to prepare our cars for winter storage.  Wil then went out for the remainder explaining the basics of our suspension and alignment process.  Wil stressed the importance of a pre-alignment inspection and repair.  He also stressed the need to have the car in properly prepared prior to alignment (full tank of gas, personal “ballast” removed).  A bad suspension part or even improperly inflated tires will affect the ride and tracking of the vehicle.  Wil then went thru the various steps of an alignment and how each affected the overall response to handling.  He stressed that many of the “cheaper” shops will not know about the many diverse ways that the Viper suspension can be tuned but most will actually cause more problems when they ignore a pre-inspection or incorrectly change a setting.

I think all of us were very impressed by Wil’s knowledge and expertise and will never take our cars to a “cheapie” alignment shop again.  Our thanks to our host, Wil and Carrie, who spent numerous hours preparing the shop and putting on a fantastic event.  Our thanks also to MCVO for providing the refreshments and Carrie for the pictures.  Lastly, we want to thank Ann Rappaport for taking additional photos which will be highlighted in the next edition of Snakes Bites.

(Note: To view all photos for this event, move your mouse or cursor toward the picture, then click on the directional arrows that will appear.)  You may also click on a photo where you’ll be sent to Flickr and can download your favorite.
Fall Tech Day

2021 October Cruise – Grand Tavern

October can be a tricky month for planning a car event, but we’ve been fortunate this year. The evening of the Cruise Night, was going to be the last of the 70 degree days for the for seeable future. There was some speculation about a light sprinkle later in the evening, with everyone consulting their phones. You couldn’t ask for a prettier evening with a few members coming in their Gen 1’s without tops and windows.

For our October Cruise Night, our host, Mike Cipponeri, picked the Grand Tavern, located in Rochester Hills. We had a nice secluded area to park our cars and another indoors to dine with our friends. The club treated everyone with heaping plates of nachos, while we were waiting for our meals. The staff did a fantastic job of handling the large influx of people, all hungry and thirsty.  After the meal, Mike spoke to the members and thanked everyone for attending.  He let on that he was a little concerned, that when the clock rolled around to 6-ish, no one was showing up.

We didn’t let him down and shortly thereafter we had 33 in attendance with 20 Vipers.  A nice turnout indeed!

When we came out of the restaurant, we were a little surprised to see some rain on the cars, with the Gen 1’s getting their “interiors cleaned”.  Word quickly spread that rain was coming and everyone said their goodbye’s and made a hasty retreat home.  All in all it was a fantastic evening to see some we haven’t seen in awhile and a new face or two.  Dan Steele who was recently transferred to Michigan for work, came in his Gen 2, and we quickly pounced on him about membership.

Thanks again to Mike Cipponeri and the staff at Grand Tavern for an enjoyable evening.

(Note: To view all photos for this event, move your mouse or cursor toward the picture, then click on the directional arrows that will appear.)  You may also click on a photo where you’ll be sent to Flickr and can download your favorite.
2021 October Cruise - Grand Tavern

2021 FrankenColor Cruise

Michigan weather in fall is always unpredictable.  We had been having some beautiful and very warm days prior to our event.  Unfortunately, the night before, we received a lot of rain and the weather turned very cold.  Our members were greeted with wet roads and temperatures hovering around low 40’s, that morning.  The Fall cruise to Frankenmuth has been one of our more popular events and we felt it was time to go again since we hadn’t been there since 2018.

Our Cruiser maestro, Bob Swartz and our new Motorsports Director, Paul McClorey, were able to bring together a fantastic event in short order after we heard many ask if we were going to have a fall cruise.  Our soggy, cold day started at Great Lakes Crossing and from there we cruised to Past Tense Cider Mill.  Their delicious pies were awarded to every member car that attended, courtesy of MCVO.  After a brief stay of shopping, cider and donuts, we cruised to Frankenmuth.  By this time the sun was beginning to peak out it was a gorgeous ride thru the countryside.  A few late arrivals met us at Frankenmuth and by that time we were 39 attendees and 15 Vipers strong.

We dined in the world famous Bavarian Inn restaurant, and everyone seemed to enjoy their meals. After our lunch, our members said their goodbyes and went off to explore the city.

We want to thank our coordinators, Bob Swartz and Paul McClorey for taking the time to put together a fantastic after for our club.  Also a quick shout of to the management at Past Tense and Bavarian Inn for working to make our stay seamless and enjoyable.

(Note: To view all photos for this event, move your mouse or cursor toward the picture, then click on the directional arrows that will appear.)  You may also click on a photo where you’ll be sent to Flickr and can download your favorite.
2021 FrankenColor Cruise

2021 Blue Water Cruising

Our Event Coordinator, Jon Block, came up with a fun and creative way for our club to enjoy our cars and what Michigan had to offer.  It was a beautiful late summer/early fall day with temps starting out a little chilly in the morning but warming to mid-70’s with a bright sunny sky.

After our initial meet, we cruised to Port Huron, and parked along the St. Clair River, with lunch at Freighters restaurant.  The meal and service were excellent, and as an added treat, our Club Mom, Diane Cipponeri provided cookies, so we could celebrate the birthday’s of Sam Milana and Mike Cipponeri.

We departed for a short drive to the Desmond Marine where we boarded the Huron Lady II.  The ship sailed with our “stout crew” along the St. Clair River and into Lake Huron, for an enjoyable 90 minute cruise.  It was pretty windy at times, with some choppy water when we entered the lake.  This made for an entertaining ride.  Our First Lady, Susan Andring, was taking photos of our windswept “crew” as they posed and hung on the railing, at the bow.

After returning safely to dry land, we traveled north for another short run to our final destination, the Fort Gratiot Light Station.  We were given a tour of the grounds, of Michigan’s oldest lighthouse, (1829).  Our guide then led us into the lighthouse and we climbed to the very top and were able to step out onto the walkway.  We were able to capture some truly remarkable photos of the surrounding area and beaches.

Unfortunately all good things must end, and we said our goodbyes to our fellow members and friends, and went our respective ways.

Our thanks to Jon Block for all his work into coordinating the event and the many volunteers, who helped along the way.

(Note: To view all photos for this event, move your mouse or cursor toward the picture, then click on the directional arrows that will appear.)  You may also click on a photo where you’ll be sent to Flickr and can download your favorite.
2021 Blue Water Cruising

2021 September Cruise Night – Ernie’s

It was the beautiful summer/fall day for a Cruise Night.  The temps were in the mid-70’s, with a clear and sunny sky.  Our host, Mike Cipponeri, was able to secure the outdoor deck for our club and as the sun set, it was the perfect way to spend the evening with good friends and good food.

We were back on the East Side in Clinton Township, at Ernie’s restaurant.  We even gathered a small group of admirers enjoying our cars.  They commented they had never seen that many Vipers in one setting.

There has been a lot of road construction and getting there unscathed was a challenge, but once we arrived, our cares melted away.  We had a nice turnout with about 25 in attendance and 15 Vipers.

It was great seeing all our friends and discussing our upcoming event, the Blue Water Cruise, this Saturday, which many were going to be in attendance.  This is an entirely new event, with a boat ride and lighthouse tour.  We’ll let you know the details in a future post.

Thanks again to our host, Mike Cipponeri, for all he does for the Cruise Nights and our club.  We also want to thank our Club Mom, Diane Cipponeri, who pitches in to help and is always so gracious that she brightens up every event.

(Note: To view all photos for this event, move your mouse or cursor toward the picture, then click on the directional arrows that will appear.)  You may also click on a photo where you’ll be sent to Flickr and can download your favorite.
2021 September Cruise Night - Ernie's

2021 Snakes in the Grass

This was our fourth annual Snakes in the Grass where we partner with the Cobra and Shelby clubs to celebrate our beautiful snakes at the quaint surroundings of Canterbury Village.  We also got to share the village with a massive Corvette gathering.

Given that this was Michigan, and the first week of September, Mother Nature did not disappoint and gave us a wide variety of fall weather.  First, it was a cool morning, followed by sunny skies, and a brief showers.  Finally, it was a beautiful sunny day with temps in the mid-70’s.

The Canterbury shops are a picturesque settings for our cars.  Members could enjoy site-seeing the beautiful cars while others would check out the unique shops.  The cider and donuts at Yates Cider Mill are always a treat this time of year.

We had a nice turnout with 24 in attendance and 16 Vipers.  There was a Cars and Coffee going on simultaneously at M1 Concourse and rumor had it there were about 20 Vipers there.  We understand that summer is a short season and members will be pulled in multiple directions.

The Village fired up the grill for a Bar BQ lunch and the hamburger was quite good.  We also got to spend some time socializing with one of our newest members, Mark and Patricia Yousif.

Our thanks to our colleagues at the Cobra Club, Jeff Grice and George Acree, along with our Coordinator Bruce Heckman, for setting up the event.  We also want to thank Mike Sutton for his help in parking our Vipers and keeping our limited space orderly!

We also received a link of some great photos taken by the Cobra Club, that they shared with us.  Please click here to view this amazing collection.

(Note: To view all photos for this event, move your mouse or cursor toward the picture, then click on the directional arrows that will appear.)  You may also click on a photo where you’ll be sent to Flickr and can download your favorite.
2021 Snakes in the Grass

2021 Woodward Dream Cruise – Saturday

Hopefully our world is beginning to turn around in the year 2021.  After a very painful year and a half of Covid, it appears that people are re-emerging in a big way.  We’ve had a full calendar of events and each is filled to capacity.

This was the first year at our new location on Woodward, but it had all the essentials.  It had ample parking and a high-rise grassy berm, that our members could watch the traffic on Woodward, under numerous shady trees.  Even the weather cooperated, though maybe a little too much.  It was a very sunny day, with hardly a cloud in the skies, but it will go down as another hot (hi-80’s, maybe 90) and humid afternoon.  Everyone felt like a French fry by the end of the day, but no one was complaining about a very successful event.

We had a great turnout with approx. 119 in attendance and about 71 Vipers.

Our thanks to Marty Heitkamp for coordinating the event, and all the volunteers who helped make it a success.  A huge thanks to Mike Sutton, Susan Andring, Diane and Mike Cipponeri for all that they do to make this club great.  Thru out the day you could see them in constant motion, from setting up tents, to making ice runs, to serving cake and a very cute raffle.

We also want to thank John Huszti, for spending hours manning the front entrance and helping with check-in.  We had a few attend from out-state and they were visibly impressed with our event and teamwork.

(Note: To view all photos for this event, move your mouse or cursor toward the picture, then click on the directional arrows that will appear.)  You may also click on a photo where you’ll be sent to Flickr and can download your favorite.
2021 WDC Saturday