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Viper Anyone?

Discussion in 'American Muscle' started by venusone, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. venusone

    venusone F1 Rookie

    Mar 20, 2004
    2,809
    My sister's hubby just bought a Viper. Now that I have to drive. I almost bought it myself but hesitated. You ever drive one? What was it like?
     
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  3. tigermilk

    tigermilk Formula Junior

    Jul 12, 2001
    321
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    James P. Smith
    Never driven one, but it's on my list of wants. Aside from the new Ford GT, it's the best looking American car out there IMO. I'll definitely be thinking of adding one in the next year or two (Gen II).
     
  4. Fastviper

    Fastviper F1 Rookie

    Nov 20, 2003
    4,410
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Dash
    i have a 2000gts and I have to tell you the first 5 minutes kinda scares you to death but after that you realize there is not much that can beat you on the street. it is a great car for the money. Every one looks, everyone waves it is incredable. not an everyday car though. traffic is a killer.

    my last car was a 348ts. It wouldnt come close to it.

    john
     
  5. Forza1

    Forza1 Formula Junior

    Mar 20, 2004
    484
    California
    Full Name:
    DC
    There is a reason it's called a "brute". Because it simply is. Power and Torque above everything else with a viper. Turning is difficult at low speeds because of no power steering, interior is horrible IMHO on the older generations. It all really depends on what you're looking for in a car.



    -DC
     
  6. SRT Mike

    SRT Mike Two Time F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    23,199
    Taxachusetts
    Full Name:
    Raymond Luxury Yacht
    All the previous comments are pretty much right on. The car is a beast in terms of power - just unreal power. The worst thing about a Viper is that it tracks the road badly, so you need a firm grip on the wheel at all times. That makes it a bear to drive in traffic.

    The older ones interior wasn't great IMO, although the newer ones (GTS and SRT) have a nice interior. Paint quality on these cars is flawless - very well put together IMO with a few niggling problems (hood gap variance from the factory, etc).

    They do have power steering though, I always found it has a lot of assist - very "sporty" and extremely quick steering. It does have a slightly large turning radius and a long hood and only adequate visibility so its not a great daily drive.
     
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  8. AJS328

    AJS328 F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Apr 23, 2003
    7,520
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Augustine Staino
    We have a brand new R/T 10 Viper convertible sitting on the showroom floor but I've yet to drive it. The only Viper that I've ever driven was a then-new 1994 R/T 10. The only thing that I remember was that it was incredibly fast! The acceleration was fierce! I haven't driven a car since that has had such a violent power delivery, and this was back when they had "only" 400 HP.
     
  9. allanlambo

    allanlambo F1 Rookie

    Jun 9, 2002
    4,363
    Maui
    Full Name:
    Allan
    Im going to buy one.
     
  10. Tpup

    Tpup Rookie

    Nov 2, 2003
    32
    Roswell, GA
    Full Name:
    Roy
    Spectacular car imo. I owned a GTS and it was one of the funnest cars I have owned. No traction contol, no driver aids, just lots and power. Great on the track, very fast. It had enough torque that you could just stick in in 3rd and run the entire track if you wanted too:)

    The only downside of the cars are the brakes (or lack thereoff). If you plan on tracking the car you will need to get good pads and install some air deflectors to cool the fronts, or just upgrade them.

    I really loved that car, I'd still have it but the Dealer wrecked it when I took it in for service... Finding a good service center can be tricky..

    Good luck.
    Roy
     
  11. Titanboy_24

    Titanboy_24 Formula 3

    Dec 28, 2003
    1,938
    Ontario, Canada
    Full Name:
    Lucas Scarfone
    Being only 14 i dont know how useful my info is, but i have gotten rides in a few vipers over the past 2 years. The engine sounds AMAZING, and that is basically all you can hear when you are in the car! On the last ride i recieved, we were on a track..and the brake fluid started to boil (i guess that is a common problem on the Gen 1 GTS), so you might have to watch out for that! Compared to other exotics, the viper does not pay much attention to class, its all raw torque and power (LOTS OF POWER)! Although it is not as refined as a ferrari, I definatly think that you should give the viper a chance, you wont regret it!! Good luck with your decision!

    Lucas:)
     
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  13. PWehmer

    PWehmer Formula 3

    Oct 15, 2002
    1,733
    Surrounded by Water
    Depreciation is hell on these. Afraid at the end of the day it's still a Dodge.

    It is really fast in a straight line. Can't beat all that torque. You can roll on the throttle from really low RPM and it just takes off.

    I found the interior to be really claustrophobic. This was on an RT/10 with the top off. The sills and console just are huge.

    The Viper Club of America forum has a very active website.
     
  14. normhuff

    normhuff Formula Junior

    Dec 14, 2003
    711
    Peoria, IL
    Full Name:
    J. Norman Huff, Esq.
    Would rather have head stuck in a vise than be seen in anything from Dodge or Ford...
     
  15. C. Losito

    C. Losito Formula Junior

    Dec 12, 2003
    908
    Metro St. Louis
    Full Name:
    Chris Losito
    Ditto on the bowtie.
     
  16. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant

    Sep 18, 2002
    15,117
    The Cold North
    Full Name:
    Tom

    Snob
     
  17. SkizoACE

    SkizoACE Formula Junior

    Mar 24, 2004
    884
    Houston
    Full Name:
    Thomas
    Vipers, even though they are Dodge, they rock ass. My dad used to have an old '94 RT/10 and it was so badass. There so fast and loud and they mix American muscle with a little Eupopean exoticness.(if thats a word)
     
  18. DodgeViper01

    DodgeViper01 F1 Veteran

    Oct 1, 2003
    6,760
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Woods
    These cars are great. I have a 2001 RT/10 and I drive it as much as I can. The power and noise from the engine are like nothing you will ever see. Also just about nothing can beat you that you would normally see. It is comfortable for the most part but not a Mercedes or BMW. This car is awesome to say the least.
     
  19. ClassicFerrari

    ClassicFerrari F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 7, 2004
    16,798
    Toronto
    Full Name:
    Vasco

    Very cool looking car pre 2002 that is. My favourite being the GTS. Being sooo used to Porsche I decided to drive a 1999 RT10 I had at my dealership and thought it was cool but very scary unlike Porsche and of course Ferrari. Now I know why sooo many are wrecked because 90% of people don't REALLY know how to properly drive them (like me I guess - didnt wreck it thopugh) One needs to be very carful because they have lots of power and handle like ****! I think the Vette may be a little better.

    I don't know how the new generation Vipers are but the pre 2002 interiors are soooo Dodge Neon. Anyways, that's just my opinion. Please don't kill me.


    Cheers,

    Vasco.R
     
  20. Andy 98RT10

    Andy 98RT10 Rookie

    Jan 7, 2004
    32
    Michigan
    Full Name:
    Andy S
    LOL! That coming from a guy with a car slower than a stock Corvette.
     
  21. allanlambo

    allanlambo F1 Rookie

    Jun 9, 2002
    4,363
    Maui
    Full Name:
    Allan
    Personally, i cant wait to get a GTS AcR in my garage. Then i can tell everyone how it too blows aways Fcars! I may even mod it enough to blow away Lcars!
     
  22. TTBADBOY

    TTBADBOY Karting

    Jan 22, 2004
    93


    The Viper is one of the best handling cars on the road.Period.This is with 10+ year old technology.The frame is so stiff that if I jack up one wheel,3 wheels come off the ground.Keep in mind the motor was designed by Lamborghini marine when Chrysler owned them in the early 90's.Its only fitting that Allan is getting a Viper.He's keepin it in the family.

    Joe
     
  23. 575Mike

    575Mike Formula 3

    Mar 11, 2004
    1,698
    Midwest
    Full Name:
    Michael
    I've had three Vipers over the last 10 years. Fast. But my experience was not positive as far as quality is concerned. They are indeed "brutish" cars but they are also, in my experience, cheap. I base part of that on objective experience and part of that on how the car just feels subjectively. But again, H.P. per dollar, you can't beat 'em.
     
  24. 575Mike

    575Mike Formula 3

    Mar 11, 2004
    1,698
    Midwest
    Full Name:
    Michael
    If you include my partner Drew's car, which our law firm leases, that's four cars. He thinks the car is outstanding in quality. Again, I suppose it's partly subjective.
     
  25. ClassicFerrari

    ClassicFerrari F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 7, 2004
    16,798
    Toronto
    Full Name:
    Vasco

    I understand the Viper-Lambo connection. My comment prior to this was not about the motor. In fact I said the Viper "it has lot's of power" just crap handling. Your jack-test is true, but for road use that spells hazard. you need some sort of give when booting around town and interstates etc. Three wheels coming off the ground is great................on a track that is.

    And as I said before. It was just my opinion. Nothing else.


    Take care.


    Vasco.R
     
  26. TTBADBOY

    TTBADBOY Karting

    Jan 22, 2004
    93
    Im sorry,I wasnt trying to be rude.Just trying to clarify the handling.My Diablo feels like it handles better on the street but I know it doesnt really handle better than the Viper.

    Joe
     
  27. ClassicFerrari

    ClassicFerrari F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 7, 2004
    16,798
    Toronto
    Full Name:
    Vasco
    No worries dude, that's why we're here. To discuss this wonderfull stuff ;-)


    All the best!

    Vasco.R
     
  28. Viper 10

    Viper 10 Formula Junior

    Nov 16, 2003
    616
    Manhattan Beach, CA
    Full Name:
    Brad Chang
    I've owned my Viper GTS Coupe for about 7 years, and use it as my daily driver. I've driven on road racing tracks for over 30 years and owned and had the priviledge of owning and driving some fine cars.

    I will not claim that the Viper is bigger or badder than any other car out on the road. To each his own... When it comes to high performance vehicles, going fast is more a function of driver skill, than the car's raw performance. Some cars are easier to drive at the limits than others too.

    That being said, the Viper is a retro car. that was designed to follow the legacy of cars like the 427 AC Cobra's, 250 GTO's and TR's. It is a purist's driver car that demands your input and attention. The fact that there are no creature comforts, is a reflection of this.

    When it comes to HP and torque, there are very few cars that can match the Viper's raw performance. In the end, the torque generated on my bone stock Viper is 490 ft-lbs at the wheels (after my Arrow Racing rebuild under warranty).

    Handling on the car is hard to beat if the alignments and suspension are set up correctly. The car's coil-over Koni's are set up to the softest settings from the factory. Once again, this is more of a function of driver skill.

    The key thing to remember is that this incredible amount of torque is generated at 900 rpm (versus most of your cars start their torque curves at 3,500+ rpm), and runs up through 5,600 rpm. This means that your margin for error in a Viper is dramatically diminished, in comparison to comparable performance cars... it takes less to screw the pooch.

    Quality of the interior and finish is about what you expect from an American car company... lots of plastic. Reliability on mine have been great. The only reason that I had to send my engine in for a rebuild was because of technician error.

    The criticism on the OE brakes is justified. This is the one weak link on the Gen 1 and 2 Vipers. The Gen 3's (SRT-10's) remedied this by a huge factor. The rotors were not designed to optimize cooling, and the calipers are marginal. Upgrading Viper brakes is relatively inexpensive, and I would highly recommend Stop Tech engineered brakes for Vipers.

    In the end, I will say that your cars (as well as Vettes and Porsches) are much more forgiving and fun to drive at the limits. The Viper (in the right hands) can compete with the best of this category. Unfortunately, most Viper owners don't put much seat time in, and have little knowledge in how to drive their cars correctly (IMO).

    Note: more than 1/3 of all Vipers produced have been totalled.

    The one fundemental thing that I would recommend to anyone considering buying a Viper is to get into a high performance track school (where you can put on miles in your car). If you let the small brain below your waist takeover, then you better be very careful... because this car can and will bite you in the a$$. Respect the torque.

    My only complaint about the car is the problems of finding a reputable body shop that isn't out to screw you (as well as technical people that know how to work on them without screwing on "Viper tax"). I just went through over a year of body shop hell, over a very minor scrape. Very few shops know how to work on these cars.

    If any of you are ever interested in checking out a Snake in Southern Cal, drop me a line and we'll go out for a spin. If you haven't driven one, it is a kick in the pants. I live very close to LAX.

    Brad

    Ps: Power steering not working at low speeds does not happen. The car that you drove must have been screwed up.
     

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