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Maryland Chapter Director
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189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sad to report but Mike V. Passed away yesterday at the age of 60 after a long battle with Cancer. When he was healthy he loved working on his "Christine" "BulletBird" and at the end he had the first "Bellebird". Many of us in the Mid Atlantic group have a lot of good memories of times spent at the track or garage with Mike.
Scott
 

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Premium Member
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2,643 Posts
Scott

I'm very sad to hear this. I think now we probably understand what happened a couple years ago when he got rid of the car.

I know he had told me once at his house that he'd never leave the car to anyone for fear of someone getting hurt in it. That must have been the writing on the wall when it was found in the scrap yard. Fortunately at least some of "Kennebell Bird" was salvaged and can/will be found on some of the other MAMN12 cars, including mine.

Its a very sad nite, hearing this and remembering all the good times we all had at the meets, Track events, his house, etc.

He has been and will always be surely missed. May God bless him and his family at this time!!!

Scott, if you would please post this on the MAMN12 forums. I'm sure the folks who knew Mike would want to know. Thanks~
 

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AED Specialist
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1,283 Posts
True Passion....

It saddens me to have to write this or even think about it.

Mike Viverette was known to many of us as just Mike “V”. I had the pleasure of meeting him for the first time down in Cecil Maryland in 2001. Of course the message boards and the TCCOA are what brought us together.
Mike was a southern boy by trait with his mild mannerism and polite ways, he was always a pleasure to be around. Mike was always joyful even when he was stressed out about the T-Bird or finding parts for his projects. Always thinking and brainstorming and running numbers to ever perfect his ride which he called “Christine”. A little history about where the name “Christine” came from:

In January of 2002 we found out the Jerry W. would be in Deer Park NY for a special dyno tune (in those days it was rare to get him that far north east). Mike V. packed his bags and drove the BullitBird version of Christine to my house in Joisey. From his house in Hughesville it was almost 4 hours to my door. Mike V. arrived with a white pale face and shaking hands. This was the start of how the name “Christine” came to be.
Mike’s T-Bird was accelerating on its own and he had to use the brakes almost the entire time he was driving to keep the T-Bird’s speed in check with the limit. When he got to me, I did a battery of tests on it with diagnostic tools and with the aid of EECDOC we determined it was not electronic or computer related. It was decided to flatbed the car to New York for Jerry to take his magic wand and fix it. Mike was convinced that his car was possessed.
Up in NY we arrived to find Mike’s car was well taken care of and was waiting for a dyno tune. On the dynojet with Jerry plugged in to the EEC-V, the car made decent numbers and never once exhibited the ghostly runaway acceleration problems Mike was dealing with for 300 miles.
Not until the hood closed and she backed out of the shop. The guy who backed the car out came running in yelling “that car is possessed, it tried to take off on me in reverse”. Mike responded, “I told you…I told all of you”.
Hood open…no problem. Hood closed…throttle sticks. Hmmm…yes indeed the throttle cable was rubbing on the hood and causing the problem. A little grinding of the cowl area and the nightmare was over.

“The Pies”
During that same dyno session, the guys started getting hungry. So a friend of mine and Mike V. set off into NY to procure some food. The guy asks Mike V., “Hey do you want to get some pies”? Mike responded “Ok but I was thinking something more substantial”. The other guy responds, “Well it will be cheaper to get a few pies and everyone can have a slice”. Mike V. agreed but was very confused. The next question comes out. “What do you want on the pie? Plain, peperoni, anchovies, etc”.
Mike V. is thinking to himself…WTF is this guy talking about. Who puts anchovies on a pie?
The guy driving arrives at a Pizzeria and parks. Mike V. bursts out laughing…”Wait, pie…is pizza”?

“The Laugh”
With all the cars dyno tested and everyone happy (with the exception of Pete who was still working on that V6 Mustang). We gathered into a circle in the shop to say goodbye to all our new friends. Jerry was standing there was well. Jerry asks Mike, “Are you going to drive back home or flatbed the car”? Mike mutters, “drive her”. I said yeah, he'll probably pass us on the highway nose down with the brakes on at 90 mph”.

Mike and I started drifting and I lost contact with him around 2005. My life changed when my son was born as many of you have experienced. I regret not staying in contact with Mike over the years. I will miss Mike Viverette, his company at breakfast in Cecil MD…his words of wisdom to me…his help and assistance…most of all his passion.
May the peace that comes from the memories of love shared comfort you now and in the days ahead. Rest in peace my friend. A-Train

MM&FF magazine October 2004 "Luxobarge Shootout"

Mustang Magic (NY) 2002




Evidence of dirt on Mike V's car as examined by NASA and EPA. Unclear and inconclusive as to how the dirt got there or how it was able to survive as long as it did.


Cecil County Dragway - Cecil Maryland.
 

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Maryland Chapter Director
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189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Memories

Thanks for the memories guys, this is why I posted this here. I started looking through pictures today, Carlisle, races, garage hang out and beer drinking that should have been car work... meets, it is sad that I not make more effort to keep in touch. I hope Mike can be at peace and out of pain and that he will be pleased to know everytime I look at my T Bird I have memories of Christine since I have one of her sets of wheels and other items on my car.

Keep the stories coming and I will share them with his family on Thursday.

Scott
 

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VA Chapter Director
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729 Posts
So sad to hear this. I have such great memories of hanging out with Mike at the track, at car shows, and that grin he would get on his face any time he came back from making a pass down the track was priceless.

Scott, if you are going over on Thursday I may come over and join you. It's only a couple hour drive. Let me know maybe we can meet up and go over together.
 

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Administrator
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Moved to the Club Forum.

So sorry to hear this. I wish I could have met him. My condolences to his family, friends and all who knew him.

Quick question: Is that Jim M. standing next to him in the garage?
 

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Jeez man, another TCCoA pioneer now gone :( RIP
 

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A-Train..Thanks for sharing that story..That gives all of us that never met Mike a little insight on what kind of guy he was..

I don't know much about Mike as I have never met him..I do know he had a bad azz Thunderbird, and appreciated these cars..

It sounds like he was one heluva nice guy though..

It would be nice if good people could stick around a little longer than the bad ones..Hmmm.. :(


RIP



Rayo..
 

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Maryland Chapter Director
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189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jason, and anyone else wanting to go to the visitation, yes, we can meet up here and ride over in a caravan of Tbirds, I think Mike would like that. Strange, I was over at Burt's early Saturday and had been thinking of our long ago meets there. Bring pictures to share.
Scott
 

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Amateur Expert
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1,662 Posts
I loved reading Mike's posts. His were never lacking in detail. They were like mini short-stories! May he rest in peace.
 

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Such a tight community. Warms my heart to hear guys who never met the guy extoll his virtue.
 

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Mike V. was a great guy! I was very fortunate to have been the recipient of the "first heart out of Christine" (The original factory motor and PI/Bullitt swap) and it served me well until last year when it finally let loose permanently. I told Mike when I bought it I was going to run 11's with that engine. He snickered but told me he wouldn't doubt it. And it did!

We were always amazed at what he and Siska would conjure up. Siska would turn the wrenches and make it happen back in the day. When the Kennebell went in the car once again Mike V. raised the bar.

I'll never forget the look on his face in Baltimore with Jerry tuning the car and the big grin on his face when he saw the power numbers that Kennebell bird put down. Him and Siska high fiving it with big grins. The moment was priceless.

It was Mike V. back then when we put our MAMN12 Banner together and we asked him for some help with a quote. He said "Living Life a 1/4 Mile at a time". So thats whats on there. It shall remain.

Regardless, he is one of those that I'll never forget. A pleasure to be around and a great Human being.

It is surely a loss for all of us in the TCCOA and MAMN12 community.
 

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Sorry to see another long time member leave. I wondered why I haven't seen any posts from him in a while. RIP

Seems there aren't many of us long timer's left on the site anymore.

I always admired Mike's posts and him willing to push the envelope a little more.
 

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After reading his posts and all everyone has written about him (I'm also one that never got to meet him), I am saddened to hear of his passing. Sounds like a great guy!

My condolences to his family and friends...
 

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I'm sorry to hear of him passing away. It was my first time back on the board in years just a few days ago and I see that Johnny Langton and now Mike V are gone. I spent a lot of time reading posts about BullittBird and drooling over pics of the KB.

Russell
 

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Overkill Fetish Freak
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MikeV was a kindered soul and it saddened my heart to hear the news of his passing.

I'm glad to have known him through the years.

-Big Scott
 

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Beer and Cheese
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7,386 Posts
Sorry to hear, RIP.:angel2:
 
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