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 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

2021 WDC Thursday Dinner

The Woodward Dream Cruise for 2020 was cancelled and we were told by the city that we could not congregate.  These were some dark times for us as a club.  This year the Cruise and our club are back, better than ever.  Unfortunately, the lot we rented the past couple years was no longer available.

Thanks to the diligence of our Board and Marty Heitkamp, we found a new lot, slightly further north.  Since we had fewer events last year, the club has been actively making most events, free or minimal cost, this year.  The event was open to all members, with a catered dinner and was free.

Our fantastic Social Director, Diane Cipponeri, had a time constraint due to the late signing of the lot contract, but that did not deter her from doing an excellent job, of having a fantastic event.

The day started out with high temps in the 80’s and muggy, but some areas had intermittent showers. By late afternoon the sky was clear and sunny, without a cloud in the sky.

We had a fantastic turnout with about 99 people and 53 Vipers.  We got to catch-up with old friends and make some new.  The club has hit an all-time high of membership at approx. 177.  Everyone had a great time while enjoying a sumptuous meal, all under the watchful eye of our “Club Mom”.

Our thanks to Diane Cipponeri for all she does for the club.  We also want to thank her husband Mike, who works as hard as Diane.  Lastly, thanks to all the volunteers that helped in advance or the day of, to make this a successful 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 WDC Thursday

2021 Restoring Memories – RM Motorsports Tour

Our Cruise Maestro, Bob Swartz, found another unique place for us to visit.  RM Motorsports, in Wixom, is an automotive shop that specializes in creating, maintaining, and preparing world class automobiles.

Founded in 1991 this working car shop has built a reputation of expertise, fine work, and fast cars.  RM Motorsports is not your average car shop.  Within their doors you will find the rare, unique, and often one of a kind pieces of machinery.  They are the proud keepers of racing history, and excel at taking modern day technology and applying it to vintage automobiles.

We were very fortunate to be able to view their race shop, restoration facility, eclectic collection of vintage race cars and collectible iconic cars.  We even had a personal tour from the retired former owner, Bud Bennett, who shared some valuable tips on restoration and some truly unique stories from his past.

As a thank you to RM and Bud, Bob presented a check from MCVO to the charity of their choice.  Bud was very touched by the sentiment.

We had a good turnout with 18 people attending and 13 Vipers.  After we left RM, we took a nice hour-long cruise thru the countryside and had a delicious lunch at Kruse’s Deer Lake Inn of Clarkston. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect day with sunny skies and temps in the mid-70’s.

After our lunch, we each went our separate ways, but not before many of us cruised a lap on Woodward.

We want to thank Bob Swartz for his amazing day trips he has created for the club.  Each one is unique and well thought out and executed.  We also want to thank Bud Bennett, for allowing us to tour his amazing shop, on a Sunday.

(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 RM Motorsports Tour

2021 Cars, Coffee and Cows

The weather started out a little chilly in the morning for a Saturday in July, but quickly warmed up to mid-to-high 70’s, and was perfect for cruising.

The day started where we met at a hidden gem of a classic car, bicycle, and motorcycle collection, of one of our members.  This collection is rarely seen and we were honored to be invited.  The owner asked us not to divulge his personal information or photos of the full collection and we take that promise very seriously.  Our members who toured the warehouse were blown away by the rarity and pristine condition of the collection.

The club provided coffee and donuts for the attendees.  After leaving the collection, we caravanned to Leo’s Coney Island in Rochester Hills.  We want to thank Leo’s for accommodating our large group after about 20 restaurants turned us down, due to our size.

After lunch we cruised north to Ortonville, to Cook’s Dairy Farm for their fantastic ice cream, where you could, get up close and personal with the the cows.  Our very own, Ann Rappaport, is shown here making friends with one of the “girls”.

After our ice cream fix, we did a spirited cruise for another hour thru the northern countryside, and wound our way back to Pontiac and Woodward Avenue.

We had a fantastic turnout with 56 in attendance and 31 Vipers.  Our thanks to Jon Block for coordinating the event and all the 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 Cars, Coffee and Cows

2021 Ka-Wood Gear Heads Delight #1

Depending on where you lived in the Metro area, there was rain or sunny skies.  A few diehards brought their Vipers and a few of us, came in our dailies.

Our Coordinator, Bob Swartz, took us on another unique adventure.  We visited Ka-Wood Gear & Machine Company, for a tour of their truly fascinating facility, for the true “Gear Heads”.  Ka-Wood Gear manufactures precision products for a diverse range of industries including aerospace, mining, automotive, wind energy, and machine tool since 1920.

Ka-Wood, is a family shop, which can do small or large jobs; reverse engineer when no print or description is available; meet specialty requirements; and many other demanding tasks to fit the customer’s need.

The Owner, Joe Kloka, has some of the world’s most elaborate and exclusive machinery; all first class; some totally unique.

Due to the confines of the manufacturing environment, we only could have a limited number of participants.  We had 11 in attendance with 6 Vipers.

Everyone was very impressed by the wide range of equipment and the vast knowledge and expertise that goes into making many of these one-of-a kind gears.

After our tour, we took a quick drive to the Polish Century Club, for a mouth-watering selection of authentic Polish cuisine.

Our sincere thanks to Bob and Joe for a truly unforgettable experience. The pictures, below, do not do it justice.

(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 Ka-Wood Gear Heads Delight #1