Author Archive

Set Your Own Records!

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010

Story by Maurice Q. Liang

Taking a look at Viper ACRs in miniature form

Now you can experience the thrill of racing a Viper ACR in miniature form with these latest Viper toys. Whether it’s the wicked wing or the distinctive paint job, the ACR has caught the attention of toy manufacturers and spawned a renewed interest in Viper toys. Since the real ACR is a driver’s car, it seems only fitting that most of these miniature versions are action toys, rather than detailed static models.

Fastlane’s Remote Control Viper

Drive your own ACR with this large, 1/18 scale (about a foot long) remote control car made by Fastlane (large model shown on page 39). The remote control is a unique “scroll and go” control, rather than the usual trigger and steering wheel. The plastic toy is well-proportioned for a remote control car, though it’s certainly not attempting to offer the detail of a diecast model. It’s available for $45 at Toys ‘R Us.

NKOK’S Pocket Rocket

Want something more affordable? Try NKOK’s 1/64 scale Viper ACR remote control cars. These rechargeable pocket rockets are small enough to fit in your pocket, but offer you full remote control functionality. Typically, they sell for around $20 on Amazon.com. These remote control cars come in the introductory red with black hood and red driver’s stripe, or GTS blue with black hood. Despite being a plastic toy, it has fairly accurate proportions, as it sits at the front of the row of ACRs beside the track.

Hot Wheels

Remember when you used to play with Hot Wheels cars on that signature orange track, rather than keep them boxed up in mint condition? Well, you still can! A buck will get you a Hot Wheels ACR in one of two paint schemes (so far), the introductory red with black hood and red driver’s stripe or white with black hood and red driver’s stripe (both versions shown sitting on the track in the picture). At the time of this writing, the white version is more rare and hard-to-find than the red version. Though the paint scheme is not exactly accurate (the roof, decklid and front bumper should also be black), these toys are a great giveaway at car shows to Viper fans young and old.

Johnny Lightning

If you’re willing to spend a little more (as in $3), Johnny Lightning offers the ACR in the same 1/64 scale, but with a more realistic look. This diecast model features an opening hood with “detailed” engine inside. Thus far, the Johnny Lightning version comes in three color schemes: the classic red with black hood and red driver’s stripe, all-black with a red driver’s stripe or white with a black hood and red driver’s stripe, shown beside the track in the photo. Johnny Lightning also offers the standard 2008 Viper coupe in several colors in this scale. All are available at Target and Toys ‘R Us.

The Ultimate Viper Model

This could be the ultimate Viper model. It’s certainly the biggest! The 1/4 scale model is huge, resembling a wind tunnel test model that car manufacturers use. Accurately modeled by former Saleen designer Alan Eggly and his partner “Big Joe” Randazzo, it’s made out of fiberglass and can be painted and detailed to match YOUR Viper (or your DREAM Viper) using the same paint that the real cars are painted with. Right now, it’s only available in Viper SRT10® coupe and Viper SRT10 ACR form, though if there’s enough demand, High-Performance Furniture will consider modeling the older Vipers. Don’t have a shelf or display case big enough to house such a large model? High-Performance Furniture also offers a matching coffee table made from glass and carbon fiber to act as a display case, or you can order a ?half-model mounted on a carbon fiber plaque, so you can hang it on the wall. Photos ?don’t do this model justice. Around 40 inches long, the sheer size is impressive in person. Prices start at $999 for the wall-mount model, $1699 for the model by itself, and $1999 for the model with the coffee table. Just like the real car, optional equipment like the ACR wing, stripes and black wheels are additional cost. If you’ve been searching for the ultimate gift for the Viperholic in your family, this is it! Available from Partsrack.com.

Flying Off the Shelves

These ACR toys are popular, so often, they disappear off the shelves quickly. As with most Viper toys, they likely won’t be made for very long, at least not in the current paint schemes, so if you want them, get them now and save yourself the headache of searching for them later, when they’re even harder to find! The real ACR is likely to be one of the most rare and coveted Vipers of all time, and these toys will be just as rare and collectible!


Maurice Q. Liang is co-founder of the Viper Club ?of America, author of the ?Viper Buyer’s Guide, and an ?avid collector of “Viperabilia.” ?He can be reached at [email protected]

Plenty of Viper Racing Action on Tap Worldwide in 2010

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010

By Roger Meiners

The distinctive bellow of the Dodge Viper will be heard again across the land and around the world this year. The new Dodge Viper ACR-X makes its historic competition debut in the inaugural Viper Cup as the Dodge Viper, Viper ACR and the Viper Competition Coupe will be well represented worldwide during the season. Outside the U.S., the Viper goes against Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Lotus for supercar supremacy.


Here’s the list of racing events for 2010.

Dodge Viper Cup by NARRA

www.narraonline.com

The newly developed Dodge Viper Cup spec series and the new Dodge Viper SRT10® ACR-X are made for each other—literally. Dodge created the Viper Cup specifically as THE place for X-cars to play. The series will be sanctioned by the existing Viper Racing League. Each vehicle in the new series must be the new Viper ACR-X. The first race is not until July 2010, to give racers time to prepare.

Two races per weekend for five weekends will make up the 10-race 2010 Dodge Viper Cup schedule, to be televised on the Versus cable network. The series dates include July 9–11 at Virginia International Raceway; August 14–15 at Hallett Raceway; September 11–12 at Pocono Raceway; October 1–3 at Miller Motorsports Park and October 22–24 at Daytona International Speedway.

A contingency program sponsored by Dodge Motorsports and Mopar® will pay out more than $200,000 during 2010. Payouts for each race are in cash and Mopar vouchers come as credit toward purchase of Mopar parts and accessories. Additional cash awards will be made to the top-3 finishers in the Dodge Viper Cup. The 2010 champion will win $25,000, second-place will receive $10,000 and third-place will pay $5,000.


Viper Days by NARRA

www.narraonline.com

Viper Days is the premier venue for Viper driver education and racing instruction. Viper Racing League is the grass roots club racing and education program, designed to feature the Viper marque and reach out to Viper owners to teach them safe driving skills.

Viper Days, and the Viper Racing League, are venues available to Dodge Viper owners for advanced driver training and competition. Viper Days is “[D]edicated to properly teaching people how to drive a sports car with such an incredible amount of torque and horsepower,” according to the Viper Days Web site. The Viper Racing League was created “to answer an increasing demand from drivers who wanted to compete in a wheel-to-wheel amateur road racing series,” says the Web site.


SPEED World Challenge GT Series

www.world-challenge.com/index.php

The World Challenge Championships, consisting of three separate categories—GT, where Viper competes, GTS and Touring Car. World Challenge is America’s top production car-based series, according to the Sports Car Club of America.

SCCA SPEED World Challenge events, to be telecast on the Versus network in 90-minute programs, feature standing starts and the world’s most popular manufacturers racing head-to-head. SCCA SPEED World Challenge competition was born in the mid-1980s with the SCCA Endurance Championship, transforming into the World Challenge in 1990.

World Challenge veteran Jason Daskalos of New Mexico and rookie Canadian Fred Roberts have formed a two-car team to compete in the 2010 World Challenge. Daskalos will be in his third year in a Viper Competition Coupe. Roberts is eligible to be Rookie of the Year this season, since he has only run three races in the series over the last two years. He was Rookie of the Year in the Viper Racing League (VRL). Daskalos is also a veteran VRL driver—winning the stock class championship in that venue. Both drivers started their racing careers in the VRL.


Australian GT

www.australiangt.com.au/

Australian GT, the premier sportscar category in Australia, plays host to Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche and Viper, racing door to door on some of the world’s greatest circuits. The Dodge Viper GT3 ranks include Rob Sherrard, Greg Crick, Ross Lilley, Ian Palmer and John Briggs—all in Viper Competition Coupes. The season kicks off at Adelaide the weekend of March 11–14, 2010, followed by events at five other tracks in Australia.


Brazilian GT3 Championship

An eight-race series including Dodge Vipers running against Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Ford GT and Corvette. At least five Vipers will compete in 2010.


British GT3 Championship

www.britishgt.com/index.php

The Avon Tyres British GT championship showcases the most prestigious and stylish sportscar grid of any national motorsport Championship, according to its Web site. The 2010 season will have an eight-date, 14-race, calendar featuring a season-closing “into the night” race at Donington Park and a two-hour race on the Grand Prix circuit at Silverstone. There will also be a return to the world-famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium this year.

Avon Tyres British GT Championship race winners Craig Wilkins and Aaron Scott are set to return to the series in 2010 with their mighty GT3 Viper Competition Coupe—rebuilt from the ground up by a new team of technicians—and they have outright championship success as their target.

Wilkins and Scott were title contenders last season right down to the wire and netted memorable race victories at Spa-Francorchamps and Knockhill, plus a further five podium finishes. Their season might have turned out very differently but for mechanical dramas in a couple of races.


SCCA Club Racing

www.scca.com/hub.aspx?hub=1

The Viper, Viper ACR and the Viper Competition Coupe are all eligible for competition in SCCA Club Racing. Since 1944, SCCA has put on road racing events nationwide. From National Championships to regional events, whether professional or amateur, the club organizes, supports and develops auto racing at every level and provides an outlet for the Viper owner to get out of the armchair and into the action. So, whether your passion is autocrossing, rallying or road racing as a professional or as a weekend warrior, SCCA will help you fuel your passion.
See the SCCA organizational map at www.scca.com/divisions.aspx to find your local SCCA region. Call the regional representatives to get involved.


Tech Notes

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010, Tech Notes

By Herb Helbig, Chief Engineer—Viper (Retired)

Q: ?I own a 2005 Viper with 30,000 miles. I’ll be replacing the brake pads soon and I’m interested in your preference for brake pads (what brand?). Also, what pad material do you recommend for normal highway driving conditions versus severe track driving?

A: As I’ve said often, when I worked at SRT® we didn’t endorse aftermarket parts mostly because we didn’t have the time to thoroughly test them. For street driving, you can’t beat the Mopar® replacement pads. These are the same as the production parts that had all the benefits of SRT development testing. I know that the ACR development guys like the Mintex pads for track testing, so they might be worth a try if you’re spending a day at your favorite race track. The guys say they run the Mintex on the front with production pads out back for optimum balance. Since more heat is generated with the race pads, consider upgrading your brake fluid to a higher temperature rating and bleed the system more often.


Q: Recently I replaced the thermostat housing gasket in my 1995 RT/10. Normally the engine runs around 190°F. However, now it’s running at 220°F with the fan running continuously. I must have air in the system. What is the air-bleed procedure for this engine? Thanks for your help.

A: Before we talk about bleeding, you might want to check and make sure the T-stat is opening when it should. You can do this by putting it in a pot of water and heating it up until the stat opens up. Use a meat thermometer to track the temperature. Of course you have to tear the motor open to get it out so it’s a bit of a pain. The best way to bleed the early cars is to fill the system through the heater hose. Open up the heater valve and disconnect the incoming hose so you can fill the system through the heater core. The guys in our shop used to use a 5-gallon bucket sitting a few feet above the core. Start with a cold car. Don’t warm the car before you remove the hose. Let the engine idle so that the stat opens and keep filling until the air is purged. The disconnected hose can go back into the bucket so you don’t lose any coolant. I’m told that there are commercially available coolant system vacuum kits that may help with this situation. I’ve never used one but they should ?be available in most auto parts stores.


Q: I own a 2008 Viper SRT10.® The vehicle may sit as long as 7 months without being operated. Do you recommend fogging the engine? What ?is the procedure to disable the engine from starting so that I may crank the engine over without it firing up? Do you have any winterization recommendations for long-term storage of my Viper?

A: Everybody has their favorite long term storage tips. Look for an article in an upcoming issue of VIPER Magazine. To your specific questions: fogging the motor is not required for storage up to a year. Make sure that if you do it you use oil specifically designated for fogging, anything else, and you are at risk because of possible contamination of the catalysts. If you want to crank the motor over without firing, pull the Auto Shut Down (ASD) relays (2). They are located in the Power Distribution Center (PDC) under the hood. The PDC is a black box and has the fuses in it. Some other tips would include a good wax job including the wheels, complete interior wipe down using leather wipes on the seats and some kind of tire treatment for the sidewalls. Store with a full tank of fuel including stabilizer and make sure the car was nice and hot when you put it away. Leave the windows part way down, unlatch the top and leave the trunk or hatch open slightly. Put the car in sleep mode (later models only) and use a battery tender (not a trickle charger). Oh yeah, a heated garage would help as well.


Q: My 2000 GTS will not engage gears. I was driving the car and took the transmission out of gear, then it would not go back in any gear. When the engine is not started the shifter can move in any gear position but when started will no longer engage. I can put the vehicle in gear to start it (with difficulty), but there is no clutch play and the car just leaps forward. I believe the problem is the clutch because before it warmed-up the clutch was a little soft/weak, but when warmed-up, felt strong. What do you think is causing the problem?

A: Definitely sounds like clutch trouble. A couple of easy things to check: first, look for wetness or drips at the bottom of the bellhousing. If you see this, the Concentric Slave Cylinder (CSC) is leaking and may need to be replaced. Before you tear it apart though, make sure the bleeder screw on the CSC is tight and not leaking. The not so obvious would be to make sure the clutch line is routed away from the exhaust system as far as possible and has an insulation sleeve on it. Of course, make sure the reservoir has fluid and don’t be surprised if the fluid looks dark—that’s normal. Finally, the system may need to be re-bled, but you need to ask yourself how it got that way in the first place because it’s not normal.

Your technical questions are always welcome. Please remember to indicate the body style, model year and mileage for your Viper.

Tech Notes Editor
VIPER Magazine
PO Box 24425
Shawnee Mission, KS  66283
E-mail: [email protected]
Fax: (248) 499-1950
 

Cleaning the Beast

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010

Story and photos by Herb Helbig

I’ve always enjoyed washing my cars. It’s time I spend by myself lavishing TLC on my favorite iron. I’ve noticed over the years that it has a calming effect on me, allows me to order my thoughts, gain new perspectives and think about things. It’s become a kind of Zen thing for me and I thought I’d share some insight on the subject. I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself an expert but as I washed my VOI.10 coupe this afternoon, I kept coming up with ideas I thought other Viper owners might enjoy and benefit from.

I don’t normally endorse products but you’ll notice that I refer to a few along the way in this article because they work well and I enjoy sharing what I know works.
For me, washing my Viper is a special time and an enjoyable experience. It’s way more than just “washing the car.” I firmly believe in the “soul of the machine” and she enjoys being pampered and returns the favor with hours of joyous bonding on the road. It is very possible I might fire up a good cigar along with a glass of Jack to enhance the experience.

Although at first glance, washing your Viper might seem straightforward, it gets complicated when you break it down. Taking the right amount of time and the right time of day sets the tone. Making sure you set aside enough time to do the job right ensures that you won’t be pissed off when it’s over because you rushed. This is not about being pissed off but a strong sense of satisfaction and pleasure at the conclusion. So give yourself plenty of time. If you’re going to wax your Snake, following the bath, it might take 4-6 hours by the time you’re all done.

Typically, washing in the bright, hot sunlight is trouble, especially if you have a dark color car. Water spots and dried soap film create a mess. Cloudy days work well along with shady spots that kill the hot spots. Early morning or early evening sun also is acceptable. I enjoy the early evening when the sun is low and the shadows are long. This way you don’t have to worry about the car drying out.

Water needs to be the right kind, in other words, soft—softer the better. If I could, I’d take the water right out of the softener. City water usually works pretty well because it’s treated and is usually pretty soft. I have well water and even with a softener it’s still pretty hard. Use lots of water to start with. Soak the car really well, let lots of water run off and carry away the loose dirt and road grime. Don’t rush this part. Take a look at the beads of water on the car. If you look close you can actually see the dust/dirt on the surface of the bead. If the bead looks dirty, keep hosing her down—the car that is. The beads should be clear and show no trace of dirt.

I use plenty of soap in warm water, lots of suds. I found that Turtle Wax’s Ice Car Wash works well and seems to cut down on water spots. I use two cloths to wash my Viper, one for the show surfaces and one on the very lowest areas that pick up road debris. As well, I always do the show surfaces first to eliminate the chance of accidentally picking up debris and contaminating the water in the bucket. Speaking of debris, make sure your bucket has a screen about one inch from the bottom. This allows the debris to settle down below the screen and it won’t get picked up by your washcloth. Take your time washing panel by panel starting at the top. Remember, this is a labor of love. By working each panel you can examine the paint as you go and rinse off before the soap has a chance to start to dry. Use lots of rinse water as you work your way down. Once you reach the lower sections, switch washcloths. My definition of lower sections include panels that are exposed to road/tire blast etc. These would be the lower lip of the front fascia, fender-lips, underside of the sills and the lower sections of the rear quarters behind the tires including the lower section of the rear fascia. As you wash these areas, rinse your cloth often to prevent debris buildup. Do the wheels and calipers last, especially if you use some aftermarket wheel cleaner as it will contaminate the wash water. I usually turn the side view mirrors down so they drain. It makes it easier when you wipe the car down. I do this right at the beginning so the soap and rinse drain quickly. Treat the door jams, trunk and hood jams as show surfaces, but be careful because lots of grit can collect in these spots. Consider using a third rag just for these areas. If you use your show surface cloth, rinse it really well and ?do these areas last before moving on to the low sections.

Everybody has their favorite drying rag. I’ve used numerous different types of cloths including chamois, microfibers and even those Shamwow things the crazy guy on TV sells. I follow the two rag theory, similar to the wash cloths, one for the show surfaces and one for everything else. I take my time drying the car, trying not to rub too much but more of the gentle sweeping motions to get the water off. Here’s where it helps to be working in the shade so that it cuts down on water spots especially on the dark colors. A little sunshine is good as it helps evaporate the last little bit of H2O. The deck, doors and engine bay also get the wipe down treatment. I especially enjoy the engine bay as it always looks great when it’s all done. My car collects a noticeable amount of water thru the hood vents even though I’m careful with the hose.

I usually wipe down the interior using the damp cloth from the show surfaces to collect up the dust off the I/P and trim. I use leather wipes on the seats—they leave a nice finish and keep the leather soft and moist.

Don’t forget about the wheels and calipers. They should be treated like show surfaces but I use my low surface rag to take care of them. I am not a fanatic who cleans the inside of the rim. I take care of the show surfaces and allow the brake dust to give that dark patina to the inside. Yes, I know that the dust is corrosive, but in the course of hosing the wheels, most of it is washed away anyway.
When I’m all done, I like to sit back and admire my work, finish my Jack and smoke the last of my cigar, and revel in a job well done. Life is good!

Maybe next time we’ll delve into the Zen of waxing your Viper—also very satisfying.

Delivering Perfection

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010

By Melissa Holobach

First-time visitors to the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant (CAAP) in Detroit, Mich., home to the Dodge Viper SRT10,® often experience the same surprised reaction. Be it a visiting Viper owner or a management or union representative, walking into CAAP for the first time never fails to elicit an exclamation of something along the lines of, “Oh, my!”

That’s because the Dodge Viper SRT10 manufacturing process is unique to Chrysler Group LLC. Visitors are struck by the quiet atmosphere in our plant in comparison to the usual din of a standard assembly line. The calm atmosphere can be credited to the absence of robotics and automation—the Dodge Viper SRT10 is a hand-built car, eliminating the need for automated systems or robots.

The calm, however, is deceptive. Each craftsperson at CAAP is responsible for about an hour’s worth of content that must be precisely installed on each Dodge Viper SRT10; whereas at a typical automotive plant an assembly worker might spend 45 seconds on a vehicle. Craftspeople undergo a three-week training period with an experienced worker before they work the line unsupervised. The training period is critical, because each Dodge Viper SRT10 is unique in its own way.

For instance, body panels aren’t installed in an exact position. Each vehicle needs to be tweaked; a little to the right, a little to the left. CAAP requires our craftspeople to put a great deal of mental engagement into their work. Take into consideration how much content an operator puts on each Dodge Viper SRT10—220 work elements ?on average. That’s a lot for a worker to remember and do correctly every single time. Watching our CAAP workers, it’s almost like a choreographed dance—very well done, ?but very extensive and very complex. It’s imperative for our craftspeople to be engaged.

Engagement: It’s a philosophy at CAAP. For example, we are continually engaged in communication with our customer base. We enjoy a uniquely close relationship with Dodge Viper owners. We never turn down a Viper owner for a tour of the CAAP facilities. In fact, we encourage them to come in and see their vehicles being built.

CAAP boasts a customer pick-up program that is unique within Chrysler Group LLC. Owners can pick their car up right at the plant and then drive away. Some of our customers actually know the names of craftspeople who work on the line. There are rumors that some craftspeople have even been invited to the weddings of Viper owners! It’s a wonderful thing, and we try to encourage that relationship. It helps the craftspeople on the line understand exactly what they are doing—fueling the fire for a loving and passionate customer base.

The continuous attitude of engagement at CAAP has provided Chrysler Group LLC with important lessons. The Dodge Viper SRT10 has a long history of providing some great “a-ha” moments to the corporation. The concept of the “team” approach to production, where team leads are actively involved in the building of the vehicle, originated with the Dodge Viper product line in the 1990s. When the rest of the corporation adopted the team approach, we at CAAP immediately thought, “Hey, we’ve been doing that for awhile!”

Another good example is our flexibility and the ability to move quickly in a low-run production. At CAAP, we can get our arms around a problem and dive right into root causes. We don’t have the mass complexity of a classic assembly plant. We can see what the issue is and come to a resolution.

Of course, it’s vital to maintain both craftsmanship and discipline. We use the same system as all other Chrysler Group LLC plants when it comes to assuring quality. I like to say that we hold in balance discipline and craftsmanship, in the sense that you can be so focused on craftsmanship that you have no repeatability or verification, while you can be so disciplined that you have no craftsmanship.

We try to hold true to those two intentions. We have discipline on quality items such as torque readings and understanding issues and going after them in a very disciplined and systematic way, yet still allow that every Dodge Viper SRT10 is unique. We are held to very high standards by the extremely passionate owners. It’s understandable, since the Dodge Viper SRT10 continues to be a true pinnacle vehicle for the brand and company—it’s expected to be perfect. And we work very hard to deliver perfection.

From Garbage Dump To ‘Garage Mahal’

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010

By Darren Jacobs

Michael von Quilich’s garage was a dump.

Okay, to be accurate, the Nevada and Southern California VCA member’s garage itself wasn’t a dump. But the land on which he decided to build his dream home and Viper garage—oh yeah, that was a dump.

How did von Quilich and his lovely wife Virginia come to make like Bugsy Siegel and transform a barren spot in the desert into a dream palace? The explanation is simple: They got Snake bit. The couple purchased their first Viper, a 2006 blue and white SRT10® coupe (#114, nicknamed “True Blue”) in late 2005, and soon came to the realization they needed a proper space to display their Snake. It was time, in the words of Michael von Quilich, to build a “Viper Garage Mahal.”

Once the von Quiliches decided to make their Viper “nest” in the Las Vegas area, the search was on to find a suitable piece of land to build their garage and home. The hunt proved difficult at first.

“We figured that five acres would be sufficient, but finding suitable acreage in Las Vegas proved difficult because most of the large parcels were developed years ago,” recalls Michael von Quilich. “Just about every remaining piece of buildable land we looked at in the Las Vegas valley was underneath the noisy incoming and outgoing flight paths of the busy Las Vegas airport.”

The Viper prodded the couple’s search for land, and the muscle car also helped end it (what doesn’t this car do?). Michael and Virginia took part in their first Viper Days event at Spring Mountain Motor Sports Ranch in Pahrump, Nev., and found that the rural town just 60 miles northwest of Las Vegas was a charming spot offering ample choices of prime acreage. It also didn’t hurt that Spring Mountain, a world class country-club style track facility, was nearby!

In December 2006, Michael found what he considered the perfect location in Pahrump, facing Mt. Charleston. It was five acres littered with 20 years’ worth of junk and garbage, including a rusted out trailer and a burned down workshop—a rather interesting choice, to say the least. As Michael recounts, “Virginia and I picked our way through the debris. I said to her, ‘Honey, we’ve found our property!’ Virginia responded with an incredulous look that said, ‘Are you kidding?’”

Michael soon swayed Virginia to his vision. “We went back to the car and I drew out a sketch of what we could do with the property and then she got excited, because the property was perfect,” he says. Work soon commenced to clear out the heaps of trash on the site—moved with a skip loader that filled fifty giant dump trucks, each 40 feet long!

The von Quiliches’ vision for their garage was ambitious. “I wanted something really different and functional, not just a big box type structure, so buying somebody else’s ideas was not considered,” says Michael von Quilich. “Just like starting a new family, we planned additional room for more Vipers in the future.”

Obviously, the requirement list for this baby was going to be long and detailed. It had to be large enough to accommodate multiple cars, a large trailer and a pick-up, with room for two lifts, and space to store parts, tires, rims—you name it.

“We love to entertain, so there had to be room for a ‘Viper Car Bar’ with a kitchen, a bathroom/shower and a washer/dryer to clean car towels,” says Michael von Quilich. “I didn’t want to be forced to back out with the car trailer, so I designed the garage to have a ‘drive through’ capability, with dual 14-foot high roll-up doors on each end plus 16-foot ceilings for plenty of clearance for high trailers and motor homes.

“To make it easy to move cars in and out without moving the trailer, I wanted three more garage doors on the long side of the building. Completing the layout, I designed two separate gated asphalt entry points from the street that connect to oval shaped paving behind our home that Virginia and I call the ‘race track.’ Paving encircles our home and garage, eliminating tight turning radiuses for trailers when coming and going.”

How important was the garage to the von Quiliches? Consider that construction on their garage began in January 2007; construction on their home commenced later, in June 2007. This is a couple who definitely have their priorities in order—the Viper comes first!

The von Quiliches spared no expense during the build. Specialized construction equipment was trucked in from Las Vegas to help ensure the foundation footing was level. A giant cement conveyor was employed, with two cement trucks simultaneously pouring cement onto the conveyor. The huge roof trusses were so large they were built in two sections, with a full-size crane brought in to set them in place.

“I wanted the floor in the garage to be perfectly level so we could do suspension set-ups without compensating for an uneven floor,” explains Michael von Quilich. “I hate drop lights, so I told our electrical contractor that I didn’t want to see shadows, even if a car was on a lift at night. He installed more than 180 four-tube florescent light fixtures inside and outside of the building.”

The garage, an 85-foot wide and 120-foot long Viper cathedral, was finished in late September 2008, just in time to welcome new Vipers into the “Garage Mahal.” The von Quiliches purchased two additional Vipers, a Gen IV Viper Coupe for the street and a Viper ACR for the track. A third Viper came rather cheaply—for the price of five VCA Raffle tickets! Yep, the lucky couple won the “1 of 1” Viper raffled off in 2008 at VOI.10 in Detroit.

Their Viper mansion complete, the von Quiliches have hosted many events at their luxurious Viper digs, including the Nevada VCA’s 4th of July Independence celebration and a special Viper weekend at Spring Mountain the couple organized for Nevada, California and Arizona VCA members. Twenty-eight Vipers were in attendance at that event. “We love to see all the beautiful Vipers parked in front of our Garage Mahal,” Michael von Quilich says.

The von Quiliches better get used to it. With a Viper garage like theirs, they should plan on a lot of company!

New Mexico VCA Charitable to the Corps

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010

By New Mexico VCA President Michael Shepherd

For two years the New Mexico (NM) VCA has supported the U.S. Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, which supports the families of Marines or law enforcement personnel that were killed on duty while serving our country at home or abroad. In 2008 we donated $3,000 to the foundation, with funds raised by the approximately 50 car entries for our Roadrunner Fun Run. The highlight was the Poker Run, which started with our NM Vipers, followed by a Ford GT, Bentley GT, Lamborghini, Corvettes, Porsches, Cobras, and a lot of other specialty cars. The three best poker hands won handcrafted trophies, and another 15 lucky entrants won various door prizes.

In 2009 the NM VCA donated $3,250 to the foundation. The Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation has distributed aid with a value of more than $25 million to eligible children of fallen Marines and law enforcement personnel. One hundred percent of all donations received are distributed to families. Our Club has only 35 members and has raised more than $6,000 in two years. Despite the relatively small size of our club we have had overwhelming success in helping our law enforcement and Marines.

The 2009 Roadrunner Fun Run event featured a dozen Vipers, a big rig, and a helicopter from Enchantment Helicopter coming together for a photo shoot to kick things off. We had 124 people participate in the ’09 Fun Run. Each entrant received a custom photo taken in front of all the Vipers. Once again we had a variety of interesting vehicles show up: Ferraris, Ford GT 40s, Cadillacs, Corvettes, Dodge Challengers, muscle cars, trucks, classics, hot rods, imports, and even a few classic motorcycles. How about a Mazda RX 7 with a V-8?  Or what about a ’68 Dodge Charger with a Viper V-10 engine? Yep, they were there too.

After everyone was registered and pictures were taken, we set out on the Poker Run through Albuquerque. The event included seven quick stops, with the closing event featuring the prize for the best poker hand. Many door prizes were given out by Sandia Tram, Unser Museum, Pete’s Hair Cuts, Sandia Raceway, AutoZone, Stoneface Bar & Grill, and Sandia Area Federal Credit Union. Special thanks to Motiva for its four dyno pulls and the $300 charity donation. Special thanks also to Bennie Martinez, Steve Tarro, Jan Hogstrom and Bill Rodway for their efforts in making this a successful event.

In 2010 the NM VCA will be giving to charity again. This time we will stage our Roadrunner Fun Run at the multimillion-dollar Sandia Casino in Albuquerque. On May 16 we will have more than 100 cars shown in the Sandia Casino ballroom. There will be vendors, food and music. The Poker Run will start in the parking lot of the Sandia Casino and at the end of the day there will be prizes awarded. Each participant in the Poker Run and the car show will help donate $25 to charity. We hope to see you at this exciting NM VCA charity event!

Back to Monterey Bay

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010

Story and Photos by Maurice Q. Liang

Club members from the Northern California Region and Central California Region returned to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for their annual holiday party in November. The huge, million-gallon tank provided a magical soft blue glow to the room, looking like a giant IMAX screen view of the undersea world of Jacques Cousteau.

“This event was our most popular holiday party in 2006,” said Events Director Terri Angen. “So we decided it was time to come back.” Food stations and a bar were set up around the aquarium to encourage club members to stroll around and check out the exhibits. A special exhibit showcased the Secret Lives of Seahorses. “It’s so nice to have the place to ourselves and not have to fight the crowds to see everything,” said one club member.

Joining them was special guest Steve Sharples, Viper Marketing Manager. “This is incredible!” he said, speaking both of the aquarium and the stunning ocean view outside his hotel room. At a presentation earlier in the day, Sharples gave members a preview of the 2010 and beyond Viper plans, ensuring Viperholics that the future of Viper was safe.

The Angens created some amazing centerpieces. In keeping with the Monterey Bay theme, the centerpieces were a diorama of a Viper sitting on a wharf overlooking the beach and the ocean. The “wooden” dock was actually machined from aluminum and anodized to look like wood—and featured working street lamps and Christmas lights. At the end of the event, the centerpieces were auctioned off, raising $1400 for the Brian Angen Memorial Foundation charity.

Afterwards, club members continued the party next door in the lounge of the InterContinental Hotel. “We had a great time at the party. What a beautiful venue!” said Bob Rand. It was a great way to start the holiday season!

The VM Interview: Ralph Gilles

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010


Ralph Gilles was a budding design student at the College of Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit back in 1991 when he first crossed paths with the car that would play a prominent role in both his professional and personal life. Spying the Dodge Viper at the Detroit auto show, Gilles instantly realized which automotive company he wanted to work for —Chrysler Group LLC (then Chrysler Corporation).

The native of Canada joined the Pentastar gang in 1992, working in the design office. He rapidly ascended the corporate ranks, and in 2009, at the ripe old age of 39, Gilles was named Dodge Car Brand President and CEO while retaining his previous role as Senior Vice President ?– Product Design, Chrysler Group LLC.

Despite his high-profile post on Chrysler Group LLC’s Management Team, Gilles remains humble, insisting the VM cover photo focus not on him but on the Viper. A card-carrying member of the Viper Club of America, Gilles is a car and racing enthusiast at heart, with a deep and abiding passion for the Viper and the VCA. He recently squeezed a few precious minutes into his ever-hectic schedule for a chat with VIPER Magazine.

VM: Growing up in Montreal, did you know your future involved cars?

RG: Definitely. Montreal was a bit of a race town, because of the Formula 1 race. In the summer, the weeks leading up to the race, all the people talked about was racing cars. You could go downtown and hear the cars testing. That was an influence. French Canadians in general are very big fans of motorsports, especially with Gilles Villeneuve being a very respected legend in the late 1970s. Between hockey and Formula 1, that’s all that was talked about.

VM: Were there any particular former Chrysler Corporation vehicles that sparked your interest in a career in automotive design?

RG: Of course. There were still some muscle cars running around. But I grew up in the unfortunate ’80s. There were some not-so-good-looking cars back then (laughs). There were still some ’Cudas running around back then, and also the Omni GLH, which I loved when it came out in the mid-’80s. That was a pretty notable car at the time. It was the first to do plus-two size wheels. It had oversized tires and wheels for its size, a turbo engine and it was all black. It was a neat little number, a cool little car in its day. That kind of showed to me the tongue-in-cheek nature of the company. They didn’t take themselves too seriously—the name GLH stood for “Goes Like Hell.”

VM: When did you first become aware of the Dodge Viper? What was your first reaction to the iconic sports car?

RG: I saw the car at the Detroit Auto Show in 1991. I was already a student in Detroit at the time. I saw the car on the stand, and I was like, “Oh my God!” It was so beautiful. A couple of years before, Chrysler had the Portofino, a four-door Lamborghini-inspired super car, which really stopped me in my tracks, as well. Then with the Viper—I fell in love with the concept. It was so bodacious, so low-slung and cool, and it managed to be very American.

VM: Since joining the former Chrysler Corporation back in 1992, how much direct involvement have you had in the evolution of the Viper’s design?

RG: Not as much in the beginning. I was observing the creation of the GTS, which was fascinating. The Roadster was pretty much already cooked when I got here. The GTS was being born, so I used to go to the studio every night and check it out. I had nothing to do with that particular one, but I loved the vehicle.

I did the interior on the 2003 version. It was already pretty much done, near the end of the Roadster’s development. I took over managing the project and tried to do some tweaks toward the end of its life. And then I managed the Coupe design.

VM: What element of the Viper’s design ?in which you were involved are you most proud of?

RG: I would say the Coupe, the Coupe version of today. I really fought to get that. The Coupe was never really planned. They weren’t going to do a Coupe again. We ended up building a model to show the senior management, and the model itself got everyone excited about it, so we really wanted to make sure the 2006 Coupe happened. And, of course, I’m proud of the ACR. That car really is just the love of motorsports pouring out from the SRT® team.

VM: Talk about your first experiences with Viper Club of America and your thoughts on the Club’s passion for Viper and Chrysler Group LLC products.

RG: My first impression of the Viper Club was in September 2002 at the Viper Owners Invitational in Nashville, Tenn. I was blown away by the magnitude of that event and how big it was, the attendance level, the generosity of everyone and how they got along. They didn’t really know who I was, so I was just blending in. I had these random conversations with a variety of owners. It was cool to see how they came from different walks of life. Some were exceptionally wealthy businesspeople, while others were just folks who had made it happen somehow because they love the car so much. They all got along and were exceptionally friendly, warm people. It was fun. They didn’t care that I was a nobody. They would just tell me stories about their cars.

The other opportunity I had to get to know the owners was at the autocross event (VCA vs. SRT). We would do it every year, and that’s when I really got to know the hardcore guys. I got invited because of my autocross skills and my road racing hobby. It was kind of fun to see the owners, who were so proud to be there because they were the best of the best, the top people from around the nation. I’m still friends with them to this day. I’m good friends with the Illinois club, who tend to be the most active in those events.

VM: You yourself are a Viper owner. Tell us about your Vipers and whether this personal connection to the car helps you relate to the needs of Viper owners?

RG: A 1997 Coupe was my first Viper. I bought it used in 2002. It needed a lot of work so I restored it. I really loved that car. I sold the ’97 and bought a ’08 ACR, which I still have now and which I love. That’s all I can afford. I’m jealous of those people who have multiple cars (laughs). I used to have a lot of different types of cars, but I sold them all just to buy the ACR.

It’s fun to live with the car. You get the hand waves, even in Detroit, where the car is seen probably a lot more than other places. You still get a lot of attention, a lot of great feedback, a lot of conversations with people in gas stations. When I bought the ’97 Coupe, I flew to Texas. It was January, in the wintertime, but there happened to be a three-day clearing in the weather, so I thought, “Hmm, I’ll drive it up from Texas.” I’ll never forget it. I drove it up, and everywhere we went it was like we were rock stars. I’d never been in a car like that in my life, and here I am, people are coming up to me in gas stations in the dead of winter, cops are looking at me funny, giving me the thumbs up. The minute I got in that car and took that road trip, already the affection was starting. It was hard to deny the power of that vehicle. Then I had to put it away for the winter. It was so sad. I couldn’t drive it until April.

VM: What challenges have you faced in taking on your new role as Dodge Car Brand President and CEO, in addition to your position as Senior Vice President – Product Design, Chrysler Group LLC?

RG: Of course, it’s tough. I find myself just adding hours to my work days. I’m really driven to make this thing work. I’m excited to see the company be thoroughly successful. That is what’s driving me now. Yeah, I get tired once in awhile, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s shining so bright I can’t wait to get there. This has been a long journey for us. We’ve been waiting a long time to have this opportunity. It’s really fallen into place beautifully with Fiat. Everyone is on our side helping us. We’ve never been better positioned than we are now. I’m really excited to be a part of that.

In the meantime, as far as design, I make time for design. My team in product design does a nice job of bundling everything so I can digest it in a day, versus two days or three days. They’re working around my crazy schedule. The same is happening with my Dodge team. They realize that I’m new to the game, and they’re doing everything they can to make it easy for me to pick up. There’s so much talent there, it’s not so hard. As long as I have enough time to absorb and give decent direction, the rest just happens.

VM: The Dodge Car Brand continues to evolve, including the recent decision to split Dodge Ram into a stand-alone brand. What role do you see Viper playing in the revamped Dodge Brand lineup?

RG: If everything plays out, I think it (the Viper) has a very significant role. The Dodge Car Brand is about being youthful, feeling younger than you are, being iconic, being outwardly American and having fun. I think the Viper does all those things. Even though we don’t sell in every country, the Viper is internationally known. Everyone knows what the Viper is.

You might not know this, but the Viper is the favorite car in the Forza Xbox video game. There’s an international racing league, and the Viper holds the top-10 positions for the fastest cars. People are choosing it in the video game world. You can see how the power of an icon transcends America, it transcends everyday life. In some ways, the Viper is bigger than us. We have to respect that.

VM: Dodge has introduced a number of special-edition Vipers for the 2010 model year. Can you talk about these special-edition Snakes?

RG: Sure. Some have been suggestions from our owners that they’ve been yelling at us, so to speak, to have these things created. We’re trying our best to acknowledge their desires. There are also things that we have had on the drawing board for years, and we finally said, “What the hell, let’s make these things happen.” We used unique combinations you’ll never see again. Very unique color combinations, unique detailing, and again, a lot were ideas from our consumer base that we tried to realize. And the idea is to keep it special. We know it’s the last year of this body style, so we tried to keep them as collectible and as special as possible to really make the owners happy with their purchases.

VM: What was the reasoning behind the special-edition approach as opposed to offering a revamped, larger production run 2010 model?

RG: We didn’t start early enough to do that, to be honest. The Viper, as you know, was under duress last year for many reasons, so everything stopped on the development of the car. The engineers kept working on the transmission and the fifth gear changes and little things, but a whole new car was not in the works at that time. So I didn’t want to propagate the current car any longer.

And the customers have spoken. The owners have asked for a new car and have been talking about it. I think the car is at its natural zenith point with the current body style. So we’ll see what happens.

VM: Were you deeply involved in the ?actual design of the new 2010 special-edition Vipers?

RG: I had to look at every one of them. Some of them are ideas right from our owners, and we were like, “Okay, if that’s what they want, that’s what they want.” For example, the Snakeskin Green ACR was something that we’ve never built, and people have been dying for us to build it, so we’re going to go ahead and make a few. We have the Vooodoo edition, which is a clone of my car, which people have been asking for. We just showed the Vooodoo car in L.A., and one gentleman drove clear across the country to go see it. He put his order in as soon as he came back home. Then there’s the Dodge Viper SRT10® ACR-X. (Other special-edition models include the Dodge Viper ACR 1:33 Edition). Everything will be very limited production, very low volume.

VM: You were on hand at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in December of last year to introduce the new ACR-X spec series racer. What prompted the creation of this turn-key race car?

RG: I’ve been racing my own ACR, and I noticed that the car is really damn good on the track! A lot of ACR owners were having a lot of fun with them, and basically just buying the car strictly for track use, almost. I noticed a few owners on the forums debating tearing up their cars, ripping out their interiors, and it’s almost a shame to do that, so why not build a car that’s made that way from the beginning? And there’s a lot of weight we put on for street use that we don’t need for track use. It’s a formula that’s been around for years. Porsche has been doing this for a long time, and a lot of other OEMs have done something along these lines, so we said, “Why not try this out?”

It’s actually a cool way to continue the legend of the car. It bothers me when I see the track times of the current car when it’s out there. Typically, it’s restricted by the sanctioning bodies because it’s too powerful. Because it’s so powerful, it gets restricted, and its true performance isn’t really known. By having a spec series, you can run unbridled and run pretty much the way the car was intended to be, and start setting the lap records that you deserved all along. In a way, the ACR-X is an unbridled version of the Viper. It’s amazing. It did exceptionally well at the Sebring test; it was third fastest among purpose built single seater prototype racecars.

VM: You’re an experienced racer yourself, competing in the One Lap of America and Targa Newfoundland Rally. Will we see you racing a Viper ACR-X in a Dodge Viper Cup event at any point this year?

RG: We’ll see. If I have time I might come in for a guest race, but I don’t want to beat all the owners (laughs heartily).

VM: Are there any other motorsports series in which Dodge plans to sponsor a factory-backed Viper in 2010?

RG: We’re going to be backing the World Challenge Series, with Kuno Wittmer running for Woodhouse. We’ve cut a deal with Versus to televise the Viper Cup races, so the owners will get a little bit of light shone on their achievements. We’ll have a very modest but decent contingency program for Viper Cup and the World Challenge Series. And Andrew Picard and Samuel Hübinette will also be drifting a Dodge-sponsored Viper and Challenger, respectively, in the Formula DRIFT Series.

VM: Dodge recently introduced a new ?Web site exclusive to Viper, www.viperheadquarters.com. Why was the site created and what sort of content will ?it offer?

RG: I’ve been disappointed with how difficult it’s been to capture all the racing that goes on with the Viper, so we created an all-encompassing Web site that would allow people to keep tabs on the different varieties of racing, any news we may have on the Viper itself, any bulletins on the car. Eventually, I would like to get some retail links on the site with some recommended vendors—Dodge, Mopar®. It’s kind of a nice home base that we can maintain. Sometimes I think the owners do a better job than we do (laughs). It’s our turn to step it up and do something that’s worthy of the car. And it’s also a great place to post information on the ACR-X as we develop it. It’s a great place to learn about the car. We’ve had some positive feedback already on the site.

VM: This year marks the coming of another much-anticipated Viper Owners Invitational (VOI). You’ve attended VOIs in the past. What are your thoughts on this Viper enthusiast event? Will Dodge and Chrysler Group LLC have a large presence at VOI.11 in Salt Lake City, and do you plan to attend?

RG: Unfortunately, we can’t have the same presence we’ve had in the past. Due to our financial situation, we have to be very careful there, but we are doing whatever we can to help the Club. The Club is doing a great job, Chris Marshall and his team are doing a great job of pulling it together. We will definitely have some kind of presence there, and we’ll probably end up sponsoring a dinner or doing some token of appreciation for the owners. It won’t be on the scale of what we’ve done in the past, but in true Viper Nation fashion, everyone is pulling together to make this happen. It just goes to show the spirit of the Viper Nation. And I do plan to attend, aside from unseen circumstances.

VM: A lot has taken place at Chrysler Group LLC over the last couple of years—the brief marriage to Cerberus, the rumors of the sale of Viper, the merger with Fiat. Is the new management committed to Viper? Do you feel the Fiat partnership places the Viper on stronger ground?

RG: I have as much to do with the Viper as anyone. I do know they appreciate motorsports and really understand the importance of iconic cars like the Viper. Branding is something that is very important to the new management team. A brand is only as good as its assets, and the Viper is one of those assets, right? We’re trying to find a way to make it fit in. We have a lot on our plate, a lot of other vehicles that we are developing, a lot of great programs, and Viper is yet another. I think there’s definitely going to be some form of the Viper in the future. When, I don’t know. We haven’t forgotten about her. As you can tell, the amount of support it’s getting this year is indicative of where it belongs in our hearts.

VM: Where does Viper fit in with brands that are now part of the extended Chrysler Group LLC family, such as Maserati and Ferrari? Can we anticipate technological or design cues from these two famed nameplates to show up in future models of Viper?

RG: I don’t know. We talk about that a lot, even internally. I don’t think there’s much overlap, to be honest. The cars are very, very different. There might be some small gizmos here and there that we can trade. I’ve driven a few Ferraris lately. I like the way the steering feels; I like the way the vehicle responds. They have a nice linear response. Those are kind of lessons learned. We can take away some of the know how, but not necessarily the parts. I think the Viper is a Viper and a Ferrari is a Ferrari. They definitely have some of the best development engineers in the world. We’ll just trade notes and see what happens.

VM: Any chance we can squeeze a little info out of you regarding the plans for the Gen V Viper, and when we might see it?

RG: Nuh-uh. Nope!

VM: One last question: It’s January 2020. Where do you see Viper?

RG: There will always be a segment of the population that wants a performance vehicle and as the performance brand of the company, Dodge is committed to Viper. While I can’t confirm a future 10 years out, I think the Viper could have some kind of electric componentry built into it. As a performance plate, it’ll have a green dimension by default, but there’s also a huge movement going towards using electric powertrains as a way to improve performance, so I think there’s a nice tie-in to the evolution of the Viper that is bound to happen in the next decade or so. So stay tuned on that.

My Toys

Written by editor on . Posted in Letters, Spring 2010

I really enjoyed the story about Mr. Elser’s garage and basement full of Viper collectibles in the Fall 2009 issue of VIPER Magazine. My garage is not that nice, but it looks cool. My toys include a 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10®, 2006 Dodge Ram SRT10 with 6-speed manual transmission and 2010 Camaro SS.

Carroll Gerrald

Arizona City, Ariz.

Nice pair of smokin’ fast SRT10s, Carroll. We’re sure you get a lot of attention driving them. Thank you for the correspondence and interest in VIPER Magazine.—Ed.

Our Little Viper Girl

This is my wife, Gloria’s, 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 with our 12-year-old great granddaughter, Tori Thatcher. Tori’s already interested in cars. She is our little Viper girl.

Art Piel

Petoskey, Mich.

Thanks for sharing the photo of your ’08 Viper and great granddaughter. Perhaps she’ll be a future Viper owner, too.—Ed.

Viper Storage Tips

Hello, I am a Viper Club member. I know years ago you did a piece about long-term (winter) storage. I have looked through my back issues (some missing) and can’t seem to find it. It had suggestions for tire pressure and such. Any chance you know what issue that was in? Thank you.

Jim Hengel

Via e-mail

You’re referring to a Viper winter storage feature article in the Winter 2007 issue of VIPER Magazine (pages 22–23) titled “Temple of Doom.” Unfortunately we’re sold out of that issue, but we’d be happy to send you a photo copy of the article. For information about VIPER Magazine back issue availability—$7.00 each while supplies last—visit www.vipermagazine.com/issues or call Viper Headquarters toll-free at (800) 998-1110.—Ed.

2010 Hot Wheels Line Includes 2008 Viper ACR

As a long time subscriber, I am always happy to see a new issue of VIPER Magazine in the mailbox. It’s even better when it features such great things as the good news about the rebirth of Viper production. I always enjoy Maurice’s updates on Viper diecast, and I did want to throw in that (if he doesn’t yet know or have a wall full of) the 2010 Hot Wheels new model line release includes a 2008 Viper ACR in red with black stripes. These are already on the pegs and in my collection now. I’m sure we’ll see some paint variants in the future, as Hot Wheels will make the most of a casting, and one this good deserves a long run. Although it’s not the newest body style, Green Lights Motor World division has released a 2003 SRT10 roadster in 1:64 (gold/black) as well as a 1:43 in black.

Thanks and continue the great work!

John D. Canfield

Via e-mail

John, thank you for sharing this information as we know it will be of interest to many of our readers.—Ed.

 

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