Another Viper in Iowa!

ViperCollector

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Bettendorf, IA
Before I start....
  • VCA membership bought and paid for! Waiting on the member number before the avatar is updated!
  • Only one photo due to weather - more when I get the car washed and the sun comes out.
  • Sapphire Blue is the fastest color. :rolaugh:
Now that those are out of the way, here's my story (which is probably about the same as 70% of everyone here):

I have been a fan of the Viper since day one, and got to see my first one up close in a dealer lot in Los Angeles in 96. It was an Emerald Green 94 with tan interior (used) that supposedly was traded in by a former LA Dodger player when he got traded away. Asking price at that dealer was $46,000, well out of my league at that time. However, I remained excited about the Viper, and even purchased one of the 96 Dodge Indy Rams that was Blue w/White stripes as a daily driver. Some simple modding done to it by the dealer (lowered 4", Chevy mirrors painted to match the truck, fiberglass tonneau cover and wing, etc.), and I still have it today!

I also began collecting 1:64 scale versions of the Viper, but stopped for a couple years in the early 2000's when I had the opportunity to buy into the company I was working for (long hours, no time for hobbies).

Fast forward to 2005, and I sold my interest in the company, moved back to the midwest, and picked up my collecting hobby again. I even started a website that some of you may have visited (DiecastVipers.com - A Scale Collecting Community - Home) to catalog my collection and almost all known variations of 1:55 scale and smaller Vipers.

I thumbed through eBay listings and classified ads here on the VCA site, every once in a while contacting the seller for more information. I learned a lot in this process, and spoke with many many owners over a two year period! Thank you to everyone that I spoke with about their cars!

So, I turned 40 this year, and really decided it was time. I began the search in earnest, but ended up missing on some great deals because I couldn't/wouldn't pull the trigger. I guess I've always been over-cautious when it comes to spending large amounts of money, and this was no exception. So, I kept looking for the one model I thought I liked best - a 2001 GTS, sapphire blue with cognac interior. They would come up for sale ever so often, but usually at a price higher than I was willing to pay. I found that people either love or hate the cognac, but if you owned one, you wanted a premium to part with it! I don't blame you, I would too!

I began looking through dealer inventories, and ended up bidding on one offered by Premier when they listed it on eBay. It never hit reserve, even though I was the high bidder. This occurred three times, as they kept relisting it! I finally emailed them through eBay AND through their website to open discussions/negotiations on the car, but not a single person ever contacted me back....so....back to square one.
***(note, this was probably my only disappointing experience overall during the purchasing process). For anyone interested, it is still listed for sale on their website.

A couple weeks ago I happen across an eBay listing from a private seller in Indiana, who has a Sapphire w/silver stripes listed at a very fair price. The seller seemed motivated, and although I have purchased two cars off of eBay prior to this, they weren't in this price range. So, my research begins. Thanks to the wonderful members of the VCA, I was able to find out everything I needed to know about the car before I sprung for airfare to Indiana.

First, I want to thank the President and Secretary of the Indiana/Kentucky Chapter (Kurt Broderick and Steve Fess). Kurt provided a bit of personal knowledge about the car, as he recalled it from an event or two. For those of you that don't know, Kurt has a well-earned reputation for being a perfectionist about his cars, and he was able to shed light on the condition of the car I was looking at, down to "It needs a good buffing in one area where the owner tried to self-fix a tiny scratch". Then Steve, who as you all know is a wealth of information, happily provided the names of not one, but TWO Viper Techs in the Indianapolis area to do a pre-inspection and offered to help out in any way that I needed. Without this local support, I doubt my purchase would have gone as smoothly as it did, or even happened at all since there were two other gentlemen offering on the car also.

I then sent a PM to Mr. Tator (aka "Chuck"). He was kind enough to run a Dodge history report for me, and found absolutely nothing on there that would cause concern. Thank you Chuck for doing this for me!

Lastly, I contacted one of the Viper Techs, Mr. Jason Barnes of Danville Chrysler. The seller was bringing the car in for a sensor replacement and a scheduled oil change, so he offered to do the pre-inspection for me and provide the report at no charge! Jason is eager to make a name for himself with the VCA, and was always willing to talk with me over the phone (he gave me his direct cell number) and I feel like I owe him for doing this on the clock at no charge. So...I promised him a shout-out on this forum and post his contact information for anyone that needs Viper service!
Jason Barnes
Danville Chrysler
317-456-6024 Cell
317-745-5809 x231 Work
Mind you, I didn't know ANY of these people before I started the buying process. They were all open and very willing to help this newbie out in any way they could. If only every car-buying experience could be this good! I owe a great bit of gratitude to these men.

With all of these things now in place, along with a non-eventful Carfax report, I was ready to travel to see the car and finish the deal. A quick flight to Indiana carrying a certified check, and soon I was on a 5-hour drive back to Iowa in my new (to me) car!
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(Click for larger version)

I was a little unsure on how I would like the silver stripes on the sapphire car, as to me they looked too bold in all the photos I saw. However, when I saw in person how well they worked together, I was sold (again). This one has a black interior, which probably works best with the blue/silver.

I look forward to becoming a paritipcating member of the VCA (and the Illinois chapter, since it is closest to me). Although not a gearhead by nature, I have a very genuine love of cars thanks to my now-departed father who went through over 30 cars in the last 20 years of his life (including two Shelbys BEFORE they were popular, a Delorean, at least four 60's era Mercedes SL's and countless Galaxies, Falcons, etc.). For me, this is car #5 (the previously mentioned truck, a Boxster for the wife, an XJ12 for running around in, a minivan for the family and now the GTS!). Now to get a lift installed - only a 3-car garage won't cut it when winter rolls around!

On a final note...what are the odds. This car's previous owner first name is Brandon. A couple days into the process, another person named "Branden" posted his Sapphire w/Silver GTS for sale on the Alley classifieds. Not only are the names similar and have nearly identical cars, they both had spare sets of wheels (although my sellers got burnt in a shop fire), similar mileage AND they're both in Indianapolis!

Apologies for such a long post, I'm not usually that long-winded. But I wanted to share my story about the buying process and give thanks where due! Here's the specs on the car for those interested!

2001 GTS Sapphire Blue w/Silver Stripes
Black Interior
Corsa Exhaust
Vipair air collector
K&N Filters
5-pt harness (both seats)
Chrome sneaky pete oil filler cap
Polished temp control knobs
Mileage: 31,400 (now 31,900!)
New tires 2 years ago (about 6-7k miles on them)
Buying price - less than the eBay auction! :D

Car ended up only needing a couple things to be almost perfect. A buffing (like Kurt mentioned), new left door speakers (blown, will probably replace them all along with the head unit) and of course a replacement gas unit!
 

Pryme

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NICE. now there are Vipers AND corn in Iowa haha. oh, and cattle and sows.

I spent some time on a farm in Iowa!
 

viperdude118

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5 hours from Indy to Bettendorf, maybe in a regular car if you did the speed limit and didn't pass anyone. But in a viper? That is like a 3 hour drive. Congrats on the new ride.
 

xlrashn

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Welcome to the club. It is nice to see a fellow Viper owner here in eastern Iowa. I was starting to feel a little lonely:D........ PM me sometime and maybe we can hook up with Rocket in the Quad Cities and go for a cruise.:drive::drive::drive:
 

Kmrumedy

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Nice story and welcome.

How about some description of your first drive. What were your impressions? Nervous? haha!
 
V

Venomiss

Guest
Welcome to da club! Looking forward to your "when the sun comes out" pictures.
(please none with Playtime Poppy in them :D- it's an Iowa thing.)
 

ViperCollector

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Bettendorf, IA
5 hours from Indy to Bettendorf, maybe in a regular car if you did the speed limit and didn't pass anyone. But in a viper? That is like a 3 hour drive. Congrats on the new ride.

Nice story and welcome.

How about some description of your first drive. What were your impressions? Nervous? haha!

These two replys are related. Yes, 5 hours to drive back. Since in Indiana the plates stay with the seller, and I was buying from a private seller, I had no plates on the car for the trip. So....I didn't want to give our lovely :mad: Illinois Highway Patrol any reason at all! I did carry a plate off my XJ12 and insurance card just in case!

I must admit, that will all the posts here about how many new owners (and dealer employees) wrap the cars because of their inexperience, I was very nervous. I don't think I got it about 2,500 RPM on the whole ride back! I think my intimidation went away once I got it out of city traffic and onto the highway where I could sit back and listen to the car without the noise of other cars/businesses/etc around me. Didn't get passed by any semis, but I did get an odd look from an 80-something grandmother driving a Caddy as she flew by me! :****:

In a nutshell, I absolutely love how the car drives and handles. I was really beginning to like my wife's mid-engine Boxster as they handle so smoothly (has Tiptronic as well), but now it seems too refined after driving the Viper. Last night I had to take the kids to their dance class in the minivan (Nissan Quest) and it felt like I was driving a Silver Shadow after driving the Viper the night before and a bit in the morning. Already put over 500 miles on her and only had her 2 days!
 

Steve-Indy

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Scott, you are a great writer. THANKS for the kind words for your fellow Viper lovers here in Indiana. It was (and will be) a true pleasure to speak with someone so thorough and enthusiastic as you are...CONGRATS on your new Viper!!!

P.S. While Elaine and I have had a long history with Porsches and XKE's, we are SURE that this Viper will exceed all of your expectations!!
 

SmoknTires

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Welcome to the club, and welcome to the IL Region. Hit the website at Home Page - Viper Club of America - Illinois Region to see what's going on. We'll have a new member packet ready and waiting to drop in the mail the second we get your info. All kinds of nice goodies and a guidebook to get you up to speed.

Also, we offer a host of free programs to new members/rookies. So contact me when you're settled and let's get you cruising, at car shows, and on the race track! No need to be a gear head, just need to be a guy who loves his car!

I'll see you there.
 

mike & juli

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GORGEOUS Sapphire GTS, love the Silver Stripes...that really makes the car *pop*! NICE story...glad to have you onboard!! ~juli
 

doctorbob

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Welcome to the club. I had a sapphire blue with cognac interior and frankly I liked the sapphire blue with silver stripes better. As a former Iowan(Go Hawkeyes), I wish you the best with your new car. I will be coming through Iowa and visiting my parent's gravesite in Rodney, Iowa on the way back from VIO 10
 

Bullsnake

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YAY!!

I'm just west of Des Moines off of I-80. PM me some time to get my phone number and I'd love to meet up with you if you are out this way. I may just have to load the wife up and meet you in the Amanas some weekend...
 

ROCKET62

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Welcome! Must be a 40-something thing as that is the age I was when my first Viper showed up in Bettendorf as well. My SRT Street Serpent should be completely done this weekend. We probably have about a dozen Vipers in/around the quad cities.

Need to pick a date to meet at *******. Just sent you a pm.

Congrats - take it easy and make sure the wheels are pointed straight when getting on the GO pedal.
 
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ViperCollector

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Welcome! Must be a 40-something thing as that is the age I was when my first Viper showed up in Bettendorf as well. My SRT Street Serpent should be completely done this weekend. We probably have about a dozen Vipers in/around the quad cities.

Need to pick a date to meet at *******.

Congrats - take it easy and make sure the wheels are pointed straight when getting on the GO pedal.

It's a date (like you need to twist my arm to go to *******)! I saw your photo of the SRT you posted - been watching for it on the street! Did you sell your RT/10 local? I thought I saw it on 53rd about 3 weeks ago...

A dozen eh? I know of a few, but not that many. Besides yours, I seen a 96 B/W, a 96 White RT/10 (repainted), a supercharged GTS that is always at the Cruisers mall things, and a black SRT10 (year unknown). I think it's time for an Iowa chapter!!! ;)

I'm just west of Des Moines off of I-80. PM me some time to get my phone number and I'd love to meet up with you if you are out this way. I may just have to load the wife up and meet you in the Amanas some weekend...

Since we moved back to Iowa (a couple years ago), we haven't been to the amanas yet! I'll throw the wife and kids in the minivan and meet you there!
 

Bullsnake

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Sounds great! Drop me a PM sometime and I would even love to come over to Bettendorf sometime with the Viper and meet up with the rest of you guys over there.

I second the Iowa chapter! I know of at least a dozen Vipers of all Gen's here in Des Moines, and most of the owners I have met are just as nuts as I am about the car!
 

Viperbass

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Hi Scott,

I am so glad the purchase worked out for you. Thank you for your kind words. It is nice to see someone who appreciates a sapphire as much as I do! If you have questions about how to make that finish really pop, please let me know, you can call me or send me an e-mail and I will be glad to help out.

I wish I could have met you while you were here. Steve gave me a heads up when you might be in, but I could not swing the time. Maybe in the future.

Enjoy that beautiful car. I noticed you are going to be replacing speakers. I have Boston Pro in mine and am quite happy.

Take care, give a shout if you need anything.

Kurt
 

ViperCollector

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Thanks again Kurt! I will take you up on the offer and give you a shout when I'm ready to give her a good buff! Already completed one DIY job - it still had a Mopar battery in it! I figure it was either the original, or the first owner replaced with an OEM as the seller said he never touched it. No scissor jack (see my other thread), so was able to convince another VCA member to stop by with a floor jack and give me a little assistance while I crawled underneath. A big thanks to Rocket62!!! Amazingly, not a bit of corrosion to be seen! (battery was only holding a charge for a day, and really didn't take well to being recharged). Thanks to the great information on the forums, I ran out and got a series 78 Diehard Gold and popped it right in!

I'll look into the Boston Pro speakers and see if it is something I want to tackle on my own. Always been shy about working on doors - I tend to break those little clips too often.

I wonder, has anyone ever tried one of those sweater lint shavers to clean up the carpeting on the doors?
 

ViperCollector

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As promised, here are a few photos from our local cruise-in I couldn't stay away from! (click for bigger photos)

First, an awful camera-phone shot out of our minivan (wife and kids wanted to go too).
You must be registered for see images attach


Parking at the show (note, they put me next to the Vettes...)
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Getting the dust bunnies off her
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Ready to show! Notice the envious look on the purple Corvette owner's face! :****:
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2001-V10 Power Nut

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Congrats, now just drive it and enjoy. You found the best color!!!!:cool3:

Look for a Viper Days event in your area. It's very helpful in advancing your driving skills
and its a ton of fun
 
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DJ'sviper

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Hi! I live in Des Moines. It would be nice to get some viper guys together sometime. I'm going to the Iowa speedway on Friday 23rd. I also belong to the mopar club here. They are having a car show on June 7th. All the money goes to a charity home. Really good cause.
 

Kleos1

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Hi! I live in Des Moines. It would be nice to get some viper guys together sometime. I'm going to the Iowa speedway on Friday 23rd. I also belong to the mopar club here. They are having a car show on June 7th. All the money goes to a charity home. Really good cause.

Cool! more Iowa Vipers. :drive:
 

Brandog

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Before I start....
  • VCA membership bought and paid for! Waiting on the member number before the avatar is updated!
  • Only one photo due to weather - more when I get the car washed and the sun comes out.
  • Sapphire Blue is the fastest color. :rolaugh:
Now that those are out of the way, here's my story (which is probably about the same as 70% of everyone here):

I have been a fan of the Viper since day one, and got to see my first one up close in a dealer lot in Los Angeles in 96. It was an Emerald Green 94 with tan interior (used) that supposedly was traded in by a former LA Dodger player when he got traded away. Asking price at that dealer was $46,000, well out of my league at that time. However, I remained excited about the Viper, and even purchased one of the 96 Dodge Indy Rams that was Blue w/White stripes as a daily driver. Some simple modding done to it by the dealer (lowered 4", Chevy mirrors painted to match the truck, fiberglass tonneau cover and wing, etc.), and I still have it today!

I also began collecting 1:64 scale versions of the Viper, but stopped for a couple years in the early 2000's when I had the opportunity to buy into the company I was working for (long hours, no time for hobbies).

Fast forward to 2005, and I sold my interest in the company, moved back to the midwest, and picked up my collecting hobby again. I even started a website that some of you may have visited (DiecastVipers.com - A Scale Collecting Community - Home) to catalog my collection and almost all known variations of 1:55 scale and smaller Vipers.

I thumbed through eBay listings and classified ads here on the VCA site, every once in a while contacting the seller for more information. I learned a lot in this process, and spoke with many many owners over a two year period! Thank you to everyone that I spoke with about their cars!

So, I turned 40 this year, and really decided it was time. I began the search in earnest, but ended up missing on some great deals because I couldn't/wouldn't pull the trigger. I guess I've always been over-cautious when it comes to spending large amounts of money, and this was no exception. So, I kept looking for the one model I thought I liked best - a 2001 GTS, sapphire blue with cognac interior. They would come up for sale ever so often, but usually at a price higher than I was willing to pay. I found that people either love or hate the cognac, but if you owned one, you wanted a premium to part with it! I don't blame you, I would too!

I began looking through dealer inventories, and ended up bidding on one offered by Premier when they listed it on eBay. It never hit reserve, even though I was the high bidder. This occurred three times, as they kept relisting it! I finally emailed them through eBay AND through their website to open discussions/negotiations on the car, but not a single person ever contacted me back....so....back to square one.
***(note, this was probably my only disappointing experience overall during the purchasing process). For anyone interested, it is still listed for sale on their website.

A couple weeks ago I happen across an eBay listing from a private seller in Indiana, who has a Sapphire w/silver stripes listed at a very fair price. The seller seemed motivated, and although I have purchased two cars off of eBay prior to this, they weren't in this price range. So, my research begins. Thanks to the wonderful members of the VCA, I was able to find out everything I needed to know about the car before I sprung for airfare to Indiana.

First, I want to thank the President and Secretary of the Indiana/Kentucky Chapter (Kurt Broderick and Steve Fess). Kurt provided a bit of personal knowledge about the car, as he recalled it from an event or two. For those of you that don't know, Kurt has a well-earned reputation for being a perfectionist about his cars, and he was able to shed light on the condition of the car I was looking at, down to "It needs a good buffing in one area where the owner tried to self-fix a tiny scratch". Then Steve, who as you all know is a wealth of information, happily provided the names of not one, but TWO Viper Techs in the Indianapolis area to do a pre-inspection and offered to help out in any way that I needed. Without this local support, I doubt my purchase would have gone as smoothly as it did, or even happened at all since there were two other gentlemen offering on the car also.

I then sent a PM to Mr. Tator (aka "Chuck"). He was kind enough to run a Dodge history report for me, and found absolutely nothing on there that would cause concern. Thank you Chuck for doing this for me!

Lastly, I contacted one of the Viper Techs, Mr. Jason Barnes of Danville Chrysler. The seller was bringing the car in for a sensor replacement and a scheduled oil change, so he offered to do the pre-inspection for me and provide the report at no charge! Jason is eager to make a name for himself with the VCA, and was always willing to talk with me over the phone (he gave me his direct cell number) and I feel like I owe him for doing this on the clock at no charge. So...I promised him a shout-out on this forum and post his contact information for anyone that needs Viper service!

Mind you, I didn't know ANY of these people before I started the buying process. They were all open and very willing to help this newbie out in any way they could. If only every car-buying experience could be this good! I owe a great bit of gratitude to these men.

With all of these things now in place, along with a non-eventful Carfax report, I was ready to travel to see the car and finish the deal. A quick flight to Indiana carrying a certified check, and soon I was on a 5-hour drive back to Iowa in my new (to me) car!
You must be registered for see images attach

(Click for larger version)

I was a little unsure on how I would like the silver stripes on the sapphire car, as to me they looked too bold in all the photos I saw. However, when I saw in person how well they worked together, I was sold (again). This one has a black interior, which probably works best with the blue/silver.

I look forward to becoming a paritipcating member of the VCA (and the Illinois chapter, since it is closest to me). Although not a gearhead by nature, I have a very genuine love of cars thanks to my now-departed father who went through over 30 cars in the last 20 years of his life (including two Shelbys BEFORE they were popular, a Delorean, at least four 60's era Mercedes SL's and countless Galaxies, Falcons, etc.). For me, this is car #5 (the previously mentioned truck, a Boxster for the wife, an XJ12 for running around in, a minivan for the family and now the GTS!). Now to get a lift installed - only a 3-car garage won't cut it when winter rolls around!

On a final note...what are the odds. This car's previous owner first name is Brandon. A couple days into the process, another person named "Branden" posted his Sapphire w/Silver GTS for sale on the Alley classifieds. Not only are the names similar and have nearly identical cars, they both had spare sets of wheels (although my sellers got burnt in a shop fire), similar mileage AND they're both in Indianapolis!

Apologies for such a long post, I'm not usually that long-winded. But I wanted to share my story about the buying process and give thanks where due! Here's the specs on the car for those interested!

2001 GTS Sapphire Blue w/Silver Stripes
Black Interior
Corsa Exhaust
Vipair air collector
K&N Filters
5-pt harness (both seats)
Chrome sneaky pete oil filler cap
Polished temp control knobs
Mileage: 31,400 (now 31,900!)
New tires 2 years ago (about 6-7k miles on them)
Buying price - less than the eBay auction! :D

Car ended up only needing a couple things to be almost perfect. A buffing (like Kurt mentioned), new left door speakers (blown, will probably replace them all along with the head unit) and of course a replacement gas unit!
How crazy is this? Here it is 2021 and my name is Brandon Carroll. I am the previous owner of said GTS that the author is talking about.
I also loved that car, and being from Indianapolis saw the 96 Viper pace the Indy 500 in 96.
In 2006 I found it on Ebay in Lancaster, PA bought it and drove all the way back that night so as not to park it at some hotel. Fear of getting scratched! Joined the Viper Club in Indy where Steve Fess was President. A great guy with an insane knowledge of Vipers.
Had fun for two years then bought a farm and needed equiptment so I sold it to the author, Steve Brady who took great care of our car.
Fast forward to 2019 and many cars later I decided to sell my 57
Thunderbird and 1978 Toyota BJ40 Landcruiser to find another Viper. Hopefully the same color.
So (I know, long story!) I put them on Ebay on a Friday night. Next morning I started my search. There she was the same pic you see in the driveway. After some looking as it had new wheels I realized it was my old car.
The rest is great history. It now sits back home
Congrats, now just drive it and enjoy. You found the best color!!!!:cool3:

Look for a Viper Days event in your area. It's very helpful in advancing your driving skills
and its a ton of fun
Thank you I will!!!
in my cave happy as a clam! Me!!
 

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Brandog

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Thats what I said when 13 years later I see Scotts narrative. (Accidently called him Steve). What a joy to read! Think about it, casually looking to find one like yours, only to see that exact car timing is truly Devine intervention.
As well my mom dad and sister are up there looking down over me to insure my happiness.
Thats my story and I'm sticking to it.
Viper on dudes and dudettes!
Brandon Carroll. aka Brandog
 
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