Potential New Owner (Craigslist Listing 1998 GTS) Questions

Discussion in 'New Owner Questions' started by Dodge Viper, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. Dodge Viper

    Dodge Viper Enthusiast

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    Hello all! I am very interesting in purchasing a 'project car', one beautiful 1998 GTS came up recently and I have been quite interested in it. Obviously very strange that it comes with a rebuilt title, I'm curious as to as a potential new owner what I should be watching out for and what questions I might need to ask the seller?

    https://nh.craigslist.org/cto/d/1998-dodge-viper-gts/6619544593.html

    Listing text:

    One of the lowest priced GTS's for sale. Please fully read add, this viper will need slight work in order to get back on the road. 53k miles and not going up. Potentially interested in trades or trades+cash. Text, or email is preferred.


    About the Viper:
    US production viper, started out west and was exported to Quebec for a few years. I drove up and brought the car back to the US in 2015. Registered the car in NH with zero issues, nothing needed changing as it is a US production car. NH will not title vehicles '99 or later, and the registration acts as the title. With the current NH registration you will have zero issues titling/registering the viper in any state.

    I daily drove the viper in nice weather for almost two years, however the past year it has seen very little driving as I moved to Boston and could not bring the car with me, so it has been sitting ind started up every few months. I just installed a brand new battery. It will need new rotors from sitting. Starts right up and can be driven around, rotors are a bit rough, however starts to slightly overheat. These cars can be difficult to bleed the coolant and get air pockets out, however it could also potentially be the head gasket from sitting. Before sitting, the car was regularly maintained and here is a list of recent maintenance:

    -New Tires with near brand new tread and balanced.
    -Full fluids changed before storage. Viper Mopar fuel filter, Mobile 1 Synthetic Oil
    -New oem mopar wires, spark plugs
    -ICV cleaned
    -Large Moroso Racing Radiator
    -Custom Catback exhaust. Straight pipe cat delete, Cats are healthy and will be included and can be clamped back in if preferred.
    -K&N carbon fiber intake system
    -Lloyds floor mats
    -HID headlights
    -Windows professionally tinted
    -Pioneer DEHx6600bt radio, color matched to interior lights
    -Kicker front speakers with C4 rear speakers and pioneer amp

    I have a copy of carfax that I can send over, never any structural damage, airbags deployed, or total loss reported. Car was first registered in NV as a corporate vehicle, and then a rebuilt title was issued right after. Again, no accidents, structural damage, total loss, or airbag deployments reported. Your guess is as good as mine as to why the title was changed to rebuilt. There is no evidence of any structural damage ever, and no accidents reported. I have a clean Quebec title, and a clean title will be issued when registering, but again it is good to know the cars history.

    Car will need some very light body work. The passenger quarter panel was side swiped by a trailer, and the passenger side was also lightly side swiped by a car backing out. The front bumper also has light scuff marks on the drivers side. Driver front rim has a dent from a curb, tire is fine and still holds air however it should be replaced as front rims are around $200. I have several shop quotes, and insurance quotes, to have the damage fixed and car painted for under $5k. Interior is in great shape. Drivers airbag has been removed and a Mopar hub adapter and wheel included to convert to a gen1 steering wheel (or any 6bolt racing wheel). This is a very low priced GTS, that with a bit of tuning up and body work will look amazing again. See photos. Serious inquiries only, again this is a very low priced gts​
     
  2. Bonkers

    Bonkers VCA Venom Member - Northeast

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    Its not as strange as you may think - rebuilt titles are issued for
    a variety of reasons that dont include structural damage - theft,
    flood, fire. But looking at the warpage on that rear bumper, my
    guess is either fire or rear-end collision. Also, if you damage that
    once $17,000, non replaceable hood in any way, some companies
    would simply total the car immediately and count their losses.

    Also the car has been repainted - that orange/red was not a factory
    colour, its missing all its badging, and the wheel rivits are body-
    coloured (tell tale sign of a repaint.)

    The seller is in NH, and Im assuming your nearby as well. Do the
    smart thing - have the car shipped to Tator for inspection (or if
    it were me, have the seller drive the car to Tators and make the
    transaction there.) You cannot get a better endorsement than
    Tator signing off on it - I cant imagine viper damage that he wont
    pick out a mile away. If he says its a good deal (and since hed
    best be the one youre taking to service it,) then id say go for it.
     
  3. Dodge Viper

    Dodge Viper Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the heads up! Any idea if his price is in the ballpark or off by a large degree? Some other things i was able to find out:

    67k miles on the odometer (rather high, this owner had it from 40k to 67k)
    All modifications were done under his ownership

    Things to be fixed:
    • Seats
    • Full paint job
    • Radiator hoses/thermostat
    • Right-side damage
    • Left-side damage
    IMG950765.jpg IMG950769.jpg IMG950771.jpg IMG950754.jpg IMG950756.jpg
     
  4. plumcrazy

    plumcrazy Viper Owner

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    if thats all you can afford, id say its worth it. theres plenty wrong with the car im sure but its still $23k.... any running viper will be worth that IMO. but id save up a little more and find a better example
     
  5. redtanrt10

    redtanrt10 Viper Owner

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    That's a pretty rough viper and will look worse one you go see it. Plus it has a salvage title too.

    Drivers airbag has been removed from the front end collision that blew the bag and totaled the car

    however starts to slightly overheat. These cars can be difficult to bleed the coolant and get air pockets out, however it could also potentially be however it could also potentially be the head gasket from sitting.
    I'm hoping you buy it, but when you or your mechanic finds out if needs head gaskets I'll say sorry but I told you so.

    Interior is in great shape yeah you can see that both seats are ripped at the seams but thrust me its in good shape!

    this is a salvage car with muti owners all who bought it cheap and did only enough work to it so it would run and drive. Take it to a shop like Tator's and he'll show tell you $5-10k work needed outside of the cosmetics.

    At that price you'll have $30k plus in a high mileage salvage title '98. You can buy a clean car for $30k.

    If the motor and trans are good (do a comprehension/leak down test and drive) this is a $15k viper at best.
     
  6. Dodge Viper

    Dodge Viper Enthusiast

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    I think you're spot on, same thoughts.
     
  7. Bonkers

    Bonkers VCA Venom Member - Northeast

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    Im the wrong person to ask. I have zero concern about things
    like "value" as i tend to buy car with the express intention of driving
    them until they break. Personally, at $23k I see a potentially great
    drivers, or track car, but if youre like 85% of the guys here, those
    blemishes will eat at your soul. So if youre thinking "oh, I can fix all that"
    then this is not the car for you. Im seeing at least $10k in corrections
    to get it "right" which (like RedTan said) puts you into right into cheap,
    clean GTS price range. And that doesnt count what I cant see.

    Its up to you - if you can live with a battered viper (and trust me, its
    no picinic attending cruises with guys who spit shine their battery
    cables) and just fix what needs fixing, then from here it looks like a
    pretty good deal.
     
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  8. Frank Parise

    Frank Parise VCA Legacy Member - UT/AZ

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    Don't do it!
     

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