My Viper Experience

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010, Viper Lifestyles

By Don Firth

My wife, Eunice and I both own Vipers. We actively participate in South Florida Viper Club activities and drive on the tracks at Sebring, Homestead and Palm Beach, Fla.

Here are photos of Eunice and myself at the Biltmore during a Viper Tennessee rally, our two Vipers and two members of our office staff posing with our newest Viper.
I purchased my silver Viper in 2005. I went to an auto showroom to buy a Ferrari and drove away in a Viper—never regretting the switch in plans. A few months later I added a supercharger from Doug Levin Motorsports, which boosted the power to almost 800 hp. I participated in annual track events at Sebring with Skip Thomas and Danny Archer as well as HookedOnDriving, FARA, ERME and Chin.

In 2008, Eunice drove my Viper at Sebring and Homestead tracks. As she started as a novice, we were in two classes and were able to slip-seat my Viper for these events. Then in 2009, she advanced to the same class that I was driving. The only solution was to get a second Viper.

Eunice had glimpsed the Snakeskin Green Viper one evening, a year earlier, and decided that was the car for her. I went online in May 2009 to find that there were only two such cars available in the USA. One was 1,500 miles away; the second was 20 miles away. She bought it sight unseen from University Dodge in Fort Lauderdale. This was the only Snakeskin Green produced with the black stripes, spoiler and splitter. After only 7 months, she already has 10,000 miles on the clock.

We enjoy the Viper experience, which includes day-to-day driving, track events and even drag racing. However, the best experience is the new friends we have made during the Viper Club events.

My Three Vipers

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010, Viper Lifestyles

By Dr. Rich Andria

I bought my first Viper, a red 2008 SRT10® coupe, in August 2007 and it was delivered May 1, 2008, in Connecticut. Because I was retiring in December 2008, I shipped it to my new home in Naples, Fla.

As you are aware, Vipers “grow on you” and, with two more spaces in my Viper garage to fill, I bought my second Viper in September 2009, a yellow 2002 GTS. This Viper has some interesting upgrades: a Cat-Back™ exhaust, SRT® wheels, built in radar detector system with sensors in the grille (and at the rear) and a killer sound system including a subwoofer, equalizers, a huge power capacitor and three amplifiers putting out 1,700 watts of power!

So much excitement owning these two killer cars made me upgrade my VCA membership to Venom. However, I still had an empty garage slot to fill, so when I saw a red 2002 Viper GTS Final Edition online (#162) with only 196 miles on the clock, well, what is a Viper lover supposed to do? I purchased this Viper also; and now my three Viper slots are filled. The GTS Final Edition, shown with my wife Terry, has ceramic brakes with slotted drilled discs, roaring Cat-Back exhaust system and straight tubes installed.

Exceeded Our Expectations

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010, Viper Lifestyles

Here’s the 1-of-1—2009 Viper SRT10® ACR VOI.10 VCA Raffle Car—with Virginia and me in front of our Viper garage mahal we built in Pahrump, Nev. Thanks to everyone at The Viper Club of America, Chrysler, CAAP, Prefix and Woodhouse Dodge who worked hard to make the 1-of-1 a truly special Viper—a beautiful vehicle that exceeded our expectations!

—Michael von Quilich

New Viper Owners

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010, Viper Lifestyles

Debbie Ruckert purchased this 2006 Dodge Viper for her husband Dave’s birthday. Several Viper owners and John Gastman at Roanoke Motor Co. Inc. assisted her in the buying process—she was extremely grateful for the help. “Thanks to the many Viper owners and John for all the time everyone took in helping us—including sharing your experiences and knowledge about Vipers,” explained Ruckert. “We’re both looking forward to upcoming Viper outings.”

Unique Works of Art

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010, Viper Lifestyles

As with many regions, the VCA Northern California Region awards members who have contributed to the club during the past year. This year, President Maurice Q. Liang commissioned Daneen Bronson to custom paint award plaques. The snakeskin pattern is slightly different on each award, making them unique works of art.

Viper, Police Turn Heads at Huntington Beach

Written by editor on . Posted in Spring 2010, Viper Lifestyles

By Darrell Igelmund

When my wife Linda and I joined other Washington State Viper Club members driving to Detroit for VOI.10, we never realized that major trips would become an annual affair. Last summer it was the coast highway, all the way from Seattle to LA. We took our time and had an absolute blast. Perfect weather, winding roads and daily vistas of the Pacific Ocean we will never forget.

The photo shows the Viper posing at the destination—the famous Huntington Beach (Calif.) International Surfing Museum (“Home of surfing!”). We blocked the sidewalk with the Viper to get the best angle when two policemen came around the corner. After a few minutes of discussion we found that they liked Vipers also … and were more than happy to add to the fun.
For the next few days we bathed in car heaven. Only a few blocks from the Pacific Coast Highway, we saw about every style and price of car you would ever hope to see—Aston Martins, Jaguars, a Hummer with 60” TVs framed in the back windows, and hot rods of all types. And you know what? The Viper was the biggest head-turner of them all!

Vipers at the Biltmore

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2010

By John Slaughter

Vipers at the Biltmore was a great success! Special thanks to Don, Brian and Mike for all your efforts on making this event happen, to the Viper Club of Ontario for bringing your members down and making this an international event, and thanks to all those who attended and made this event so fun!

Thirty-five Vipers made the event, and over 20 actually made it to the 7 a.m. photo shoot! The event started with everyone arriving and getting to park along the wall at the far end of the field from the Biltmore (apparently some Porsche club was there and couldn’t do it because we already claimed it!). Everyone had an opportunity to check out the cars, and tour the home and surroundings. From there, we had a nice buffet lunch at the Deerpark Restaurant on the estate, and then about half the Vipers took a scenic cruise out to Lake Lure. That evening, we had another buffet for dinner offsite and many joined in for an evening social at the Inn at the Biltmore. The second day started out with the 7 a.m. photo shoot, with the group shot as well as individual cars close up at the Biltmore. That was followed by a buffet breakfast at the Inn at the Biltmore, another nice scenic cruise on the Blue Ridge Parkway and into Cherokee, N.C., followed by a final lunch.

Posing with Vooodoo

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2010

A Viper photo shoot with Maurice Q. Liang wouldn’t be complete without an accompanying young woman. Taken in November 2009, Daneen Bronson poses next to the new 2010 Dodge Viper ACR Vooodoo Edition Coupe at Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, Calif. Only 20 Vooodoo models are slated for production.

Women’s Performance Driving Day

Written by editor on . Posted in Viper Lifestyles, Winter 2010

By Alex Ristanovic

How often is it that the wonderful women of the Viper world sit on the sidelines of performance driving events to support and cheer on the guys? We thought it was time to flip things around and make a day all about the ladies!

We planned a complete women’s-only performance driving event that provided a one-stop-shop for driving a Viper. It had several goals: to teach driving a stick, to get the ladies comfortable in a Viper, and to teach car control. And best of all, it was completely free and even included a free lunch! Ultimately, we figured it would get the ladies involved and they’d see what has the guys hooked … and did it ever! The day came and 25 ladies answered the call.

More than half of the participants had never driven a Viper before. For those needing to learn how to drive a stick (or at least learn on the Viper), a clinic was set up in one of the big lots we retained. One-on-one instruction was on hand to guide them through the learning process. After they were ready, they would take it to the country roads where they had a safe place to practice their shifting. It was amazing how quick everyone learned!

Running simultaneously in an adjacent lot, more advanced skills were taught. This area taught confidence and car control. By creating several separate isolated segments that the girls would drive repeatedly, it allowed everyone to learn in a safe and focused manner. The components included a skid pad, slalom and turning exercises.

Instructors were on hand for all drivers. Within just minutes, each driver began pushing the cars hard. Soon, tires began to screech, a comfort level was reached and the all too familiar grin began to appear on faces! The morning wore on and many of the girls who actually just learned to drive a stick were also beginning their car control sessions too! This was a hit, the girls were having fun and the guys loved watching it! But there was a plan to kick it to the next level …

It was time for lunch, and while everyone was eating, something was taking place in the car control lot. We used additional cones to connect all of the segments that the girls had learned and we created a huge autocross course. The girls were immediately familiar with the course and drove like champs. They couldn’t believe that it was them running a complete course like the guys. As the afternoon wore on a good percentage of the ladies were GREATLY pushing the cars and would easily beat many of our men! There was no fear and some tremendous talent here. The girls were hooked!

There was no mistaking the abilities that were developed in this small period of time. This was truly a success. The vast majority of the girls stated they will definitely do this again and have already begun signing up for autocrosses throughout the season! What a fun way to get everyone in the mix!

Let it be known, that on this day, Pandora’s box has been opened. And to the guys who have big egos, you better check them at the door. The girls are coming … and hell’s coming with ‘em!

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