Event Recap

25th Anniversary of the Viper – August 11-12, 2017

25th Anniversary of the Viper – August 11-12, 2017

This past weekend, members attended the 25th Anniversary of the Viper at Connor Ave plant in the Detroit area. It was truly a bittersweet event. Two hundred vipers from all over the country assembled on the front lawn at Connor to celebrate and say good bye to the Viper. (At least for 2 or 3 years 🙂 ).
Our trip started on Thursday morning with about a dozen vipers meeting at the oasis on I-80. There were several more folks from IL that went on their own but we had a good showing of Illinois members at the plant.We left the oasis at 10:00 a.m. for Detroit. We drove for a couple hours stopping at Culvers  around noon for a quick lunch. After lunch back in the cars and picked up another viper from Indiana as well as another trailer from Illinois for another 4 hour drive. We arrived at the Counterpoint Marriott in Detroit and after checking in the hotel and freshening up, we met up at a Mexican Restaurant for dinner.  We also met up with many of our Texas and Indiana friends and had some great conversation and a good meal. After dinner, the hotel had generously set up 2 car washing stations and those that were not too tired washed their cars that night. A few folks were too tired and waited until morning before starting the day cleaning their vipers.
Friday morning we caravaned over to Prefix. Prefix and Jhan Dolphin were kind enough to provide a continental breakfast for us before they did a tour of their facility. There were a lot of exciting things to see as they are winding down the viper. After a couple hours at Prefix, we were back in the Vipers and off to visit the Ford Museum and Ford Truck assembly plant. The museum is huge and has a little something for everyone. The truck assembly plant was amazing to watch as they turned parts into full size trucks. After the museum, we were back to the vipers and rain in to a rain storm. Luckily, we went back to the hotel to give the cars another bath so they would be ready for the celebration at Connor Ave plant. After washing cars, we all gathered with some of our Texas friends at a restaurant called the Rusty Bucket. Good food and friends what more could you ask for?! After dinner some went back to hang out at the hotel and some went for a cruise on Woodward Ave.
Saturday morning came early for some with one of our members arriving at the plant at 3:30 a.m. to make sure they were first in line for the photo! I am sure most of you can guess who that was. 🙂
The bulk of us headed to the plant between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. to get lined up for the photo and to enjoy the rest of the event. When we arrived the line went on for blocks around the side of the building! It was looking like it would take forever to get everyone arranged for the photo, but they did a great job of getting everyone in quickly and efficiently. After the cars were all lined up, folks were able to chat with friends, make a few new friends, take a quick self guided tour of the plant, have some viper donuts and spend some money at the viper store tent. The photos of the cars were taken by FCA and a few others.
We had a little more time before we had to get back to the cars and ready for the trip to the M1 Concourse and Road Kill nights. We then were part of a procession of the 200 Vipers down Woodward Avenue! It took about 90 minutes to go the 20 plus miles escorted by about 20 motorcycle police and several police cars. It was quite exciting to watch the police block all the traffic and let all 200 of us drive down this busy road. People were cheering, waving, and taking many photos and videos. It was quite a spectacle. Once we arrived at the M1, it took some time to park all the Vipers but it was pretty well organized. Once the Vipers were parked, folks  went on their own to check out the Dodge booth, some of their products, and some thrill seekers waited in line to ride with some of the professional drivers. There was a lot of drag racing going on there as well. It wasn’t with vipers, but several other really cool cars. Many of us got back to the hotel and were extremely tired from all the activities that we stayed at the hotel for dinner and conversation. All in all, it was a great day celebrating the viper.
Sunday morning the Michigan City VOA hosted a nice brunch for everyone. Many members attended before heading back home. It was a great weekend that was very bittersweet.