Let the spanking begin! If you listen closely you can hear one of the Viper team say, “I see Vultures.” refering to the Vette lap record.
How rewarding can it possibly be to win anything knowing you won only because the best didn’t show up? When it comes to racing I just love rivalry and no I’m not talking about Edwards and that kid with the elf ears that drives for Nascar. I’m talking about the good ole days when you either drove a Ford, a Dodge or a Chevy. Smack talk originated on the tracks right here in the U.S.A. and if you didn’t take a stand… well you just weren’t with the program.
When the Viper got factory backing they dominated everything they ran against including the Corvettes which have always been backed by the factory. The Corvettes began to really pour on the smack talk after General Motors began pouring millions more support into winning. The bad news was the Corvettes didn’t begin wining until Dodge felt as if they had dominated long enough to completely make their point thus ending their factory backing program.
But that didn’t stop the Corvette from talking smack as they went on to brag in their promotions, “CORVETTE FINISHES ONE AND TWO!” when in reality at the bottom in small print it should have said, “But Team Viper stayed at home.”
John Neff at Autoblog reported on August 27th that Chrysler’s halo car, the Dodge Viper, may be sold to a third party. Rumors have been swirling for some time that the Viper could be canceled. In attempts to streamline their line-ups, we have already seen Chrysler discontinue the Pacifica, Crossfire (which borrowed heavily from ex-parent Daimler), PT Cruiser Convertible and the Dodge Magnum.
The Viper is a well loved car, and enjoys strong fan support as evidenced by a healthy owners club. It’s no secret the Viper has been a successful race car as well. The question now is who would buy the Viper? Neff speculates it could be a tuner, or a group of investors.
Here’s my take. Most of us have heard of Steve Saleen-he’s the guy that took everyday Ford Mustangs and turned them into serious performers. Steve sold his old company and opened SMS Limited. One of SMS’ first projects was creating a heavily massaged Dodge Challenger. Saleen will be producing these cars at a brand new facility in Orange County, California. Saleen has the know how to build specialty cars, and I feel that this would be great for the Viper.
While some of our friends and family are enjoying the warmer climes to the south, here in Ontario it is still pretty chilly. For many racers, this isn’t a time of frustration. Rather, it’s time for a different type of racing. Ice racing.
Regular readers will have come across the odd photo or video of Darth Viper in The Garage over the past year. During the winter, Nick Majors abandons the snake in favor of a turbo powered Nissan and heads north to the track at the Minden Fairgrounds. This video shows the view from the windshield of the 2007 Ontario Stud Champion!
Somehow it wouldn’t surprise me if Nick puts that on his business cards!
Ahmad Khodkar’s blue Datsun 240Z is somewhat legendary in Ontario. This is the car that took on the IMSA GT-U field at Mosport back in 1992 and beat the factory Nissan’s of Butch Leitzinger and friends, not to mention a bunch of other modern race cars. In it’s current state, it is powered by a Buick Grand National engine and is very, very fast.
In the following video, we see Nick Majors, aka Darth Viper chasing Ahmad around Mosport in the Viper GTS coupe.
An interesting quote from the CASA message board from Malcolm Strachan about Ahmad, in a thread titled: What I learned road racing this year…
-That you can be 70 years old and still push a car really hard and turn 1:25’s (Ahmad Khodkar = new hero).
And now, let’s just watch… Wait to see the crafty old guy close the door in corner 3. Classic Mosport move.
During the L.A. Auto Show, Dodge unveiled its 2008 Viper SRT10 ACR (American Club Racer) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a street-legal racecar. The vehicle features an aluminum V-10 engine that produces 600-horsepower and 560 lb.-ft. of torque.
In order to really tear off, you have to actually tear out.
To minimize the car’s weight, Dodge indicates consumers can opt for the “Hard Core” package, which eliminates the audio system, under hood silencer pad, trunk carpet and tire inflator.
Dodge says the ACR will cost “under $100,000” which to my way of thinking could very well end up translating to $99,999. The SRT10 ACR arrives in the second quarter of 2008. With a base Viper coupe running about $87,000, a $10-12,000 track pack is not totally unreasonable for a car on which racing stripes alone are a whopping $3000 option.
Car enthusiasts love concept cars. Journalists love concept cars. Chrysler loves to build concept cars! In fact they are dedicated to building the Coolest of Cool concept cars. In reality, every designer and every manufacturer thinks that their concepts are the coolest. Not every concept is a driver though and the Chrysler boys and girls try to make most of them runners. the even get them out on the road for journalists to have a go at. Not long ago, one lucky guy got to take the new Challenger down a drag strip!
It has been 20 years since Chrysler began taking this approach and they are pretty proud of some of those cars. Rightfully so, as a number of the cars on the list went on to production and a full model life. Viper, Prowler, Ram, Neon. These and more have been important to Chrysler fans all over, not to mention the company.
More images and press release after the break
Hello and thank you for the warm welcome. If there’s one thing automotive that I do know a thing or two about it’s quality auto blogs that truly have something worthwhile reading. Having said that I must say it is an honor to be included in The Garage.
It seems everyone has his or her own feeling as to what they personally find appealing when talking cars. On the other hand I have found that those who truly have a love affair for all things automotive find everything and anything to do with cars fascinating and interesting. After all, if it were not for the likes of Henry Ford and Louis Chevrolet how interesting would the history and rivalry of the automobile be? Oh sure, there used to be a day when you wouldn’t dare tell someone his Chevrolet couldn’t beat your Ford or vise versa and if you did you had better be ready to draw a line in the sand because you were about to get it on. Fortunately, today I find more and more of that way of thinking taking a back seat to those who truly love the heritage of all makes and brands. Today it’s not uncommon at all to see two gentleman standing side by side admiring the late model cars that have the flavor of older vintage rides but with late model technology under the hoods and suspension to match. It’s great to reminisce with others without fear of someone being offended and at the same time being able to share stories… “Hey, Let me tell ya about the time I was running down Highway 101 when this Chevy tried to pass me…”
This weekend is the first ever Canadian Motorsports Expo, hosted by Glenn Butt who most enthusiasts know from his involvement with Mosport. With a many Canadian racing stars coming by for autograph sessions, it looked like a promising day, so I took a couple of the kids out for a walk around.
For the first year of the show, I think Glenn and friends did a great job putting together a nice gathering in a really great venue. While the show is still small, there was a bit of something for everyone. There were open wheelers, stock cars, race bikes, showroom stock sedans and even an off road race truck and buggy. The line up of racing stars is incredible, with names like Ron Fellows, Scott Maxwell, Pete Shepherd, J.R. Fitzpatrick, Shane Jantzi and even Chris Economaki.
Just imagine, you’re living the Top Gun dream, soaring through the skies, flipping the bird to invisible enemies around the world. You follow the control tower’s instructions and plunk your 134 million fighter jet down right on the button. “ah tower, this is Viper. We seem to have a problem here, I’m stuck in here. The damn thing won’t open up.”
“Don’t worry son…we’ll get you out”
I can just see it now. Jeb & the boys circling around, kicking at the dirt while they try to figure out how to spring the poor guy from his high tech captor, when someone comes up with a grand idea. The run over to the maintenance shed & bring out that new chainsaw the boys in landscaping just picked up. A few minutes later and flyboy is free as a bird.
Cost of damage: $180,000
Look on their CO’s face: Priceless!