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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, July 14, 2017

July 14: Dodge Viper - dead again

Wow what a concept car.......


A true blue hot blooded sportscar from Dodge, the maker of those boring K car based front wheel drive sedans and those "missed the boat" pick-up trucks. But way back in the late '80's, this car showed up on the Dodge stand at the auto show in Detroit. Nice idea, but based on what the company was churning out, a real pipe dream. This car was about as likely to end up on the showroom floor as a high quality car from Hyundai. See the irony here?

Anyway, a few short years later this was the result of the audience reaction and no doubt a few opinion polls.........


Amazing! Almost identical to the concept car, right down to the fact that it didn't have a roof (or at least a very good one). So, if one is any sort of a car person, you'll know the Viper success story. One big truck engine with a gorgeous body wrapped around it. Kinda like if you opened up Julia Roberts and found Martha Stewart inside, if you get my drift.

Hand built in a Detroit factory dedicated to this crazy concept........



Over the years the Viper became a "real" car, but its owners always liked the fact that it was a bit primative and a bit raw. Maybe not the everyday driver that a Corvette or a Porsche was, no matter how big a heart either of those two had. Viper loyalty became legend, with many owners owing multiples. Some with even more than that........


Yes, this is really the Viper stable of a Texas couple. Everything is bigger in Texas, even Viper collections apparently. Give me one good reason why one would need this many Vipers? I mean, wouldn't twenty or thirty have been enough? "I think I'll wash the cars today", becomes a retirement project.

Over time several milestones were reached, with each one being celebrated by the approximately eighty people that it took to handbuild every single one..........


The Viper also proved to be a runner and for several years throttled the Corvette teams.........


One thing we all learn, is that time doesn't stand still. Eventually the Viper started to get whipped on the track and although it was never meant to be a volume seller, it also got whipped on the sales floor. Finally, Dodge saw the light (or the dark) and in 2010 pulled the plug on the Viper.

Of course, all those loyal Viper owners raised hell and let Dodge know that they wanted a new Viper. They would buy them. They would make the model great again. So, drinking the Kool-Aid, Dodge brought the Viper back in 2013 to this kind of sales success........


Notice anything? Considering the extremely capable Corvette was selling around forty thousand a year, yearly Viper sales were less than one week's worth of Vette production. Profit minded FCA couldn't see the reason for prolonging the agony and once again a plumber was sent in this year to pull the plug.

And of course, as each milestone had been celebrated, so was the Viper's death knell.......


Once again the Viper is dead and according to the head guy at FCA, never to be resurrected, no matter how many more Vipers that couple in Texas wants. Screw 'em, Sergio, they can start collecting Challengers.

What's next for Viper? Will it become the darling of the collector car auctions, like the Cobra? Will that couple in Texas become billionaires? Will Superformance start making replicas? Will Trump do something smart? Oops, wrong blog.


But, one thing is certain as Viper drives off into the sunset...........


........it took a gutsy decsion to make this car back in the early '90's, especially considering the source. And it will take much more than guts to ever have another Viper roll out of a Dodge production facility.

R.I.P. wild child.

Until next time......



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