Need advice on '02 GTS for sale

Chamberlen

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Hi guys,

I'm interested in buying this Dodge Viper up in Illinois, here is the link...

https://www.dmautosales.com/2002-dodge-viper-gts-c-2366.htm

I am planning to check it out in person soon but so far the carfax and discussion with the salesman have been quite positive. I'm worried I'm hearing what I want to hear, so I wanted to see if anyone had any pointers for myself before I pull trigger. I asked for pictures of underneath the car which I've gone ahead and attached. Is this a good buy or should I move on?

Thank you all,
Chamberlen
 

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BoondocSaint

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Looks to be a nice low mile GTS. As far as pricing...things are a little all over the map right now. We hit some all time highs, but the market has settled a little in the last few months. I would recommend looking at comparable Viper GTS's to gauge reasonable price negotiation.

Things to look for. AC, Common to have O rings dry out which won't allow the system to hold a charge. Rubber, as with any car over 20 years old, rubber degrades with time i.e. radiator hoses. Suspension, make sure all the bushings, tie rod ends, ball joints etc. look good. Pushing a car that can do almost 200mph on old suspension is ill advised. Looks like the power steering overflow tube was added which is a worth while upgrade, because a preventable Viper fire is sad to say the least. I couldn't tell if the power steering pulley had been upgraded, but if it's not metal, it should be addressed. TIRES, check the date codes. If they are ten plus years old, then they should knock off the price of a new set. These cars make about 400 lb. ft. tq. to the tires barely above idle, old tires don't hold that power safely. There are other quirks to these cars, but those at least address easily checked or safety concerns that give you a place to negotiate from.
 

TEALLIFE

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Looks good to me (not evaluating the price, that's a personal decision). Is there something youre seeing that youre worried about?

Low mile, 20+ year old cars will likely need the usualy maintenance, although this does look like it was pretty well maintained.

I picked up an all original 12k mile example a year or so back, and it still needed basically all typical maintenance. Brakes, clutch slave, plus, wires, metal PS pulley, end links, etc.. Not major stuff, just things to know.
 

Bill W

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When I bought my 2002 RT/10 with 11,000 miles four years ago, a deeply knowledgeable man on Vipers told me to expect to pay another five to ten thousand on maintenance issues described above by TEALLIFE. Because I had to have most of the mechanical work done by someone else. He was right. Examples for me were tires, slave cylinder, AC compressor, power steering pully and bracket (a must have), end links, and more. No regrets. The car sat for years, and I expected to have issues. These are great cars. A blast to drive and genuine head-turners when you go anywhere.
 

GTS Dean

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It almost looks too clean and that would normally be a concern. However, with just under 6k miles it was likely only driven on beautiful days/weekends. Maybe do a Carfax report and look to see how the miles were accumulated. It's possible it hasn't ever encountered a water puddle. With no more info, I'd likely be a buyer and like Bill says - expect to replace a few bits, but likely nothing too serious. The biggest issue is chasing down parts, which takes time and patience.
 

Steve-Indy

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As GTS Dean says, it looks way too clean underneath...a typical "broker move" in my opinion. I would look very carefully at the frame and suspension on a lift...as well as the radiator surround area.

With rare exception, I would expect you to spend another $6,000 to $10,000 to bring this age Viper up to safe and reliable road worthiness...and that's IF there is no major damage or unknown component issues.

Best of luck in your quest !!
 

GTS Dean

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Steve, it's an obvious garage queen with sparing miles. look WAAAAAY up on the frame - it's all just gorgeous. Plated ferrous bits have age-appropriate patina and they are consistent. The alignment cams look exactly as I would expect a non-curbed car to be. Need history to validate.
 
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Chamberlen

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Gents,

First off, thank you! Your insight, feedback, and advice have really helped me come closer to a decision.

To answer some of the questions above...

As far as seeing something to be worried about...I have no idea, that's why I'm asking this forum. I have not had a chance to see or drive the car. I live in Nashville, TN, but am planning to be up in Chicago in April to test drive the car. I've never owned a Viper but I've done enough research to know that there are going to be some added costs no matter what you buy just because of the wear and tear from age.

The car being "too clean" is def a red flag for myself. That's why one of you gave me an idea to try out...

I was thinking maybe I can offer to buy the car from the dealership under certain circumstances:
1. Have the car sent to a certified Viper dealer close by (After looking online everyone has recommended this place in Roanoke, IL called Roanoke Motors Co Inc.)
2. If things don't check out or there are added costs that I'm not aware of, then I can use that to negotiate the price

Thoughts?

Do car dealers even let you do something like that, where you get a third party to inspect and check the car out?

Once again, I can't thank you all enough for the help and support. Owning a Viper has been my dream and my #1 car I've been wanting to add to my collection :)
 

Steve-Indy

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All good points,Dean. That said, there are a few low mileage, non-tracked, never-in-rain, no-accident-history Vipers here that are not quite that pristine.

It could be that the last owner detailed the underside as some folks do.

Buyer has a good plan...Roanoke is a great place. If car is straight and as nice as it looks, I wouldn't wait til April...Just my 2 cents worth.
 

BoondocSaint

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Having the dealership look at it is not a bad idea. If the car can't make it to them, you might be able to have something worked out allowing their tech to go to the car. PPI (pre purchase inspection) can be done, but I'm not sure who in that area is reputable or their pricing. Could always take a quick weekend trip if you feel confident about the seller and car.

As was mentioned above, I wouldn't sleep on it too long. I admittedly spend way more time than I should watching 2nd gen Viper GTS sales. They aren't what I would consider fast movers, but collectors do grab up low mile examples that aren't in stratosphere pricing...96-97 blue w/white stripe GTS owners I'm looking at you lol.
 
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TEALLIFE

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Gents,

First off, thank you! Your insight, feedback, and advice have really helped me come closer to a decision.

To answer some of the questions above...

As far as seeing something to be worried about...I have no idea, that's why I'm asking this forum. I have not had a chance to see or drive the car. I live in Nashville, TN, but am planning to be up in Chicago in April to test drive the car. I've never owned a Viper but I've done enough research to know that there are going to be some added costs no matter what you buy just because of the wear and tear from age.

The car being "too clean" is def a red flag for myself. That's why one of you gave me an idea to try out...

I was thinking maybe I can offer to buy the car from the dealership under certain circumstances:
1. Have the car sent to a certified Viper dealer close by (After looking online everyone has recommended this place in Roanoke, IL called Roanoke Motors Co Inc.)
2. If things don't check out or there are added costs that I'm not aware of, then I can use that to negotiate the price

Thoughts?

Do car dealers even let you do something like that, where you get a third party to inspect and check the car out?

Once again, I can't thank you all enough for the help and support. Owning a Viper has been my dream and my #1 car I've been wanting to add to my collection :)
Any decent seller should not be afraid of a PPI, especially a dealer (and especially if you put a deposit down).
 

Jlund

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Hey...for what it's worth. I bought this cars 2002 rt10 twin from Kevin at this dealership last August. My car had 4800 miles on it. My son and I flew out to look and drive the car. I saw this coupe and started it up. It's an amazing car. I was deciding between the 2 of them but went with the car that was on my wall as a kid. This dealership does not disappoint. I am extremely particular. Borderline obsessive over my cars. I usually work myself up to not expect much when car shopping new and used because I'm so particular but these guys were above and beyond any car experience I've had. And I've been lucky to have more than my fair share. You will not be disappointed in the car or the experience. They only buy quality well maintained cars. If I can answer any questions about what I saw I am happy to. I looked over this car pretty well. Did not drive it however.
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LifeIsGood

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This GTS is exceptionally clean. I used to take care of my underbody like that. It's clearly been very well taken care of. I've never seen a 20 year old viper in this nice of condition. Most owners drive theirs more. I haven't kept up with viper valuation so I can't help with that. As previously mentioned there will be some costs to getting it road ready, especially new rubber. Good luck.
 

Machtwo

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Interesting, I looked at this car in August of 2002. Same mileage as back then. Was listed at 89k and chane, so it is a little cheaper but maybe more negotiating space as they had this car a long time. I did not drive it. The trunk shocks would not hold the rear window up (so they need replacing). A minor point, but keep in mind. The staff was very nice, but interestingly never ask my name or contact details. I did look at several other cars they had in stock which were cool (not to buy, but like a car show joy). This is the CarFax link I had from back then ... https://www.carfax.com/vehicle/1B3ER69E92V102286
I found a blue with white stripes, which was top of my list, at a different dealer so I did not move of this one.
As for price, I agree that is subjective. However, sitting this long ...
Good luck and let us know.
 

georgethedog

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I've bought 2 Vipers from Mike at D&M many years ago (In my signature line I bought the 1998 GTS and the 2001 RT/10 from him). Good guy and always has quality cars. We always negotiated hard, but in the end the prices were fair for both parties. So, don't feel like you can't negotiate because my experience is that he will. Think about what it is worth to you... do you need a car that perfect??? What am I willing to spend, and what else could I buy for that amount of money? Answering these questions of myself has always served me well.
 
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