2022 September Cruise Night – Grand Tavern

Our September Cruise Night took us to Grand Tavern in Rochester Hills.  Our Cruise Director, Mike Cipponeri, was unable to attend, but our beloved Club Advisor and wise sage, Bruce Heckman, jumped in to be the coordinator for the event.

The weather in Michigan has been spectacular for the last couple weeks, but unfortunately as we approach fall, we knew it was only a matter of time.  In fact, we had been experiencing 80-degree temps, and this was going to be the last day, with temps falling to the 50’s and 60’s, starting the next day.  To complicate things, we had a weather advisory with rain thru the late morning.  This may have spooked a few members since we had a low turnout of Vipers.

We still had a nice diverse group with a few new members showing up to celebrate the waning days of summer.  We had 20 people and 8 Vipers in attendance.

Our thanks to Bruce and his lovely wife, Joan, for helping to coordinate the event.  We also want to thank Bruce for taking the time to snap a few photos.

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2022 September Cruise - Grand Tavern

2022 Snakes in the Grass

This was our fifth annual Snakes in the Grass event at Canterbury Village.  Not only is Canterbury a unique location but we partner with the Cobra and Shelby clubs.  In addition, we were surrounded by a massive number of Corvettes, for their “Corvette Fest”.

You couldn’t ask for a more perfect Michigan summer morning with temps in the high 70’s to low 80’s, with the sun shining and hardly a cloud in the sky.  Even though it is a holiday weekend, we had a great turnout with 18 Vipers and 27 people.

The morning started for many with coffee, cider and donuts at Yates Cider Mill, followed by touring the cars on display and the quaint shops of Canterbury.  Later, as we approached the lunch hour, some of our group headed down to the food truck for a tasty brat or burger on the grill.

Our thanks to the Cobra Club, Jeff Grice and George Scree, for coordinating one of our favorite events, and we look forward to our sixth annual meet-up.

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2022 Snakes in the Grass

2022 Harper Charity Cruise

For over two decades, there has been a charity cruise on Harper Avenue, in St. Clair Shores.
The cruise runs from Old Eight Mile to Bayside Street on Harper.  This year the Cruise was on August 31st.

One of our Facebook friends, Mark Hovis, and Tom, the owner of Gaudino’s Restaurant, graciously offered MCVO Viper parking during the cruise.  They have beautiful lawn area in front of the restaurant and could fit our Vipers comfortably.  The weather was perfect, and you couldn’t ask for a more perfect day.  The temp was in the low 80’s, sunny without a cloud in the sky and a light breeze.

Unfortunately, a storm had ripped thru their area a few days before and they were still without power and unable to serve food.  Tom being a gracious host, set out a nice spread of Italian breads, meats and cheeses.  I think they loved having us there, as much as, we enjoyed viewing the cruise from their restaurant.  Tom was truly sorry we couldn’t try his food and offered to have us back next year.

The Harper Cruise is a favorite to many since it’s a low-key event and there is no median, so you can see all the cars easily from your seats.  We had a nice turnout for a Wednesday event with 8 Vipers and 13 in attendance.

Our sincere thanks to all who came out to represent MCVO for a first-time event at Gaudino’s, along with the owner, Tom, and Mark Hovis, for setting this up.

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2022 Harper Cruise

2022 A Visit with Bob Lutz

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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2022 A Visit with Bob Lutz

2022 Dream Cruise Saturday

The weather for the yearly Dream Cruise parking was typical for a Michigan summer.  It was hot and sunny with hardly a cloud in the sky, yet the weather forecast was consistently showing rain approaching.  We think that some members may have opted not to attend for this reason, but for those that came, it was well worth attending.

We had about 155 Viper owners and their guests register, and a rough count of about 55 Vipers in “attendance”.  Our lot has a nice grassy berm overlooking Woodward, and members were able to find some shade under the multiple trees.  As you can see from the photos, everyone was enjoying a beautiful summer day, watching the classics go by.

The event lasts from 9am till 9pm and Marty Heitkamp, our Event Coordinator, is there pretty much all day making sure everyone has a good time.  He literally started out even earlier that morning, acquiring water, coolers and ice.

We also want to thank a few of his helpers, Greg Priestap and Mike Kelly, who were at the entrance checking in cars from 9am, on.

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2022 Dream Cruise Saturday

2022 Dream Cruise Thursday Dinner

The weather was perfect for our annual Dream Cruise dinner. It was about mid-80’s with sunny skies.  Some members reported rain showers on their side of town, but in Bloomfield Township, the skies were clear without a hint of rain.

Before we start, a big thank you to Marty Heitkamp, who is responsible for acquiring our lot, and having it ready for our multiple Dream Cruise events.  Many of you may not know this but it’s been very difficult dealing with the lot management, but Marty perseveres and gets it done.

This event had a huge turnout with about 97 members and their guests registered, and 50 Vipers.  Our Social Director, Diane Cipponeri, found a new caterer, Chef Ramone, who cooked up a delicious variety of hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken breasts, on the grill.  There was also a wide selection of salads, fruits and vegetables, so no one went away hungry.  Everything was fresh, juicy and delicious and we overheard multiple members complimenting the meal.  To top it all off, Mike and Diane brought 2 huge cakes for dessert.

Our thanks to Mike and Diane Cipponeri, for putting together another fantastic event.  We also want to thank Chef Ramone for a job well done.  Lastly, a special thank you to our new Merchandise Director, Paul LaPlant and Brandy Adams, who come all the way from Ohio, to participate, but also came hours early to help setup.

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2022 Dream Cruise Thursday Dinner

2022 Viper Smokeout

The date for the Smokeout is chosen months in advance, and with Michigan weather, it’s always a crapshoot.  For our 4th Annual Viper Smokeout, you couldn’t ask for a more perfect day.  The sun was shining, barely a cloud in the sky, low humidity, with temps in the high-70’s.  I truly believe that this is one of our most anticipated and consistently attended event.

Our hosts, Paul, Alison and their son Andy, open up their beautiful home and grounds, in Cohoctah, to the club, for a day of great food, Vipers and good friends.  Once the registration has ended, they begin that week with multiple shopping trips to purchase all the various meats, fishes and provisions.  Then they begin preparing their home and grounds for the 60+ people that signed up.  They begin to prepare the side dishes a little in advance, with Paul preparing the smokehouse.  The morning of the event, Paul started the smoking process at 6am!

While the McClorey’s were making the final push, our Cruise Maestro, Bob Swartz, assembled all the attendees at Colasanti’s Market, for a unique shopping experience.  The group then caravanned the beautiful country roads, for almost an hour prior to coming to the McClorey’s.

As they arrived, the Vipers were parked in a sweeping panorama with the help of Paul LaPlant and Brandy Adams, for a group photo, with the club banner in the background.  We had a fantastic turnout of approximately 55 people and 32 Vipers!

There was a huge selection of smoked entrees to choose from: salmon, brisket, ribs, chicken, brats, along with wide variety of cold salads, baked beans, cheesy potatoes, and cornbread.  If you left hungry, it was your own fault.  At the end of the meal, there was multiple desserts and an ice cream cart!

As you can see from the pictures, there was more than enough to eat, and everyone went away satisfied.

We cannot thank our hosts enough, Paul, Alison, and Andy for all the care and work they put into this event!  There was also a group of unsung heroes working behind the scenes, helping in the kitchen.  They were Frank & Kim Berle; Ann Rappaport; and even Alison’s mom came over to help out!  We also want to thank Bob Swartz for planning the meet and cruise.  Bob always comes thru for us and will make multiple runs in advance to make sure the route and roads are acceptable for Vipers!

Lastly, our thanks to Ann Rappaport for taking these great photos and many more for one of our future Newsletters.

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2022 Viper Smokeout

2022 Pickerel Parade

The event coordinator, Susan Andring, wrote the following about her event:

“Some MCVO members participated in another fun parade yesterday. This one was the Algonac Pickerel Festival parade. The sun was shining, and the flags were flying in celebration of 4th of July 🇺🇸. Afterwards we had lunch at Johnnie Lega’s Tavern on Anchor Bay and a nice walk to the end of the pier. Another great day with our Viper family!”

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2022 Pickerel Parade

2022 Fish Fly Parade

The Coordinator, Susan Andring wrote the following about her event:

“What a great day it turned out to be for our members that signed up for the New Baltimore Fish Fly Festival Parade. Who doesn’t love a parade? Most importantly…..No rain! Giant shout out to Paul LaPlant and Brandy Adams for “volunteering” to be today’s grill master. Perfectly cooked burgers and dogs followed by Key Lime pie and ice cream bars! Thank you for all that attended!

Exciting News! The Fish Fly Parade has announced the winners of each category and MCVO won for the 2nd year in a row under “Classic”. This year, there were 3 entries vs. 2 for last year. Though I didn’t share last year that there were only 2 entries in Classic, but still, for our 1st and 2nd time ever being in the parade, we are a HIT! Each car got a shiny blue ribbon just for being entered and we will get a fancy certificate in the mail soon. Thank you again to all who participated.”

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2022 Fish Fly Parade

2022 June Cruise Night – Joe Kools’s

As mentioned in a previous Gallery entry, June has been a weird weather month for Michigan.  There has been a lot of rain and cooler temps, until the day of the June Cruise.  There had been heat advisory warnings and the weatherman didn’t disappoint.  The temps were 99 degrees in the daytime and by the evening were still in the low 90’s.  Traditionally the group will stand out by the cars and eventually make their way inside.  Not this time, where most could only stand out on the hot asphalt for a few minutes.  It’s probably a good thing they didn’t have our reservation outside.

The evening started off slow with about a handful of members and Vipers, but over time built up to a decent gathering.  We had a nice turnout with 26 in attendance and 14 Vipers.

A nice starter, Spinach + Artichoke Dip, compliments of the club, was served to every table.  Then everyone selected one of their favorites off the menu and had a nice meal with good friends and good conversation.

Our thanks to our Cruise Director, Mike Cipponeri, for finding another fun place to gather.

Lastly, our thanks to Ann Rappaport for taking these great photos and many more for one of our future Newsletters.

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2022 June Cruise - Joe Kool's