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