Can the Viper be a daily driver?
What better source can there be to answer this than the horseís mouth? Here are a few ownerís comments on using their Snake as their daily (joy)ride:
"I commute in my viper about 70 miles a day (35 miles to/from work) about three times a week and don't have a problem. The major caveat with the Viper (and any really low sports car) is that you really need to be aware of the type of roads you're going to be traveling on. Clearance issues are the biggest issue that I face when using my car as a daily driver (that and parking -- I don't like parking in crowded parking lots). "
"When I commute with the Dakota I'm generally a LOT less stressed since I don't care nearly as much whether it gets dinged, and it's also very tolerant of bad roads/steep slopes/speed bumps/dips/etc. "
"I drive it a lot to work but it is only a 15 min drive. D*mn I'm jealous I wish I could drive longer to and from work. Even taking the LONG route its only 30 min." 1994 Viper SNK BIT
"I use my 98 GTS as a daily driver and put approx. 60 miles a day on the car. The point regarding road conditions is a very wise observation. I use the highway for half the trip to work and local roads for the other half. After a bit you find the best route to take. You will be fraught with challenges from everything from a Porsche to a Yugo, trucks kicking up dust, bugs, etc. But after 6 months of owning the GTS I have a few mild ticks on the windshield. It seems the aerodynamics keep most of the debris off the paint. Hope this helps."
"10,500 mi. since April on a 99. Not used everyday, but wherever and whenever we want to drive it we do."
"1989 Chevy pickup - Recaro seats - pretty good on long trips. 1998 Ford Expedition - leather seats - very comfortable on long trips. 1996 GTS Ė great for grocery and pet food runs and fantastic on those long trips - it is always my first choice - the only days I don't drive are wet days and when the job in hand requires the pickup or expedition."
"I recently upgraded to the TNT Serpent 605 package, just to add spice to life. I wish I had done it years ago! I drive mine everywhere (it's my only car), and after 5 years, I still look forward to getting up and driving to work or getting off work...just to drive my "squat" (nickname co-workers gave my car from views of me taking off). Reliable, fun, fast....dream car! "
"60 miles per day: I leave home at 5:45 am, so I get to haul to work. People ask why I live so far from work (yuppies in Houston like to live 2 miles from where they work), and I respond: so I can de-carbonize the valves on the Snake! Just watch out for the parking ramps, making sure you drive up at an angle to avoid scraping
"50 miles per day for me in my 94The car is very comfortable. I just get a little wet when it rains hard. The only thing I would caution about is if you have back trouble, then getting in and out could be awful. My back was sore one day and I was very uncomfortable getting in and out."
"My RT/10 was my daily driver for over six moths, including the drizzly winter season of Seattle. Yes, it is possible to use the Viper as your sole means of transportation. The bottom line is: how comfortable are you driving a race car in normal, everyday traffic? Driving it in the rain is more challenging. And requires more restraint. The factory rubber does a fine job sticking to the road in the wet, but any clumsiness with the clutch or accelerator will break the rear tires loose. Starting from a stoplight in second gear is even worth a shot. Drive it like your neighbor's Honda, and everything will be fine. Iíve taken my Viper out is big, empty parking lots in bad rain to see how it handles in emergency braking situations. Lock up the wheels and the thing will usually keep going straight. At lower speeds itís very predictable. Roadsters donít have perfect weather sealing. Iím lucky because my í92 has a soft top made of waterproof vinyl, unlike later roadstersí canvas tops, so youíll want a hard top if you truly want to stay dry for 93+ Roadsters. And still, in heavy rain, there will be some amount of leakage dripping on you. Here in Seattle, a GTS starts looking really good by the time January rolls around. Traffic jams, if you live in a big metro area, can get boring. And hot, in the summertime if you have no air conditioning. But heavy traffic can also be interesting, answering tons of questions and waving back at other folks. If youíre the type who gets frustrated knowing you have 450+ horsepower on tap but are relegated to 45 mph commuting, youíll find daily commuting unbearable after a short while. You canít "lock" a roadster in a parking lot (well, not one of the new ones with its glass windows are hard top on). Itíll happen eventually, youíll be returning to your car in the mall parking lot and find the door hanging open and the alarm going off. Why isnít my Viper my daily driver any more? I got relocated to a different job location that involves lots of freeway miles (previously my commute was strictly side roads), many of which have bad, irregular road surfaces. Having the car change lanes on its own because of this (those $#@ wide tires!) is not much fun at 5:00 am in rainy traffic at 65 mph, before Iíve had any coffee. Either that, or Iím getting old :-)