- Barry (the Carguy) Thomas
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.
Friday, April 13, 2012
April 13: Snake bit - the Viper
From the design depths of the company that gave us the K car, came a concept car that blew everything else that they were doing out of the water. Around 1990, Dodge showed us the car above and called it the Viper. No plans for production, just trying to generate some excitement in a dull product line. It hardly had a windshield and no top or a place to put one.
Excitement? Yeah, it generated tons and the Viper was put into production with minor changes.......
.........you can see that it got a real windshield, but there was still not much room for a top. It ended up with a lift off "cap" that looked like hell and really didn't work very well. I don't even think that it had roll up side windows. It was rough and tough - lots of power with no high tech items. And watch out for that side exhaust when you got out, burned legs were common. People loved it! I drove in one of these early ones and it was a thrill (understatement).
As it gained in popularity, it never really got too civilized and unlike a Porsche or a Corvette, it really wasn't suited for everyday, around town driving. The design evolved (it got roll up side windows!) and a beautiful coupe was added.........
This is the second generation styling and you can see that the look hadn't really strayed too much from the original. Still a rather basic, but very muscular sportscar (with power side windows). Then Chrysler Corporation fell on hard times and even tried to sell off the Viper brand. Fiat came along and the car was mothballed for a couple of years...........until last week's New York Auto Show.
This is the 2013(?) Viper, now branded as an SRT product, not a Dodge, but who really cares, it's a beauty. Again the look hasn't strayed much from the original, the power is now around 650 hp and it finally has traction control.
Although never meant to sell in the same quantities as a Corvette, the Viper, in a relatively short time (about 20 years) became near and dear to the hearts of performance enthusiasts. It wasn't unusual for loyal Viper owners to have several in their garage.
Now they have a new model to save up for.
Until next time.........