Need advice on this 1999 GTS please

anth

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Hey everyone,

I may soon become a viper owner, but before I pull the trigger I wanted to get your thoughts on the car.

It is a 1999 Viper GTS in black (no stripes) on cognac with the silver interior trim. It is a Canadian car (I'm near Toronto), so from what I understand this is a fairly rare color combination and one that I really like.

The car has ~33,000km or about 18,000 miles.
It has had two owners so far, the second of which (current) is a 75 year old man and he's owned it for about 10 years and since about 10,000km.
The car is unmodified except for smooth tubes & K&N intake kit and a MGW short shifter.

The car hasn't had much maintenance because the previous owner says it hasnt needed anything other than the usual oil/fluid changes and a headlight relay a few years ago.

The first owner got into a light front end accident which dented the bumper and the front of the hood up to the NACA duct portion. The hood and front latches were professionally repaired and the bumper was "hot tanked" and the dent was popped out, so all parts on the car are still original. The entire hood was not repainted, it was only blown in. I haven't seen the car yet so I don't know for sure if this will be an issue besides his opinion over the phone, but since the paint is plain black I think it might be pretty plausible that it can't be noticed.

His asking price is $39,000 CDN, which he seems fairly firm on over the phone, but I'd like to knock off 1-2k to cover new tires in the near future since, although the current Michelins still have tread, I've done my reading and know that running hard old tires on this car is a recipe for trouble.

So, let me know what you think - my goal is not to daily drive the car or anything like that, but I would imagine myself putting a good 10-20,000km on it before selling and would like to sell (unless I fall totally in love with it) in a few years without losing a whole heap of money.

Regarding price, bear in mind that the market for Canadian vipers is a bit smaller than down south, so we rarely/never get to see them sell for quite the same price as US cars. Which I don't mind, as long as I can sell for the same premium when that time comes too.

Thanks in advance guys!
 

dave6666

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1 of 1 color combo means squat unless you care. I don't care how many they made, but if you do, factor that in to your perceived value.

The car likely needs a host of maintenance items regardless of the misinformed owner saying it hasn't "needed' anything.

Having been wrecked, regardless of originality of parts etc, offer $35K US equiv.

Oh, and ask your financial planner if you should buy a "rare" car as an investment. One, it's not rare, two, crappy investment.
 

daveg

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The hood concerns me since its one of the most expensive part on these cars.. look it over REAL good and proceed with caution... What does a car fax say? Other than that, look at the usual trouble areas....
 

Next Phase

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You'll want to change the motor oil, coolant, rear diff fluid, ****** fluid, brake fluid, clutch fluid. Probably need new tires... Just keep that in mind with whatever GTS you end up buying. I'd also recommend having someone that knows Vipers check the car out.

Not sure on values in CN, but that is a $35k-$40k car here in the states IMHO.
 

v10enomous

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Most prefer the black interior to the cognac. $39k will get you a real nice GTS with stripes and no history. 99 is a great year. Last year for the forged motor and the great sounding lumpy cam and and first year for the updated interior.
 

dru282

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Whenever I hear accident I would look it over very carefully. The owner may tell you it was minor just because he knows you will notice and wants to lessen the questions. Makes him look honest while maybe hiding more. I just bought a 99 GTS with less miles and no accidents for less than that. If you are mentioning the accident it must concern you and it most likely will concern the next buyer too. If you are already thinking of resale find a bargain or forget the resale and enjoy the car for what it is. It may be a fine car. just be careful
 

denniskgb

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You'll want to change the motor oil, coolant, rear diff fluid, ****** fluid, brake fluid, clutch fluid. Probably need new tires... Just keep that in mind with whatever GTS you end up buying. I'd also recommend having someone that knows Vipers check the car out.

Not sure on values in CN, but that is a $35k-$40k car here in the states IMHO.

Agree also would definitely factor in tune up. guarantee it has never been tuned up...Accident minor or what ever will decrease the resale value. Buy in mind to enjoy it. If you put money into it give up your idea of investment. Btw the charcoal interior is more desirable. If you are not sure just look around.
 

Sainthitch

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i agree with that everyone else is saying. If the car is located somewhere in toronto and you need someone to go take a look at it, just PM me. I live in Waterloo but i am in toronto for work all the time.
 

Bonkers

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The thing that I can't seem to get past is the "denting" of the
hood. Being RM it doesn't dent or bend, it shatters and cracks...
especially if its as deep as the duct. I guess a quality fiberglass
guy can patch it enough to make it look nice, but I wouldn't
bet my life on a repair where the front latches were glued back
on. My advice is to get someone who really knows what they
are looking at to exam that repair before even considering
buying.

On the other topic at hand - if you are going into this purchase
with resale on your mind save yourself the dissappointment
and just wait for a pristine example to come around. With the
exception of the first round of FordGT owners, nobody makes
money flipping regularly driven sports cars.
 

dru282

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again I agree too with what everyone is saying. You could buy a pristine old sixties car of your choice and in a few years the way things are going it too could lose value even if you never drove it. Buy a car for know and for fun. Buy bonds or stocks for investments. But whatever you do look that car over well before buying. There are others.
 

Roysviper

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I don't know how you can dent fiberglass..........popping out dents???? That tilt front end is probly still $16,000 price range to replace......you don't just spot paint or whatever the area messed up there....You repaint the entire front end,,,,,,That entire repair job sounds ******* up to me.....I would NOT touch it with a 10 ft pole for that price in Canada or not.....Most Viper people will not buy it for that price with what you said about the front .......It will not be an investment.......come on down into the states and get a really nice gen 2 and take it home..I bought a 96 GTS from Canada and I sold an RV that went to Canada so you can do it.....The man got held up at the Canadian Border for 3 days but hey if you want something bad enough you got to sacrifice here and there for it but stay away from this 99 GTS......just my 2 cents....... :rolleyes: :omg: :beer:

The first owner got into a light front end accident which dented the bumper and the front of the hood up to the NACA duct portion. The hood and front latches were professionally repaired and the bumper was "hot tanked" and the dent was popped out, so all parts on the car are still original. The entire hood was not repainted, it was only blown in. I haven't seen the car yet so I don't know for sure if this will be an issue besides his opinion over the phone, but since the paint is plain black I think it might be pretty plausible that it can't be noticed.
 

slitherv10

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I can help out if you want to see the car. I am around most of the week. I too feel the same as Roysviper, pulling dents out of figerglass is impossible. Seems this guy is pulling your leg. Nevertheless,i would look at it if your interested to confirm,but,it does sound fishy to me. Theres a 2000GTS with @54000 miles on it...black in color and seems pretty straight up and clean for 42,000. I would spend a few extra dollars and or less for tha car before I touched the 99
here is the link to the add...
http://www.autotrader.ca/a/Dodge/Viper/KINGSTON/Ontario/19_5901148_/?showcpo=ShowCPO

Here is a 2003 with only 3500 miles on it for 38,000...Gret deal in my opinion !!

http://www.autotrader.ca/a/Dodge/Viper/BARRIE/Ontario/19_6681823_/?showcpo=ShowCPO
 
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anth

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Thanks for all the help guys - FYI I posted a similar thread at viper alley and this one was much more helpful - I appreciate that.

I went to go see the car on the weekend and it is spotless. I've looked at the car in the shade, light, from every angle I could think of, etc - whatever was done to the car was done well, so I don't mind. I also forgot how stunning a clean GTS looks - especially in all black (to me, at least)!

A few things I noticed:

- the short shifter is B&W, not an MGW. Seems pretty stiff but I wasn't exactly expecting a miata transmission anyways.
- the current owner has died the shift **** and steering wheel (the rim which was originally cognac) black - I agree with him that I think this looks better, but has anyone else done this and how does it usually hold up?
- the tires have full tread but are over 7 years old. Does anyone know if the Ontario safety inspection checks for tire age, or just the wear/cracks?
- the owner has had firmer padding used in the seats - they have literally no creases/wrinkles and are still super soft - this Connolly leather is a huge plus to me.
- the exhaust tips are rectangular (seen this on the odd mid 90s camaro) and are hideous. He does not have the original. Is this a pain to correct? If I could easily add back the round tips, I'd love to until I can find a sweet deal on a used corsa cat-back or something.
- the idle is low but was steady for >15 minutes - the tach read at the upper marking between 0 and 1000 rpm. I'd assume this is 500rpm but I've also read that it is actually 700-800 rpm. Not sure if this is an issue.

The seller won't go lower than 38k - he is an older guy who has no need to sell and, like many guys trying to sell a sports car they've stored over the winter, it appears that the mindset is more "the market will be hot in the spring" than "there's snow on the ground so I better try to move this thing". I know the price isn't great, and with tax, tires, plugs and fluids I'll be sitting in the low 40s, but I THINK I'll be comfortable with it. Still not sure how you guys fit under this hood since the fenders come with it!

Regarding all the comments about the car being a poor investment - I think I should have been more clear. I have no intentions of trying to see some miraculous increase in value over time - just trying to cover my *** a bit in terms of resale - if it doesn't work out like that, so be it.

So far, I will be heading back out there (car is in Trenton) next weekend, when the car will be insured and we can take it on a half decent drive.

I think if the buyer is willing to do safety and e test (is that usually a problem on these cars?), I might take it at the price mentioned above.
 

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anth

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Thanks for the offer - the car is in Trenton, not exactly Toronto. If you're around there at all, please let me know as I'd love to get a second opinion from someone who is familiar with these things.

I know what you mean about the other cars for sale - that 03 is a great find if you don't mind the silver and it isn't a salvage title or something. The 2000 GTS is nice but it is a US car (kind of a turn off to me unless I imported it myself, just a weird quirk of mine) and 90,000km versus 30,000km on this one is a huge gap to me.
 

slitherv10

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Thanks for the offer - the car is in Trenton, not exactly Toronto. If you're around there at all, please let me know as I'd love to get a second opinion from someone who is familiar with these things.

I know what you mean about the other cars for sale - that 03 is a great find if you don't mind the silver and it isn't a salvage title or something. The 2000 GTS is nice but it is a US car (kind of a turn off to me unless I imported it myself, just a weird quirk of mine) and 90,000km versus 30,000km on this one is a huge gap to me.

I have sent you a Personal Message anth....check it and let me know
 

Darth Menace

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Take it from another canadian viper owner. Vipers cost a lot more in canada for sure, but dont pay more/settle for less just for the convenience. Federal and provincial inspections may seem daunting, but they really arent if you cover all the bases. Buy a better one for less in the states and Import it
 

Fatboy 18

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Its your choice at the end of the day, but Im not liking the coloured badges, Exhaust, 7yr old tyres! They may have good tread but the rubber would be horrid, it does not matter weather they pass a safety inspection, others will tell you as will I, the grip will be rubbish, so you really should be thinking of replacing them for your own safety.
My personal preference would be to keep looking, but I know its hard when you have your heart on a car which is within your grasp!
 

denniskgb

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Its your choice at the end of the day, but Im not liking the coloured badges, Exhaust, 7yr old tyres! They may have good tread but the rubber would be horrid, it does not matter weather they pass a safety inspection, others will tell you as will I, the grip will be rubbish, so you really should be thinking of replacing them for your own safety.
My personal preference would be to keep looking, but I know its hard when you have your heart on a car which is within your grasp!

agree, but if you are going for it looks like you definetely going to need invest more money into it. BUT ITS ONLY MONEY, right?:crazy2:
 

Sybil TF

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Offer him $2000 less, leave your number and walk away. It's yours if you can wait.:smirk:
 

Sainthitch

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Honestly, its your dream car! If you love, can look past its history, and its all and everything you want-then get it! Buying mine is one thing i will never regret!
 

VIPER GTSR 91

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Cannot go wrong with the 99. Mine was a 99 GTS and totally reliable at 12k miles with most on the track too. Miss that awesome car. Not excited though about cognac interior but prefer black as its much easier to keep clean looking.
 
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anth

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Thanks for the input guys - the rubber would definitely have to go. Aside from my own fear of this turning into a $40k coffin, good rubber is about the only other safety "feature" I'll have in this thing!
Although it does **** that I'd have to sink another bunch of $$$ into rubber, I personally see the 7 year old rubber (with tons of tread!) as a good thing - means that the old dude wasn't doing what we see in that youtube vid Fatboy posted haha.

Those exhausts DO have to go though. I'm hoping they're just some stupid bolt on tips and not welded to the rest of the cat-back or anything.

Anyone know if the stock tips are also detachable without cutting (so that I can swap them out asap)?

I mean I know the car isn't going to be the viper we see on Barrett Jackson in 20 years, but it has the basics right to me - low mileage, Canadian car, gorgeous colour combo (to me, I know I'm in the minority on that one lol), etc etc. And to be honest, it's still a whole lot more viper than many people I know my age (mid 20s) can get into right now.

I'll keep you guys posted!

I also have a pic or two of the front - the gap on one side of the hood seems a bit wide to me (where the hood meets the front fascia on the outer edge of the headlight), but I'm told that I'm over my quota by 40kb for now.. I assume this is daily? I'll try to sort this out later so I can get your opinions on it. Panel gaps are dead even all around the car otherwise.
 

Fatboy 18

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That does not look that bad? I've seen far worse! The tips on my Bellanger Cat back system are welded on. You will have to get down under the back of the car and have a good look at those tips, In all Honestly its not that bigger deal.

We all enjoy making these cars our own, adding extras,swapping decals, performance upgrades etc. If the car has stock brakes, be careful, the braking seems to be set up 70% front braking and 30% rear, what I mean by this is if you hit the brakes its easy for the fronts to lock up and you will skid forward! (even at slow speeds).

There are many threads on brake upgrades, so have a good read.
I have the 40mm brake upgrade on my car which is much better as it ballences out the braking of the car making the performance seem more like 60% front braking and 40% rear.

I used to get fed up with locking up the fronts, now with this system, the car stops without the fronts locking up and skidding.

It sounds to me like you have made your mind up that you want the car. Well go ahead, Im sure you will enjoy it and over time you can add or remove whatever you want.

Take it easy and enjoy the car as is for a while, then decide what you want to do :)

There's always tech help on this website and of course we have Viper Parts America and other Vendors for the purchasing of all those service parts and accessories.

Good Luck.
 
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anth

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Hey guys, just wanted to give a little update.

Was supposed to go put down a deposit on the car today, but yesterday I decided I should first get the carproof (carfax CDN equivalent basically) to see the title of the car and if the accident was reported to the insurance and for how much.

Found out there was a claim on the car for a front left corner collision in 2003 (car is a 1999) for $54,106!
I know the hood alone was about 26k, but even figuring ~5k for the fascia, 2k for a rad, and another bunch for misc. repairs and labour, I was still left with at least 10k that I was unsure as to where that went in the claim - so my worry was possible frame damage. The seller was adamant that there was no frame damage, but nonetheless it was enough for me to sit this one out. Any ideas on whether such a damage claim on a pretty new (at the time) viper would have included frame damage, or what you think that quote was comprised of?

At the very least, I'm no longer interested in the car at that price and if I was to buy it at a discounted price, I'd definitely have to get the car in the air and get a professional opinion on it since such extensive repairs are a bit out of my comfort zone. The title of the car is clear by the way.

Kind of a shame, I really had my heart set on a GTS and I'm pretty sure I won't find one in Canada for much under $50k unless it had pretty high mileage.

Moral of the story: spend the $40 before spending your $40,000! Sure glad I did.

Anyways, thanks for your help guys!
 

K930

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Keep looking. I picked up a 2000 Steel Grey GTS last summer for $35K. 31,000 miles. Mint condition and all original (well....not the tires). Bought from the second owner. He brought it up from Texas.

It was his garage queen, and he couldn't justify keeping it anymore as he hardly drove it.

LOVE the car. Brought it out of hibernation yesterday.
 

GTS Warp

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Yup, always best to start with a Carfax or VIN check. Keep looking and you'll find the right one!
 

Fatboy 18

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Don't be down, you did the right thing and as GTS Warp says, Get the Carfax first, saves you having to go through all the stories ;)

Its not foolproof but it saved me!

The right car WILL turn up :)
 

terminator02

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Wow I just posted this long reply of reservations about the car as I have lived in Canada for a period of time and then saw your post on passing the car up! I also did a search for Canadian prices as I remembered a few years ago a nice GTS going for about 10K more than the equivalent in the US. I am surprised at how few GTSs are currently available and how much cheaper the Gen IV was then what I was anticipating. Interestingly, Vettes go for WAY more in Canada than the US compared to looking at the Canadian viper market and the US equivalent. If I remember correctly new base vettes are almost 65k? However, any seller that "doesn't need to sell" but has "just like new" in the ad and is the CHEAPEST GTS listed in all of Ontario just wreaks of problems to me and ill motive. I am glad you found out the full story and glad you passed. The hood is absolutely perfect and aligns with no hood gaps....I guess because it's a completely new hood! However that damage is a resell nightmare. Good luck with your search. Honestly, going through customs and The RIV is not as bad or intimidating once you actually commit to doing so.

Just so you know, the tires and whatnot are usually scrutinized by most mechanics doing the safety inspections. The emissions testing will not be any concern. Mine passed with no issues. You will need daytime running lights installed and that ran $100.00. PS2 tires in Canada are MUCH MUCH more than they are in the US. That alone could mitigate a fair amount of your import fee. The first 10K is not subject to duty/import fee. The remainder is. Some of this is hazy to me but I think most of it should still be accurate. I forget why I didn't have to pay import fees but I didn't. I think it's because I owned the car before applying for my PR there. Good luck searching. Smart decision.
 
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