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First Time Gen II GTS Buyer - Need Advice

Discussion in 'RT/10 and GTS Discussions' started by Daniel Goll, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Daniel Goll

    Daniel Goll Enthusiast

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    Hi all,

    I’m brand new here and looking to buy my first Viper. On the hunt for a Gen II GTS both for future investment purposes and because I’ve always loved the car. Primary use will be sunny day cruising and showing - No tracking... Probably.

    In my research, I’ve come across a 26k mile 2001 red w/white stripes and a GT2 style wing on it (few pics attached). The seller is the 2nd owner and has had it since 2006, which I like. But he also informed me that he’s done some mods to it. According to him, at around 18k miles, it was lightly emitting some blue smoke so he put Gen 3 heads on it and a slightly bigger cam while it was opened up (haven’t obtained the specs yet). He also threw on long tubes and an intake along with some lowering springs (again didn’t get the brand but the drop is about 1.25”) and a short shifter. He also mentioned that he put 8-point harnesses in it but said he's never tracked it which, given that mod, I'm not certain I believe.

    The car sounds like it’s in amazing physical condition and, personally, I don’t mind a few mods. Love that it has LTs actually, but I’m not 100% on how I feel about the internal engine work. The guy said there are no rock chips in the paint aside from one small one on the passenger mirror. Clean title, no accidents, etc. He's asking $48.5k.

    Would love some seasoned folks’ opinions on this particular car, given the information provided. Do you think the mods will have a negative impact on future values (since it’s not stock)? Should I have any concerns about reliability given the engine’s been opened up and it has an aftermarket cam?

    Any insights you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

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  2. Frank Parise

    Frank Parise VCA Venom Member Venom Member

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    JUST MY OPINION: You should spend more time doing your search. There are plenty of GEN2 GTSs for sale in the 40's-50's. You don't need to deal with a car having internal engine mods as it increases the risk of engine failure. Also diminishes sales value of car.
     
  3. Daniel Goll

    Daniel Goll Enthusiast

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    Appreciate the feedback. After thinking on this one for a couple days, I’m leaning in the same direction. Wouldn’t mind a car with bolt-ons but not liking the internal mods.
     
  4. Bill W

    Bill W Enthusiast

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    To each his own, but I would have concerns about the mods and would not purchase the car. This is especially true with any engine work. But others may feel differently.
     
  5. 2002-GTS-FINAL-ED

    2002-GTS-FINAL-ED Enthusiast

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    The engine work would scare me
     
  6. neilekelly@yahoo.com

    [email protected] Enthusiast

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    Having just added my original 1978 Porsche 928 to my collection, I now have 6 cars in the garage and my wife’s car sits outside, so I guess it’s time to part with my 1997 GTS which I bought new and has 26K miles on it. Any interest, contact me via email b
     
  7. Daniel Goll

    Daniel Goll Enthusiast

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    Sent you a PM
     
  8. mac533

    mac533 Enthusiast

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    As luck would have it I have a 2002 gts final edition with 17k miles. I have owned it since 06 and it had 1300 miles on it then. The only mods on it are smooth tubes and k&n filter. I put new tires on it this past fall but kept the originals in case someone wanted them. It has never been in an accident and has been kept in airconditioned comfort . Im in central florida and want 55k for the car. let me know if you are interested.
     
  9. Daniel Goll

    Daniel Goll Enthusiast

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    Car sounds amazing but, given that I'm in the PNW, Florida would be a bit of a difficult trip for me at the moment. Truly appreciate the offer though!
     
  10. Chris Charleston

    Chris Charleston Enthusiast

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    Found a 2001 RT/10 last year with "0" mods and less than 9k miles. In my opinion the holy grail, good luck in your quest. There are still many out there.
     
  11. John333

    John333 VCA Member VCA Member

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    Sounds like you decided to keep looking. Good decision I believe. It would be a lot of work and expense to return that car to stock form. Many potential Viper owners might like those mods (wing, internal engine mods, short throw shifter, lowered suspension, 8 point harness) if they were going to track it, but those mods certainly push it well beyond stock form. The older Vipers become, the more being stock will matter to a growing segment of buyers. BTW, I'm pretty sure that silver was the only color option for stripes for a Red GTS in 2001. Do you know if they are painted or vinyl? I'm betting it was ordered without stripes. Considering the mods and mileage, a fair price for this car is probably around 42-43K. If the engine work was done by a reputable Viper tech, then the price might be somewhat reasonable.
     
  12. Daniel Goll

    Daniel Goll Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the feedback! I've decided I'm definitely not moving forward with this particular car. Got a few more on my radar now that I'm considering. Mostly all completely stock/unmolested. Won't consider a modded car unless the work was perfectly documented and done by a reputable shop.
     
  13. djviper

    djviper Enthusiast

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    If you are serious about thinking of this car as an investment, than you should only be looking at 96 blue/white GTS or 2002 final editions.

    If you just care about a driver, than a 99 or earlier with the forged pistons would be my suggestion. Also consider an RT10, they're cheaper, lighter and it's nice to have a convertible for a weekend car.
     
  14. 01ACR/VIPER

    01ACR/VIPER Enthusiast

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    this in my opinion is a very good deal
     
  15. Camfab

    Camfab Enthusiast

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    Your best bet is to stop thinking of the car as an investment. Get it because you want it, otherwise your making a mistake. Your odds of making money are far better in Vegas.
     
  16. Daniel Goll

    Daniel Goll Enthusiast

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    It's less about making money and more about having a collectible car that I can enjoy and not suffer from depreciation like I have with numerous other "toys" I've owned in the past. Plus, based on the research I've done, it does seem these will gain some value in the coming years. Even if it's incremental value, that's fine. Not expected exponential gains.

    Though I will say, I still kick myself for not buying a 1985 Porsche 930 Turbo I almost purchased back in 2006 for $30k... That same car would be worth around $100k or more now. Or the Fox Body Mustang Cobra I passed up for $15k in 2011 that would now be worth $25-30k.

    This isn't to say I believe the GenII GTS will see the same kind of returns but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it did.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  17. q8_viper

    q8_viper Enthusiast

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    What about 2000 and 2001 are good for the investment ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
  18. Camfab

    Camfab Enthusiast

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    Anyone telling you what’s a good investment hasn’t been around Vipers long enough. Buy the car and enjoy it, if it’s got more than 10 miles on it and it’s not been in a vacuum sealed cocoon it’s not an investment. Even then there are no guarantees. Hell that car wouldn’t come close to it’s original purchase price.
     
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  19. Camfab

    Camfab Enthusiast

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    I stand by my original statement, your talking shoulda woulda coulda. The Viper is a market most don’t understand, it’s painfully clear where people are telling you what to buy. First of all, unlike the P-car that has a very loyal following that goes for multiple generations the Viper is a very different group. 10 years ago I would have said the Viper owner as well as factory involvement were like no car anyone could have ever owned. Today it’s a different world. The original owners have been offloading their cars as many of these owners have reached a certain age. The ‘96-‘02, cars were destroyers, anyone of that era remembers how insanely dominant these cars were. That led to why these cars now at over twenty years are still soft in the market. You had three distinct types of owners- dominating track rats, the polish and show guys as well as the “investment” guys. After all we were all sure that no car would ever eclipse the performance of a Viper!
    Fast forward twenty years later and you have three distinct categories of cars....
    Wrecked cars, and there’s a ton of them. Cars with low miles and an endless supply of cars with crazy low numbers.
    As long as that supply sticks around, the cars prices will remain soft.
    Your example of the Fox body going up is a simple example to explain. How many Fox body cars are out there that are super low mileage, maybe a handful. I mean you’d never think in 1985, gee I should save this car because it might be worth something.
    Buying for value will destroy ownership fun. You’ll know from the get go that every mile you put on your car will have some a-hole future buyer whining about how many miles you put on it. Omg, it has over 10k it’s so worn out. Don’t think I’m kidding I’ve been around this place for a really longtime. So buy a nice car that meets your needs and shelf the idea of making ANY MONEY, just enjoy it.
     
  20. BYAIC

    BYAIC Enthusiast

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    Seems you are getting beat up here pretty good because you keep saying “investment.” But reading your first post it appears that you just want a car that you really love, can enjoy, and perhaps don’t lose your a$$ on if you decide to sell it, am I right?

    If so, that red with white stripes beauty looks like a heck of a lot of fun, and an ultimate street cruiser! I love it! The previous owner threw a ton of money in to it that he lost, you would be buying a real bargain fun ride without paying for the upgrades that he put in to it.

    Tell people more about your current or previous sports cars, maybe that would help.

    I bought my Gen III Black Mamba convertible because I just loved everything about it. It had 2500 miles on it and it was four years old. Today it has 62,000 miles, I drive my Viper. I didn’t buy it as an investment, but I always knew it would stop depreciating at a certain point, as all sports cars do.

    Buy what you like, you won’t lose a ton of money, any Viper will hold a lot more of it’s value than a mere car, and if you keep the mileage reasonable in the long run it may appreciate above the price you pay. Again, that red with white stripes car looks like so much fun.

    ETA. Just reread your initial post again. You can get that car for so much less than what he is asking. Just work the deal, and do your research about what one without the added mods would sell for today.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
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  21. Camfab

    Camfab Enthusiast

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    As an FYI not trying to beat you up, please don’t take it that way.
     
  22. Daniel Goll

    Daniel Goll Enthusiast

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    Hey all, I don't feel beat up... I appreciate all opinions/advice. But BYAIC is right - I'm looking for a fun car I can enjoy in nice weather, take to car shows, etc. and not lose the farm on. I've had many fun and exciting cars and most have depreciated fairly quickly. Only exceptions being my Shelby GT500 and Boss 302 Mustangs, as well as a couple of C5 Z06 Corvettes. Those all held their value pretty well.

    I see the GenII Viper fitting in the same boat, if not appreciating slightly over the next 10-15 years if taken care of. As time goes on, more and more of these things will be wrecked, beat to hell or overly modified (not that there's anything wrong with modifying) and it will, in turn, become a more scarce "classic" collectible with a rare naturally aspirated V-10 and manual transmission. That's just my forecast based on the history of collectible cars and the direction in which modern cars are heading (all forced induction or electric/electric assist with just two pedals on the floor). People may disagree with my take on the matter and that's fine.

    Bottom line, if I buy one of these things and, in 10 years, it's worth the same or a few grand less, no big deal. If it appreciates because it's become what I'm thinking it may, fantastic. Either way, I don't think the value of these cars is going to drop much further than they are today if unmolested.

    Cheers!
     
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