Rendezvous Review

Written by editor on . Posted in Winter 2010

This page presents a pictorial panorama of the many varieties of fun-filled activities enjoyed by Viper owners who participated in 2009 VCA Zone Rendezvous events held across the country.

If you missed out on the fun, fear not! Zone Rendezvous events are a biennial affair, and will be back on the 2011 VCA calendar. See you then!


WESTERN ZONE RENDEZVOUS

Mopars at The Strip

Las Vegas, Nev.

March 20–22, 2009

SPONSORS/ORGANIZERS: Viper Exchange, NARRA, DC Performance, Tomball Dodge, PartsRack (Jon Brobst), Dan & Cathy Everts,
Marv Spatz, Greg & Melanie Baxter, Sarah Webber, Marko Radosavljevic, Rich Link, Dave Cawthorne,
Lance Kouchi.


SOUTHWEST ZONE RENDEZVOUS

Fourth of July Weekend

Breckenridge, Colo.

July 2–5, 2009

SPONSORS: PartsRack (Main Sponsor), supplier of many door prizes and beautiful trophies for the autocross event; Viper Days (NARRA) provided certificates for the top two autocross qualifiers.


MIDWEST ZONE RENDEZVOUS

Mopar Nationals

Hebron, Ohio

August 7–9, 2009

SPONSORS: Golling’s Arena Dodge, Wilson Printing and Graphics, JEGS, Essco Inc. — Sam Goldfarb, PartsRack.


NORTHEAST ZONE RENDEZVOUS

Pocono: A Celebration of
Speed and Design

Pocono, Pa.

May 23–26, 2009

SPONSORS: NARRA (Main Sponsor), PartsRack, Warnock Dodge, Meguiar’s Car Care Products.

Photos By Phuong Tao


SOUTHEAST ZONE RENDEZVOUS

Roebling Road

Bloomingdale, Ga.

September 25–27, 2009

Accelerating His Life

Written by editor on . Posted in Parting Shots, Winter 2010

By Darren Jacobs

It’s fitting that the Winter 2010 Parting Shots column features VCA member Andrew Wheeler. The former Navy serviceman is known for shots of his own—witness his dazzling Viper pictures displayed on this page.

Wheeler recently ended 10 years of active duty serving with the United States Navy Band, Washington, D.C., also known as “The World’s Finest.” During his years of service, Wheeler performed at the White House, Pentagon, State Department, Arlington National Cemetery, and the White House Visitors Center in Washington. Audience members included Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, W. Bush and Obama. On the somber side, Wheeler also performed over 1,300 full honors funerals at Arlington National Cemetery for fallen shipmates.

Wheeler, who has had his work published in automotive magazines, now focuses on photographic pursuits—which, for some reason, currently center on the Dodge Viper. Perhaps it’s because Wheeler just purchased his first Viper, a 2003 SRT10,® in March 2009 while still serving with the Navy. Wheeler quickly caught full-blown Viper fever. Unfortunately, the newbie Viper owner, still serving with the Navy, was scheduled to embark on a 30-day concert tour around the nation just two days after buying his Viper. Needless to say, the now-Snakebit Wheeler lamented leaving his new “baby.”

“Believe me, it was all I could think about the entire trip,” says Wheeler, who recently moved from D.C. to Houston, switching from the Virginia/Maryland VCA Club to the Houston VCA Club. “I had finally found a way to purchase my dream car, and then I was gone.”

The trip didn’t stop Wheeler from making modifications to his SRT10, in his words, “right out of the gate, as soon as I got on the tour bus! By the time I returned home from the tour, Alain at Modular Concepts had a set of carbon fiber-faced 19/20 wheels sitting at my front door, wrapped in a nice sticky pair of Nitto Invos.”

Wheeler also lowered his Viper with a set of Eibach springs, front and rear, and added a Corsa Cat-Back™ exhaust, which he installed in his garage, as well as a K&N intake. He also added a MGW short shift knob, a set of Lloyd’s car mats and real carbon fiber interior trim. Another new edition on the way is a carbon tonneau cover.

With his service to the country complete, Wheeler has wasted no time in documenting his new love on film (or should that be pixels?), as his amazing Viper photos illustrate. He may have found a new role as an official photographic correspondent for VM. Keep that camera clickin’, Andrew!

Vipers at the Biltmore

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2010

By John Slaughter

Vipers at the Biltmore was a great success! Special thanks to Don, Brian and Mike for all your efforts on making this event happen, to the Viper Club of Ontario for bringing your members down and making this an international event, and thanks to all those who attended and made this event so fun!

Thirty-five Vipers made the event, and over 20 actually made it to the 7 a.m. photo shoot! The event started with everyone arriving and getting to park along the wall at the far end of the field from the Biltmore (apparently some Porsche club was there and couldn’t do it because we already claimed it!). Everyone had an opportunity to check out the cars, and tour the home and surroundings. From there, we had a nice buffet lunch at the Deerpark Restaurant on the estate, and then about half the Vipers took a scenic cruise out to Lake Lure. That evening, we had another buffet for dinner offsite and many joined in for an evening social at the Inn at the Biltmore. The second day started out with the 7 a.m. photo shoot, with the group shot as well as individual cars close up at the Biltmore. That was followed by a buffet breakfast at the Inn at the Biltmore, another nice scenic cruise on the Blue Ridge Parkway and into Cherokee, N.C., followed by a final lunch.

Posing with Vooodoo

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2010

A Viper photo shoot with Maurice Q. Liang wouldn’t be complete without an accompanying young woman. Taken in November 2009, Daneen Bronson poses next to the new 2010 Dodge Viper ACR Vooodoo Edition Coupe at Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, Calif. Only 20 Vooodoo models are slated for production.

Women’s Performance Driving Day

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2010

By Alex Ristanovic

How often is it that the wonderful women of the Viper world sit on the sidelines of performance driving events to support and cheer on the guys? We thought it was time to flip things around and make a day all about the ladies!

We planned a complete women’s-only performance driving event that provided a one-stop-shop for driving a Viper. It had several goals: to teach driving a stick, to get the ladies comfortable in a Viper, and to teach car control. And best of all, it was completely free and even included a free lunch! Ultimately, we figured it would get the ladies involved and they’d see what has the guys hooked … and did it ever! The day came and 25 ladies answered the call.

More than half of the participants had never driven a Viper before. For those needing to learn how to drive a stick (or at least learn on the Viper), a clinic was set up in one of the big lots we retained. One-on-one instruction was on hand to guide them through the learning process. After they were ready, they would take it to the country roads where they had a safe place to practice their shifting. It was amazing how quick everyone learned!

Running simultaneously in an adjacent lot, more advanced skills were taught. This area taught confidence and car control. By creating several separate isolated segments that the girls would drive repeatedly, it allowed everyone to learn in a safe and focused manner. The components included a skid pad, slalom and turning exercises.

Instructors were on hand for all drivers. Within just minutes, each driver began pushing the cars hard. Soon, tires began to screech, a comfort level was reached and the all too familiar grin began to appear on faces! The morning wore on and many of the girls who actually just learned to drive a stick were also beginning their car control sessions too! This was a hit, the girls were having fun and the guys loved watching it! But there was a plan to kick it to the next level …

It was time for lunch, and while everyone was eating, something was taking place in the car control lot. We used additional cones to connect all of the segments that the girls had learned and we created a huge autocross course. The girls were immediately familiar with the course and drove like champs. They couldn’t believe that it was them running a complete course like the guys. As the afternoon wore on a good percentage of the ladies were GREATLY pushing the cars and would easily beat many of our men! There was no fear and some tremendous talent here. The girls were hooked!

There was no mistaking the abilities that were developed in this small period of time. This was truly a success. The vast majority of the girls stated they will definitely do this again and have already begun signing up for autocrosses throughout the season! What a fun way to get everyone in the mix!

Let it be known, that on this day, Pandora’s box has been opened. And to the guys who have big egos, you better check them at the door. The girls are coming … and hell’s coming with ‘em!

Vipers Invade Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2010

By George Farris

Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, located 36 miles northwest of Amarillo, Texas, was founded in 1939 by Cal Farley, a successful Amarillo businessman, civic leader, champion athlete, and humanitarian. Since its beginning, Boys Ranch has provided thousands of boys, “A Shirttail to Hang Onto.”

Mr. Farley chartered the Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch Foundation in 1961. With gifts from friends and organizations, Mr. Farley invested well and created a savings account to provide for future needs while allowing the organization to meet the immediate needs of the children through annual donations. With this solid financial foundation, Cal Farley’s is able to operate independently without federal or state government support.

The children live in group homes and enjoy a variety of academic, vocational, spiritual and extra-curricular activities to help them become responsible and resilient young people. The current population at Boys Ranch ranges between 230-270 children, ages 5-18. Depending on the child’s age when accepted, he may remain for as little as one year, or as long as 15 years.

Children are accepted on the basis of need, the organization’s ability to fill that need, and the availability of space. The child must be able to function in a regular classroom setting. College scholarships and other alumni support are also available.

Boys Ranch is located where Old Tascosa stood and remains like a small town. It has housing and health facilities, a fire station, a large church and all kinds of activities for the residents. They have their own football field, baseball field, a super basketball gym and a rodeo arena. There are also several lakes on the property full of great fishing.

Tascosa was a trade, trail and cattle center. A cattle trail and mail line ran between Tascosa and Dodge City, Kan. – quite a trip! Staying true to its history, Boys Ranch has its own processing plant which helps generate revenue for the facility.

Tascosa itself has a colorful history with characters such as Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, Bat Masterson and Frenchy McCormick walking the streets. Now, Vipers and Mopars will add to that colorful history!

My first experience with Boys Ranch came about a year ago. I was at a local coffee shop when a large Boys Ranch van pulled up and unloaded about 10 teenage boys. My first thought was: “Here we go!” However, the kids came in, made their orders, loaded back on the van and were the most polite and respectful teenagers I have seen in a long time.

From that time on I wanted to do something special (thinking Vipers) for these kids. I got in touch with Lance Green, the founder of the Amarillo Area Mopar Club, and we decided to join together for a cruise to “Old Tascosa” and give the kids a show and some rides.

My contact at Boys Ranch was Danyel Parkhurst who was extremely helpful and enthusiastic in setting up the event. In July, five Vipers and four Mopars met on Amarillo’s west side and began the cruise to Boys Ranch. It was a beautiful, warm day and the scenery along the way was quite nice, although, at times it went by pretty fast.

When we arrived at Boys Ranch we were greeted by counselors Allen Wilson and Dusty Dupree plus lots of excited kids of all ages. The Vipers and Mopars were parked “car-show style” allowing the kids to get a good look and ask questions.

Finally, the real fun began as rides were given to all who showed up. Believe me, a lot showed up. The rides lasted for about two hours until the Viper and Mopar drivers yelled: “No Mas!”

We plan to make this an annual event and next year expect a lot more cars. Special thanks to Viper pilots Bunky Preston, Austin Preston, Larry Stallings and Steve Bodner and to Mopar drivers Brittany Reese, Bill Pittman, Casey Pittman and Doug Gallier.

Model Poses with Viper GTS

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2010

VCA Northern California member Randy Fox’s 2001 GTS was photographed with Amber Sparks during a model workshop in August at the Need 2 Speed Complex in Redding, Calif. The 28-year-old graduate student is currently finishing a double Master’s Degree in Communications and Business. Fox is owner of Blvd Body Shop Inc. in Redding, Calif. “This particular photo shoot was a workshop for new models and I was invited as an experienced model to help instruct the beginners on posing techniques and other aspects of modeling,” Sparks explained. “I had a lot of fun and ended up with some great photographs with Mr. Fox’s Viper. Since I am a huge Viper fan it made my day more memorable.”

A Viper Wedding

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2010

Long time Viper owners may remember Frank Vaughn, Launch Manager at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant (Home of the Viper) during the GTS introduction. Frank recently married his bride, Jeannie. Being a true Viperholic, both of his Vipers attended the wedding as well, a yellow ‘95 RT/10 roadster and his red with white stripes ‘02 Final Edition GTS. We wish Frank and Jeannie many happy miles of Vipering!

We did it Again!

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2010

Viper Club Nordic Vice President Martin Czernik and his wife Malin recently returned from Nepal and Everest Base Camp in the Himalayas. “We did not beat the altitude at Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro (19,331 ft. – 5892m) but the Viper flag was with us all the way to 17,585 ft. (5360m),” reports Czernik. “And, I’m happy we did it again.”