Author Archive

Last Viper Down the Line

Written by editor on . Posted in Summer 2010

Story by Roger Meiners

The last Dodge Viper came down the line at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant (CAAP) at noon on July 1. It goes to Viper collector extraordinaire D’Ann Rauh, of Arp, Texas. D’Ann was covered in the Fall 2009 issue of VIPER Magazine. We reported that she and her husband, Wayne, owned 29 Vipers—with two more on the way. At that time she was asked when their collecting might end, and D’Ann said, “I don’t know. When they stop building them.”

She didn’t know at that time, but the end was coming—and it’s here now. D’Ann now owns the last current-generation Dodge Viper, a Gold and Copper SRT10® coupe that came down the line at Conner Avenue July 1, 2010.

This spectacular car has been covered in House of Kolor paint by Prefix, of Rochester Hills, Mich., and features Gleaming Gold with Coppertone stripes bordered with Black Onyx metallic finish.

The stripes were designed by Mark Trostle of Chrysler Design. Trostle, with fellow Chrysler designers Jeff Aneiros and Scott Krugger laid out the stripes on the car. Bob Soroka, an SRT® designer, airbrushed the Coppertone stripes with a unique “snakeskin” detail laid out by Chrysler engineer Karl Schuneman on his home computer graphics equipment. This “snakeskin” detail is actually ten race track maps that figure in Viper history, including Daytona, Le Mans, Sebring, the Nurburgring, Laguna Seca, Nelson Ledges, Road America, Texas Motorsports Ranch, Gingerman and Blackhawk Farms. Readers are invited to study the airbrush work and identify the tracks.

Venzano Interiors of Waterford, Mich., draped the entire interior with ultra-quality tan and black hides—and a custom-stitched Viper logo on the rear bulkhead.

This car just might be the jewel in D’Ann and Wayne’s fabulous collection!

To view the entire article download the following pdf.

Last Viper Down the Line – PDF

To download the centerfold of The Dodge Viper Production Team as the last Gen IV 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10® rolls off the line at CAAP on July 1, 2010 in Detroit, Mich.

Last Viper Down the Line Centerfold – PDF

Liang’s Viperlair

Written by editor on . Posted in Summer 2010

By Darren Jacobs

Quick: Create a mental picture of Northern California VCA president Maurice Liang’s garage. Most likely you imagined something along these lines: A cavernous cathedral, roomy enough to accommodate both the ultimate Viper fanatic’s Snakes and his legendary treasure trove of Viper memorabilia; ultra-rare Viper collectibles cover every inch of wall space along the vast, warehouse-like edifice; Maurice sleeps peacefully near his beloved Snakes, clad in his Sneaky Pete pjs.

No doubt this would be a common assumption in the Viper community concerning the car crib of one of the founding fathers of the VCA, an acclaimed Viper author with another book in the works—in short, a man whose picture should be listed in the dictionary under “Viper nut.” But the reality, as is often the case with preconceived notions, is far different. In fact, Liang’s garage is a fairly reserved affair, an understated Viper domicile adorned with a few carefully chosen Viper baubles.

What’s the reason for the conventional quality of Liang’s garage? Frankly, it’s because when he first purchased his home Liang was still your normal, run-of-the-mill car enthusiast. His Viper obsession was blossoming, but had yet to fully bloom.

“Like most car nuts, when I first bought the house I didn’t have a Viper yet,” recalls Liang. “The goal was to find a house that would have a good garage for the Viper. I looked for about eight months to find a house that had more than a typical two- or three-car garage.”

Liang finally found a house that met his specifications, located in Los Altos, Calif., near San Francisco, with a four-car garage and a huge driveway. He purchased his home in January 1993 and began remodeling the garage for a “baby” that would arrive in June of that same year—a 1993 red Viper Roadster. Like any proud papa, Liang made the room ready for his new “child,” painting the garage grey so his Viper would be set off nicely and adding red striping on the walls to tie into the red Roadster.

Years passed. Liang’s Viper collection grew, as did his legend as a Viper buff and his gigantic collection of Viper memorabilia. Joining the 1993 Roadster (“I have long-term relationships with my cars,” says Liang) in his garage now is a 1996 GTS coupe with blue-and-white stripes, a 2008 Snakeskin Green SRT10® Coupe and a 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8.®

“It’s not a ‘Garage Mahal.’ It’s a normal garage that’s been decorated,” says Liang. “Time goes by and you collect more stuff and more cars and you run out of space. I got Snake bit. I thought I was going to have one Viper and that was it. Then you get bitten and the next thing you know you want the Coupe because it’s different from the Roadster and it just keeps going.

“There’s a whole lot more Viper memorabilia I have—I could fill a warehouse. My envy is somebody like a Jerry DeYoung or a Michael von Quilich. When I look at the garages of those guys, I think, ‘I would like to have that some day.’ My garage is doing the best you have with ‘normal’ resources.”

Liang recently built a second overflow garage to accommodate other cars in his collection and additional motorsports toys, such as snowmobiles and dunebuggies. He stores his famed Viperabilia collection in a Viper “shrine room” in his house, although much remains packed away in boxes (Perhaps not for long—Liang is working with the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, Mich. on an exhibit of his Viper memorabilia later this year).

Once infected with the Viper bug, it’s usually for life. Thus, it’s no surprise that Maurice has his eye on expanding the size of the garage at casa de Liang.
“My goal is to someday build a larger garage where I can have all my collectibles displayed,” Liang says. “It would be great to have a personal mini-museum. I would like to have the dream garage, and that’s why I have a lot of the stuff I have, so I can one day exhibit it all. My original goal was to have a second story on the garage with a clubhouse displaying my Viper memorabilia, with a Plexiglas floor so you could look at all the cars below. The problem, as is the case with many communities, is building restrictions, so it’s been a little tough.”

A little thing like building restrictions won’t stop a Viper lover like Liang for long. He’s already consulted an architect who has proposed plans for expansion that might seem a bit outlandish, until you factor in the magnitude of Liang’s passion for the Snake. Ideas on the table include taking the garage underground, sideways—or even into the house itself, with a driveway that leads all the way into Maurice’s living room! Don’t think he’ll do it? Then you don’t know Maurice.

“This guy is a very creative architect. I like his ideas a lot,” Liang raves. “It’s just a question of money and time, and going through the permit process. Bob Lutz said at the very beginning when the Viper first came out, ‘Vipers are for people who spend a disproportionate amount of their disposable income on cars.’ And that’s true. Cars are what are important to me. I’m not saying that’s the right priority. The problem is I’m not married, so no one’s telling me to do otherwise.”

Here’s a little tidbit: When Maurice first purchased his home, he was married. The wife is gone. The Vipers stayed. With that in mind, a home with a Viper in the living room is perhaps the most apropos of housing arrangements for the most diehard of Viper devotees. After all, home is where your heart is—and Maurice’s heart is definitely with the Dodge Viper.

Poster Hisssstory

Written by editor on . Posted in Summer 2010

By Roger Meiners

The poster spread across this page is a unique statement of Dodge Viper history (or is it HISSSSTORY?), told in its images. Chrysler published a great series of posters chronicling the proud record of Viper racing worldwide during the years of Chrysler’s direct factory support for Viper race teams. We resurrected a few of these works of art for your enjoyment in these pages. These are becoming collectors’ items now, and will continue to be so as time goes on, especially since we are now witnessing the end of Viper production—at least for now.

Poster collecting is and has always been an integral part of the car sport. Some of the older examples of automotive posters can cost well into the thousands of dollars.

To go with the posters, here is a compilation of Viper racing milestones during the era of Chrysler factory support:

Dodge Viper Racing Timeline


1995

  • January: Viper GTS/R racing program approved. Neil Hanneman appointed to direct the program.
  • August: First Viper GTS/R ready for testing. Built at Jeep® and Truck Engineering.
  • Viper GTS/R is officially unveiled at the Monterey Historic Automobile Races, Laguna Seca Raceway, Calif. Hanneman demonstrates the car on the track.
  • November: Testing at Charlotte, N.C.


1996

    Viper finishes seventh in class and 29th overall at the 24 hours of Daytona in January.

  • Hannemann departs and Dick Meyers takes over as program director.
  • Team ORECA announces they will run a limited schedule with a GTS/R in the GT-1 class in Europe and the BPR Global Series in Asia as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
  • Canaska Southwinds will also run a limited schedule in the GTS-1 class in the North American IMSA GT Championship. The team finishes 29th at the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12th at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
  • A Viper Coupe paces the Indianapolis 500.


1997

  • Viper takes the pole in GT2 at Le Mans and leads the race by as much as five laps after five hours. Leading by seven laps at dawn before electrical problems result in a 14th place finish.
  • Team ORECA finishes 12th at the 24 Hours of Daytona racing in the IMSA GT Series. ORECA also runs in Europe in the FIA GT Championship Series. Moving to the GT-2 class, the Vipers win seven of 11 races on their way to the series championship.
  • Chamberlain Engineering campaigns a GTS/R.
  • Team Taisan races a Viper in the All Japan Grand Touring Car Championship.

1998

    The ORECA team continues its domination in FIA GT racing by winning 9 of the 10 races during the season including a first in class win at Le Mans finishing eleventh overall. This is the second year in a row that the team wins the FIA GT championship.

  • Oftedahl Motorsports races a Viper GTS/R and takes six class wins in the British GT Championship, including an overall win at Silverstone.

1999

    Meyers departs and Dick Winkles takes over as program director.

  • A Viper wins the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.
  • Team ORECA wins the class championship in the American Le Mans Series and wins nine of 10 races in the FIA GT series to capture the championship.
  • Chamberlain Engineering is second in the FIA GT championship.
  • Vipers place 1st through 6th in the GTS Class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with ORECA winning the class.
  • Paul Belmondo’s Viper team earns two victories in the FFSA GT Championship series.
  • 1st in the German Championship – Team Zakspeed.

2000

    Team ORECA wins the 24 Hours of Daytona and goes on to win 10 races and the championship in the American Le Mans series.

  • ORECA takes third straight class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
  • 1st in the French Championship – Team DDO.
  • st in the 24 Hours of Zolder – Team GLPK.
  • Team Belmondo Racing earns 2nd in the team class of the FIA Championship.
  • Team Carsport Holland wins 3rd in the driver’s championship of FIA.

2001

    Factory backing of Viper racing ends after significant work was done designing a new race car based on the new 2003 Viper.

Dodge Viper Cup

Written by editor on . Posted in Summer 2010

Story and Photos by Roger Meiners

The First Races

Twelve Dodge Viper SRT10® ACR-Xs made Viper racing history at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) as the 2010 Dodge Viper Cup series kicked off with ?two exciting races July 10–11, 2010.

?The weather was sunny, hot and humid—ranging into the mid nineties on Saturday, and a few degrees cooler on Sunday—but who cared! This was exciting stuff, the debut of the ACR-X and its soon-to-be signature standing start. What would happen when nearly eight thousand horsepower was unleashed on the ?starting line for a multi-car drag race to Turn One? NHRA Four-Wide couldn’t be much more exciting.

Twelve Dodge Viper ACR-X racers—including two celebrity guest-driven cars—coiled themselves around the scenic 21-turn course for two-and-a-half days to kick off the 2010 Dodge Viper Cup. Connie Bogan, Reno, Nev.; Larry Carter, Evans, Ga.; Jeff Courtney, Jackson, Wis.; Eric Galerne, Houston, Texas; Ted Hughes, Seward, Neb.; Ben Keating, Port Lavaca, Texas; Jim Stout, Alliance, Ohio; Michael von Quilich, Pahrump, Nev.; Keith Verges, Dallas, Texas (Brad Gorrondona’s car); and Ryan Schimsk, a young hot shoe from Dallas, Texas (Cody Whitehead’s X-snake).

The two celebrity guests were Shaun Bailey, Associate Engineering Editor, Road & Track Magazine, and Army National Guard Reserve Sergeant Michael Kohn, an Olympic Bronze Medal Winner in bobsled at the 2002 Salt Lake, Utah, Winter Games.

According to Dodge Racing, two celebrity drivers will be invited to each race weekend. Their prize money will be donated to the charity of their choice. Each celebrity driver is trained by Cindi Lux, who recently campaigned a Mopar®-Sponsored Dodge Viper Competition Coupe in the SCCA World Challenge.

National Guard Reserve Sergeant Kohn explained how he got involved: “It started with a phone call from Cindi inviting me to compete in the opening race at VIR. I had never been at VIR or in an ACR-X and have little experience racing cars, but who could turn down an opportunity like this? I thought, ‘go for it.’ I had no idea I would have as much fun as I did. Cindi and her crew welcomed me and started working right away on getting me comfortable in the car. I can’t say enough about Dodge, Cindi and the rest of the team. They are hard-working professionals—and how can you not laugh at Fred’s (Fred Lux’s) jokes? There’s nothing better than spending time with my bobsled team on the road and winning races. The same for the ACR-X team—there is such a great amount of mutual respect among everybody affiliated with Dodge and all the teams—it was incredible. All truly believe in the Dodge brand, but most importantly the Dodge Viper ACR-X.”

The 2010 Dodge Viper Cup series consists of two races per weekend for five weekends, including the two races at VIR. Drivers are racing not only for glory and a nice trophy, but also for real money. Dodge is paying out $6,500 in cash to the winner and Mopar is throwing in a $1,000 voucher. The payout goes down to fifth place, and the rest of the top ten get a $500 discount on entry fees. Not only ?that, but the series champion gets $25,000, second-place will receive $10,000 and third-place will pay $5,000. The money should put a dent in the budget required to run the series.

If you want to join in the action—get a Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X. Dodge has ?built an additional 25 units, bringing the total of 2010 Viper ACR-X models to 50. ?For more information, call Viper Race Headquarters at (888) 960-3333 or visit www.viperheadquarters.com.


Race One

Ben Keating Wins Historic First Dodge Viper Cup Race

Saturday, July 10, 2010, Alton, Va.—Ben Keating won the first-ever Dodge Viper Cup race today, the first of two races at the inaugural Dodge Viper Cup weekend event, held at Virginia International Raceway (VIR).

Keating led from pole position and was never headed in his Dodge Viper ACR-X, finishing less than a second ahead of Jeff Courtney, who started next to him on the front row. All competitors were in the new ACR-X Vipers, introduced earlier this year by Dodge.

“I felt extreme pressure from Courtney throughout the race,” said Keating. “I did not have the fastest car. My crew built a cushion into our setup, so we would not have any trouble passing tech inspection.” Nevertheless he had the second-fastest lap of the race, just a few hundredths quicker than Courtney’s best. Keating averaged 99.848 mph for the race.

Third place finisher Ryan Schimsk and fourth place Keith Verges had the drives of the race. Each started at the back of the grid because of missteps in their Vipers’ ride-height settings, but shrugged off the penalties at the start—Schimsk passing three cars with a daring wheels-off move. They proceeded to carve through the field, Schimsk setting the fastest lap on the way, before settling just behind Keating and Courtney at the head of the pack.

“I really drove hard to fight my way through the field, and I didn’t save my tires, so I had nothing left when I caught up with the leaders,” said Schimsk.

“VIR is my favorite track,” said Keating. “The facility is awesome. The upper esses at over 100 mph followed by an awesome, blind, downhill turn on the way to Oak Tree … then, one of the longest straights on any road course into a blind, hilltop turn … it just doesn’t get any better than that. 160+ mph is just cool.

“I can’t remember my nerves ever being that frazzled all weekend,” he said. “I wanted it BAD, and my Friday testing was a disaster. My fastest time on Friday was a 2:09, which was extremely off-pace.  I had a lot of work to do and some risks to take. We made some major setup changes and had some success on Saturday morning.

“We all ran a clean race. I had Jeff right behind me for the whole race, and the two guys that had to start at the back worked their way up to 3rd and 4th. If we went another 10 laps, I think the race would have gotten much more interesting.

“The Viper ACR-X is an amazing track car. The first amazing thing is just how quickly the car gets around the track. My fastest lap around VIR in my World Challenge Spec Viper Comp Coupe is a 1:59.5. I was 4.5 seconds faster in my ?ACR-X—and 4.5 seconds per lap is an eternity. The second amazing thing is that this car is basically no different than the street cars sitting in the showroom at ViperExchange.com. This car deserves a lot of credit.”


Race Two

Ryan Schimsk Wins Dodge Viper Cup Race 2 at VIR

Sunday, July 11, 2010, Alton, Va.—Ryan Schimsk won Dodge Viper Cup Race 2 during the inaugural Dodge Viper Cup weekend at Virginia International (VIR).

Schimsk blasted from pole position to a convincing lead by the end of the second lap. He was never challenged, finishing four seconds clear of Keating. Keith Verges made a lightning-quick start from third on the grid, jumping ahead of Keating, but lost time when he went wide in turn two and dropped to fifth. He was quickly back in third behind Keating, where he remained to the end of the race.

“I got a really good start but went too deep into turn two and had to go wide into the marbles. Ben (Keating) and two others got by before I could collect the car and go on,” said Verges. “I got back behind Keating, but couldn’t do more than that.” He finished two seconds back in third place.

“Keith (Verges) got way in front and all I could do is get close and hope,” said Keating. His hopes were rewarded soon after when Verges went wide and had to slow, letting him by into second where he finished.

Guest driver Sergeant Mike Kohn reviewed his progress through the two races, “Unfortunately we didn’t win the race but I got more comfortable with the car and the track every time we went out. My best lap in the first couple sessions was 2:18 and my best lap on the last day was 2:00. I was in awe of the horsepower, the stability and grip in the corners and I could really feel the down force over 100 mph. It was great to have Cindi on the radio keeping me focused and getting tips from my teammates Jeff Courtney and Shaun Bailey. Is that an all-star squad or what? Now I understand why Cindi kept saying how special the Viper is when driving. I want an ACR-X so badly now! Maybe I can ask for one as a wedding present from my fiancée. The Army National Guard sponsored me in this event. This was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I would like to thank Dodge, Lux Performance and the National Guard for this opportunity. Now it’s time to put some Viper drivers in a bobsled with me.” 

 

Partying with a Purpose

Written by editor on . Posted in Summer 2010

By Darren Jacobs


To those whom much is given, much is required, and VCA members have a LOT for which to be thankful. They cruise the streets in a car that reduces grown men and women to drooling mush and belong to a car club that creates iron-clad bonds that last a lifetime. So, yeah, when it comes to giving back, the VCA is definitely not shy. Case in point: The VCA Ohio.

The Ohio Region’s holiday bash, held on March 13 in the Transportation Museum at Carillon Park in Dayton, Ohio, demonstrated that the Ohio VCA chapter knows how to seriously par-tay. Approximately 100-plus VCA Ohio and IN/KY Region members raised the roof, along with Viper VIPs such as Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, Dodge Brand; Viper gurus Dick Winkles and Herb Helbig; and VCA National President Chris Marshall. But amid the merrymaking the Club made sure to carve out precious time to raise valuable funds for those in need.

Ralph and Doris Gilles brought along items to auction to support the American
Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund, including a set of three GTS-R watercolor lithograph prints, signed in the plate by GTS-R co-designer Bob Hubbach, and a commemorative gift set from the 1996 Viper GTS pace car at the Indy 500. In addition, PartsRack’s JonB donated a banner of Ralph Gilles’ Vooodoo Viper. Winning bidders were Jim and Kathy Stout (GTS-R prints), Bill White, VCA Ohio vice president (pace car commemorative set), and Paul Suloff, VCA Ohio Drag Racing Director (Vooodoo Viper Banner).

VCA members and Viper vendors also donated items to auction to help fund the costs of the holiday party. Contributors included the Viper Club of America, Goodyear Tires, Corsa Exhaust, Viper Days, Optima Batteries, PartsRack, Viper Parts of America, Coastal Pet Products Racing Team, ESSCO (Sam Goldfarb), Bosserman Aviation, Arena Dodge, Dick Winkles, Herb Helbig, Chris Marshall, and Jim Stout.

The charity auction was just one way in which the Ohio VCA Region assists those less fortunate. The Club is in its third year of a Charity Show ‘n’ Shine at Golling’s Arena Dodge in Dayton, Ohio.

“Our Show ‘n’ Shine at Arena Dodge benefits the AIDS Resource Center [ARC] Ohio,” said Randall Arnold, VCA Ohio president, who founded the popular charity event. “We’ve had a great turnout, with many Club members bringing out their Vipers to help support this worthwhile cause.”

The Club has raised more than $2,400 for the ARC, a non-profit, community-based organization whose mission is to provide services to those infected, affected and at risk of HIV/AIDS. Last year, the ARC awarded the VCA Ohio its Red Ribbon Society Award for the Club’s hard work in raising funds for the organization.

“My feeling is that we are very fortunate that we can afford cars like this and do the things that we do,” said Arnold. “There are a lot of less fortunate people out there that can use our help.”

2008 ACR Takes VM Trophy at the Rock

Written by editor on . Posted in Summer 2010

Story by Tom Leasure

A 2008 Dodge Viper ACR is VIPER Magazine’s 2010 Viper of the Year. ?We met up with the owner Stuart Goldblatt, from Raleigh, N.C., at Mopars at the Rock at Rockingham Drag Way in Rockingham, N.C., on Apr. 17, 2010. Goldblatt, a member of the Carolina Region VCA, has supported this event since 2000.

As I began to write this article about VM’s 2010 Viper of the Year, after reviewing Goldblatt’s information, I felt the story should be more than an article about a car with notable specs. So, I’m including a depiction of one man’s enthusiasm and passion for the Dodge Viper ACR, a great American muscle car.

Goldblatt ordered the 2008 Dodge Viper ACR through a Dodge dealer in Wilmington, N.C., in February 2008—receiving the car ?in September of that year. While seven months doesn’t seem long to many, Goldblatt said it seemed like the longest seven months he had ever experienced. When he received the call from the dealer that his ACR had arrived, he drove to the dealership to pick up the car the same day. He didn’t arrive home until 2:30 a.m. the following morning.

“I sat in the garage with a friend that night until sunrise, just staring at the car and imagining how fortunate I was to actually have received one of the first 2008 ACRs,” said Goldblatt, who also owns a 1999 Dodge Viper ACR that he’s driven in Viper Days and other events for nine years. “I realized how very lucky I am to have two Vipers side-by-side in the same garage.”

The ’08 ACR is mostly original except for the headers and high-flow cats. A short-throw shifter and carbon-fiber dash complement the interior.

While there are so many different aftermarket additions one can add to their Viper, Goldblatt has found that it truly isn’t necessary. “It’s fun … but clearly the ACR is complete when delivered,” said Goldblatt. “It’s simply amazing!”

The lap times at VIR are 2:064 (3.27-mi. 17-turn road course). Goldblatt found it very helpful to watch videos of each event so he could learn from his previous outings. In both ACRs they have used three video cameras; each from different angles. Goldblatt has compiled an annual DVD from each event and now has a library record of past years. He hopes it will be fun to watch his DVDs years down the road. One of the things he truly appreciates about Vipers, in general, is the fact that you actually drive the car. “There are no electronic aids,” said Goldblatt. “It’s truly a driver’s dream.”

Over the years, the local Carolina’s Region VCA has attended many shows and benefits and Vipers always have been the primary draw of all ages. “It’s truly fun sharing our cars during club and show events,” Goldblatt continued. “It gives us the opportunity to provide non-Viper owners information about the car, let children sit in the cars, and through conversation allow us to offer a bit of Snake “hissstory” they will never forget.”

When building his home just over four years ago his wife, Deborah, made him install an intercom in their garage—she calls it “The Snake Pit.” To her, it seems he spends more time in the garage than in their house! Goldblatt said, “I just wish I could hear the intercom better!”

Charity – Drive a Student to School in a Dodge Viper

Written by editor on . Posted in Letters, Summer 2010

My wife works at the Leroy L. Wood Elementary School in Fairhaven, Mass. They were having a spaghetti dinner to help raise funds for their field trip this past spring. The school also asks people to donate things or services that they could use to raffle off to raise funds. My wife mentioned to me that it would be a cool idea to have a raffle for driving a student to school in a Dodge Viper. I would like to say that the ride in the Viper raised the most money, but I was competing with the gym teacher donating his own childhood scooter, and that was a tough act to beat. Well, we’ll just call it a tie.

Kristen Plante was the student who won. She is a 6-year-old first-grader and was so excited that she was getting a ride in a Viper. One of the first things she said to her mom was, “What am I going to wear?” Man, they start young! When I picked her up at her house, I showed her how to do the fangs greeting. We arrived at school with all sorts of fanfare; kids were lined up along the fence for over 100 yards. I enjoyed myself as much as she did. I told her I would write a letter to VIPER Magazine to see if they would print this story and maybe send her a copy for a souvenir. This would be another way to put a smile on a child’s face.

Richard Desrosiers

Fairhaven, Mass.


It’s always nice to hear about a youngster’s day being made. We’ll be sure to send souvenir copies. Thank you for sharing this story with the Viper Nation!—Ed

Viper at the Pass

I’m from Switzerland and already a member of VCA Switzerland. Here’s my Viper on the pass of St. Gotthard in Switzerland. The photograph was taken in late May.

Best regards,

Ruedi Gisler

Unteraegeri, Switzerland


That’s a cool shot of your Viper! Thanks for the correspondence and for your interest in VIPER Magazine.—Ed.

How Bad Have You Got It?

We just wanted to shoot you photos of our Dodge family—thought the readers might enjoy it. We own three graphite color Dodge vehicles. A 2005 Dodge Ram, 2005 Dodge Magnum SRT8® and a 2005 Dodge Stratus. The Ram and Stratus are our daily drivers; the Magnum is only used if we get company or go on a trip.

Now for the real toys:
?Emerald Green w/tan interior 1994 RT/10
?– Plate reads SNAKBIT1 for Gen 1,
?Sapphire Blue w/silver stripes 2001 GTS
?– Plate reads SNAKBIT2 for Gen 2,
?White 2004 Mamba SRT10® – Plate reads SNAKBIT3 for Gen. 3.

You heard the NASCAR slogan “How bad have you got it?” Well, I even have the Viper Emblem on my golf cart.



Don Smith

Concord, N.C.


Yes, you’ve got it bad. But that’s a good thing! All the best!—Ed.

We want to hear from you!

We value your input. Please feel free to send any questions, comments, or constructive criticisms to:

VIPER Magazine

P.O. Box 2117

Farmington Hills, MI 48333-2117

E-mail: [email protected]

Viper SRT 10 Final Edition

Written by editor on . Posted in Summer 2010

By Maurice Q. Liang

The Gen IV Viper takes its final bow dressed in a classy, formal-looking paint scheme for the Final Edition. Only 50 Final Edition cars have been built, a mix of 18 roadsters, 20 coupes, and 12 ACRs. The sales code for the Final Edition package is AXZ.

The Graphite colored body is highlighted with a single, wide, painted black “Fang” stripe that runs from the hood to the rear decklid. The stripe is outlined by a red pinstripe. On coupes and ACRs, the roof and windshield surround are also painted gloss black, giving the Viper a sleek, canopy-look. Final Edition badges are added below the Viper SRT10® logos on the side sills.

Coupes and roadsters get 6-spoke wheels painted Anthracite Gray, while the ACR continues with black Sidewinder wheels.

Inside, the Final Edition gets a black interior with red accent stitching on the shift boot and knob, e-brake handle and boot, steering wheel, and seats. The center stack ?is piano gloss black with red halo accents around the gauge openings. Final Edition ?cars also get unique floor mats, and a numbered dash plaque.

Steve Sharples, Viper Brand Manager says, “The Final Edition caps off the most unique model year in the history of Viper with the dealer-exclusive editions at Tomball, Roanoke and Woodhouse Dodge, five different special editions, plus the ACR-X race car, and then, with all the colors and options available, many of the non-special edition Vipers should actually end up being one-of-a-kind cars.”

All 50 cars have been ordered by dealers, so if you want one, you’ll have to go to www.viperheadquarters.com to find a dealer who has one on order.

Of VIPERS and VOI

Written by editor on . Posted in Ignition, Summer 2010

Dear Viper Nation:

As I began to write this, we were nearly through building out the 2010 Vipers. It was such a treat to see the holding area at Conner Avenue Assembly Plant. It looked like a giant package of M&M’s® exploded in our factory! Very inspiring stuff.

We celebrated the end of the current-generation Snake with a “Last Viper Off The Line” event on July 1. D’Ann Rauh received her custom Viper at Conner, followed by a reception at The Walter P. Chrysler Museum, which is showcasing “Born to Race – Dodge Viper Racing Heritage,” featuring an amazing collection of the most significant Vipers to hit the streets and the track since the Viper debuted in 1989 as a concept car. A special shout out to David Williams from Maryland, whose very first new vehicle purchase in his entire life is No. 2 of the Vooodoo Editions. Welcome to the Viper Nation—and you have great taste!

I hope each of you is doing whatever you can to make it to VOI.11, Sept. 30–Oct. 3, 2010. Salt Lake City is stunning; The Grand America and Little America Hotels and Miller Motorsports Park are amazing venues. There’s also World Challenge and Dodge Viper Cup series racing on Sunday! Chris Marshall, the other National Officers and several of the Salt Lake City area Viper owners have been working their tails off to bring you VOI at the lowest price it has ever been—without any compromises!

Although VOI.11 is truly an event for the people by the people, Dodge is 100 percent behind it. My family and I plan to be there, as well as a number of SRT® and Dodge staff. Dodge is sponsoring one of the dinners, the tech sessions and a very exclusive new product sneak peek … only for VOI attendees!

In the meantime, I am sweating the next “Ode to Viper!” and how and when we can get back to the Nürburgring!

Ralph Gilles

President and CEO, Dodge Car Brand

Chrysler Group LLC