Rarely, if ever, does a car club get to visit with one of the legends, who helped create their beloved vehicle, the Viper. Not only did our club get to “hang out” and lunch with Bob Lutz, in 2020, but thanks to Jon Block, we were invited back for 2022. Jon and his wife, Donna, are good friends with Bob and his wife, Terri.
Jon was able to have us spend a day on the Lutz farm, meet and greet the Man, while he was graciously autographed everything that was placed in front of him. If that was not enough there was lunch and we let “Bob be Bob” and entertain us with his endless knowledge.
You couldn’t ask for a more perfect Michigan summer day, with temps in the 80’s, and the sun shining brightly overhead. We had 127 in attendance, with 71 Vipers. The day started with a meet-up and cruise created by our legendary Cruise Maestro, Bob Swartz. Bob will create a route and run it multiple times in advance, so it is safe and pleasurable drive for our cars. We also want to thank our Group leaders, who kept things running smoothly for the multiple groups. At the end of the cruise, the groups reconvened at the Saline Fairgrounds and were released for a steady flow into the Farm. Once the cars arrived, they were promptly checked in by Leanna (daughter to Ann and Gary Rappaport) and parked efficiently by Jon and Scott (Bob’s Lutz’s assistant).
While we were waiting for lunch, Bob Lutz sat among the group, signed autographs and posed for endless pictures, with his trademark cigar. Our Social Director, Diane Cipponeri (and Mike), had a very tasty buffet, cold beverages and cookies for our afternoon meal. Our thanks to Mike and Diane, along with many who helped setup and clear.
We then we were entertained by Bob, about his take on the history of Chrysler and the Viper, along with current events in the automotive world. Bob announced that he recently had Covid, and his voice was a little scratchy, but he was an excellent host, and never let it slow him down. MCVO provided him a present of special Viper cookies, and he seemed quite touched by the outpouring of support.
I can’t think of any other car club that not only has the opportunity to spend time with a man of Bob’s stature but have lunch with him at his home. Our club is truly the best Viper club in the world!
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