Horsepower in Escanaba (lots of pics)

Hisserman

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One of the great rites of Spring in Michigan is the annual Viper Fun Run around Escanaba, along the northern end of Lake Michigan in the Upper Pennisula. The event is centered around Escanaba's annual Krusin Klassics 2 day car show, parade, and fun run. Starting 9 years ago, the Motor City VCA Chapter has organized participation for its members at the Escanaba events and added a few touches of our own. This year the event was held June 1st and 2nd.

It starts all over the state with members beginning to gather prior to convoying to Escanaba.

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Er, ah, sometimes we attract special attention when we gather together . . .

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After paying bail, or whatever, the convoy began from various directions -- it puts a real rush in your heart when you see a group of Vipers moving through traffic!

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Once we were all checked into our motel in Escanaba, we retired to the local Riverside Dodge Dealer, who provided secure parking and treated us to a cookout dinner. Rain threatened, but held off.

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After the cookout we went over to the Fairgrounds to marshall for the big car parade. Just behind us was Lake Michigan -- we walked the 100' to the beach while we were waiting for the parade to que up. There were over 700 hot rods, custom cars, and specialty cars in the show and parade.

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Of course the Vipers held their own in the crowd. Here is Steve and Sue Nelson's bumblebee. They were the event organizers and the bumblebee was the ideal lead car as we moved from event to event and zoomed off for one of our Fun Run cruises through the back roads in the rustic Michigan countryside.

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The bee set a torrid pace (when the cops let us), powered by its Roe blower. Steve and Sue are one of the few Viper owning families who own TWO Roe blown Vipers!

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The real beast in our group was Rob and Jill Butryn's Doug Levin blown black GTS (shown here at our motel).

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This was the first real outing of the Spring for Rob's beast. While it has always had Doug's terrific installation, Rob hadn't touched the motor for several months because it was stored for the Winter.

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On a whim Rob decided to enter his car into the dyno contest at the show. Needless to say, the results were impressive -- 842 hp with 805 ft lbs of torque!!

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In fact, after it was all over by the end of the next day, he took the top trophy in the Dyno Horsepower Challenge!! The buzz all around the show was about the supercharged Vipers.

Then things got really exciting when Paolo Castellano showed up with his latest masterpiece twin turbo that he had done for UP'er Randy King. What a fantastic installation!!

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Because the setup was brand new and the owner was just getting used to it, no dyno pulls or official numbers were available for this monster. However, suffice it to say that it scared the bejesus out of everyone who got a chance to drive it!

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Not as much work had been done on the car as the 1496 hp motor that Paolo built for Joe Dell, but there was a lot of drool, respect and just plain awe from the Viper owners who looked at Randy's car.

We all enjoyed the chance to spend two days with Paolo in our midst, explaining his setup and answering our endless questions. Paolo hinted that he may have a big surprise to unveil at the Woodward Dream Cruise this year. He couldn't promise, but if you're interested in unbeliveable twin turbo engines, I think you've got one more big reason to attend that event in August!!

We spent the morning of the second day at the show. They had a swap meet and all sorts of activities, displays and booths as well as all the cars on display. After lunch, we took off for one of our spirited backroad cruises. Unfortuately, Bob Rollins suffered the famous "pull the throttle wire grommet through the firewall" trick. Because of his lightweight flywheel, things got REALLY exciting for a while. We put our best glove compartment mechanics on the job and after the application of wire, duct tape, and various other things you don't want to display at a car show, he was back on the road (at least until he heard about his father's heart attack -- our best wishes go out to you, Bob).

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Our run through countryside wound up at the Deyoung Family Zoo, an impressive collection of animals that seem to be unlikely residents of Michigan's UP! It rained on us while we were there, but we all enjoyed the spectacular critters. This zoo is the home of 5% of the white Bengal tigers in the world! Here are some of the regular Bengal tigers and the lions (they limited the number of pictures I can put in this post, but you can see a white Bengal in my photo gallery).

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We were there during feeding time and let me assure you these beasts don't eat Purina cat food!

This private zoo is run by one couple and a host of volunteers. They exist on gate admissions and donations. The MCVO members gave generously after they saw the outstanding work these people are doing in breeding and conservation. The zoo is erecting a plaque for our contributions and we plan to include a visit as part of our annual Fun Run program. Here is one of the 1,400 pound grizzly bears being fed.

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After the zoo (and after the rain stopped) we went over to a marina in Menomonee owned by MCVO members Keith and Shelley Boye. While we were there Frank Berle volunteered to do some free tire testing for Michelin . . .

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Actually, that was the smoke that was left after he finished. Here's the link to the actual performance (remember officer, this was tire testing on private property!). I think Keith and Shelley will still have those donuts next year when we come back!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRwYXi8Yc2s

Then Frank showed us how to have a controlled take off from the line by using low RPM's and feathering the clutch . . .

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From the marina we went to dinner in downtown Menomonee on the lake. The townsfolk really enjoyed the rumbling pack of Vipers rolling through their town. We ate at Berg's Landing, and like everywhere else during the weekend, our organizers made sure we had premium private parking and were treated like royalty.

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After dinner we went back to the motel and partied like true Viper owners can. Here's a shot of the last one's standing, including Rob with his dyno trophy. He was truly king of the show!

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The next morning the Vipers left town . . .

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All the way back on my seven and a half hour drive home I kept reflecting on what a great weekend it was. We got to do lots of "Viper" driving, show off a little, enjoy nature and the friendship of that unique bunch of people who share the joy of a unique car! If you missed it this year, be sure to sign up for it next year . . .

[Note that some of the photos included in this thread were supplied by the Nelsons and Berle's -- we were all having too much fun to keep a full photo diary. Besides, they now limit posts to 20 pictures and I had to delete a bunch of them after I completed the first draft of this story! And, finally, I'd like to throw props to Dave Nelson (Steve's evil twin) for filming the YouTube version of Frank's tire test.]
 
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Steve 00RT/10

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Great job Bruce!! You have captured the event very well. Great cars, great people, great car show....all in a small town setting, makes for another great memory every year. Frank seems to be sticking to his: "This is only my 2nd set of tires" story. ........Sure Frank :D . I'm on my 5th set of rears and he outdid anything I've ever done at one time! Fess up Frank.......you can tell the truth here ;)

I made a nice glossy picture for the sheriff, who just happened to be driving by when we enlisted his services. Thanks to the Smog Dog for suggesting making one for him. I told the young man that I hoped we always met under such friendly circumstances.

Steve
 

mike & juli

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LOVE the pictures and the commentary for each--thank you for sharing these awesome pictures that various people supplied. Enjoyed very much reading and SEEing those awesome beasts (and yes, I also mean the animals!!)!! ~juli~
 

2001 GTS

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Great Pics!

I usually head up there with family for new years at the Terrace Bay and head over to the Casino a few times too:D

Would like to have the viper up there for a summer....beautiful up there:2tu:
 

viper77

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Great job Bruce, you aced the event.
Yes, Steve, but I have three sets of tires & rims to choose from, so as not to completely wear out any one set. All though they are all getting pretty low now. Does anyone have a good set of Rears they want to donate to the cause?(haha). See you at Gingerman.

Frank :usa: :drive: :2tu:
 

Steve 00RT/10

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Great Pics!

I usually head up there with family for new years at the Terrace Bay and head over to the Casino a few times too:D

Would like to have the viper up there for a summer....beautiful up there:2tu:

Stayed at the Terrace a few times myself. Our host hotel is the Super 8....much closer to the fair grounds. We've been treated very well there over the years. The Friday night parade runs from the park next to Lake Michigan all the way through Escanaba 2 lanes wide and then all the way to Gladstone and on to Kipling. It's quite a route....close to 12 miles I bet. Several thousand people line the street in Escanaba.

I guess living up here is part of the reason we get 10+ thousand miles per year....that and 3-4 trips downstate and to Ohio....or Tennesee......or Texas ;)

Steve
 

GR8_ASP

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Not sure but "pack" would be like wolves. Not sure what a group of snakes is but I will go for "pride" like lions. Sounds better anyway.

And yes the pride of Vipers sure did look good. Wish I could of been there.
 

kcobean

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Not sure but "pack" would be like wolves. Not sure what a group of snakes is but I will go for "pride" like lions. Sounds better anyway.

And yes the pride of Vipers sure did look good. Wish I could of been there.

A group of snakes is actually called a Nest....A nest of Vipers!!!
 

Paolo Castellano

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Bruce, It was great to meet all the Michigan VCA members!

Everybody made me feel right at home down to getting to be an honorary Michigan member with the Michigan VCA T-shirts for myself and my helper Cory!

It was a very nice cruise to the zoo as well!

I will do my best to make to to Gingerman an a couple of weeks, what were the dates again?

I hope to make the Woodward cruise if everything goes the way I hope it will!
 

Hisserman

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Paolo --

We really enjoyed having you there. The date for Gingerman is June 15th (check the Motor City regional forum on this web site or contact GR8 ASP who posted above on this thread).

We also enjoyed making you an honorary Michigan member, but remember that initiation ceremony is still a secret!! :omg: :D
 

FE 065

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I'll take a look at your pics tomorrow when I have a faster connection Bruce.

Satish asked how you were doing a couple days ago btw. I don't think he's got room for one more car over there he's so busy.

:)
 

Pitt Formula Racer

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Well...I rarely post over here, so I know I am resurrecting an old thread. I would just like to say how much fun I had with you guys and how welcoming everyone was. Everytime I wash my Michigan Viper Club shirt I smile. Even though he isn't on the board, I gotta mention that Randy is one of the nicest guys you are ever likely to meet and have to thank him for letting me drive his 2000 RT/10 for the weekend. I am glad everyone liked the TT-- there was a lot of love put into it.
 

radta7

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Great pics!!! The zoo looked cool. Wish I would have known. I go to the UP all winter long for snowmobiling. Would have been nice to see some of it when there is no snow!
 

Steve 00RT/10

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Great pics!!! The zoo looked cool. Wish I would have known. I go to the UP all winter long for snowmobiling. Would have been nice to see some of it when there is no snow!

Where abouts in the UP do you snowmobile?

Steve
 

radta7

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Where abouts in the UP do you snowmobile?

Steve

Munising,(Minus the lsevere ack of snow last year) Lake Gogebic, Hoghton/hancock. Those are where we rent houses and cruise from those locations all over such as up to copper harbor.
 

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