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  1. #1
    Supporting Vendor JonB ~ PartsRack's Avatar
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    TRIVIA anecdotes about Viper "Homecoming"

    Back in late 1993, Dodge Marketing's Ron Smith began to contemplate a 1994 gathering of Viper Owners back at the Team Viper HQ in MI. But what to CALL it ??

    It was a coincidence that new-nameplate SATURN had just announced a "Homecoming" to Spring Hill Tenn for its owners, numbering near 600,000 at the time. [Saturn also later called it a ReCall....an 'OWNER RECALL' !]

    Ron was 'interviewing' a very few of us owners by phone as to what we thought, would owners come from far away, the cost factor, hotel types, what activities would interest, and the NAME. "Whatever we call it we CAN'T use "Homecoming!" He emphatically stated! We'll look like a bunch of fuddy Saturn owners and we cant have it look like we copied them. I remember saying that due to the timing 'it DOES look like you copied them!' and he emphatically stated that Team Viper was already thinking about it when Saturn announced. I always believed him.

    The term "Invitational" quickly rose to the top of a small list of options, and was floated in terms of naming a classy event as in Golf. "Viper Owner Invitational" stuck. 'VOI-1' did NOT exist until much later, when VOI-2 was conceived! NO ONE mentioned 'Homecoming' again until 2010, with VOI-10 held in Detroit! Ron Smith was there, and I joked with him about 'can you believe they called it "Homecoming?" And he said, 'no one remembers Saturn." {Saturn ceased production in 2009.}

    [Saturn's big event in 1994 actually scored 38,000 attendees! All the Saturn Employees wore baseball shirts with a large number 2 on the back. Why ? "Our CUSTOMERS are # 1" was the Saturn Reply, and attendees got a # 1 goodie memento.]

    260+ Viper owners with 205 cars attending paid $250 each for the 2.5 day event. We toured MACK AVE ASSY PLANT, CTC, the Style Dome, and Viperts did a Parade Lap at MIS....led by Roy Sjoberg as I recall. {Roy led a scenic Viper convoy of 1/2 the Snakes to MIS and we got LOST! The other convoy did the highway route and did not. We had to get a police escort to get into the track in time!]

    A few of us got a private tour of Mound Rd Engine Plant. The "Snake Salute" was born and Ms. Jean Randall at 74 yrs was the belle-of-the-ball.

    Bob Lutz arrived in his helicopter at the Dodge Mansion, and his rotor-wash dusted about 50 of the Vipers parked nearby. NOBODY GRIPED! 'Lutz-Dust' was a badge of honor in fact. Torrential rain later that night washed it all away......

    20 years Ago July 26, 1994.............



    Last edited by JonB ~ PartsRack; 07-15-2014 at 03:44 PM.
    Jon "JonB" Brobst ~~~~:<~ JonB@PartsRack.com


  2. #2
    Supporting Vendor JonB ~ PartsRack's Avatar
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    I just stumbled across this old Trivia post, details from 7 / 1994 and thought it might be worthy of resurrecting...
    Jon "JonB" Brobst ~~~~:<~ JonB@PartsRack.com


  3. #3
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    Rare Snake's Avatar
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    That's pretty cool.

    Judging by how fussy some people are lately, I think it would've killed some of the owners now if their cars got a bit dusty, and then rained on. It might be too much for them to handle in one day!
    First it was a '95 RT/10, then came the '01 GTS. Now it's a '14 GTS. They say the third time's the charm, I have to agree.

  4. #4
    Scott Grayson
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    Great (re)read! Thanks Jon!
    2008 SRT10 Open Roof (1 of 2)
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