These cars are so underrated

kmagnuss

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Pretty new here. I'm a bit of a car nerd... I try to buy and sell an older 'fun' car once or twice a year so that I get a chance to experience all these great cars I can't afford when they're new.
Typically I'm more of a European/Porsche / JDM 90's guy, but the Vipers have always peaked my curiosity. You read so much about them being so hot/loud/dangerous/hard to drive/bad AC/death trap/small penis compensation/crap interior/squeaky, etc... Well I sold my last fun car (low mileage R8) and decided I never want to buy a car again that I can't rack up miles and enjoy driving. Had a few others on the short list (FD Rx7, Lotus Esprit and the new Lotus Emira) but started looking at Vipers again and it just seemed like a TON of car for the money. Decided to try something a little out of my comfort zone.
I gotta say, this car is the most fun I've had in a long time. There's no reason you can't daily this car. I've been doing it in SW Florida for the last month and I can't get enough of it. The AC is perfectly fine. The car is VERY easy to drive in traffic. Clutch is great. It actually rides halfway decent, but still corners very strongly. It's a different feeling and you can tell that when it lets go it will do it without much warning, but it's fun. I'd drive this over my old R8 or 700 hp 996 turbo all day. Golf clubs easily fit in the trunk. Yes it has a lot of squeaks and the build quality isn't as good... but it's good enough and did I mention it's fun? I thought I would feel kind of d000chey driving it, but I don't. It's just fun. Working on it is a breeze and some parts are super cheap... some are pretty standard and some (cough cough headlights) are outrageous.
Bottom line is I think this car is great. It might actually make it over a year... we'll see.
 

gregrowell

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Love it...Also, how many other Vipers will you run into... I love that it is an American/hand-built V10. More Corvettes built in one-year than during the life-cycle of the Viper. They just get cooler / rarer each year. (But yes, the Viper Tax $ is getting a little rough:)) I appreciate all of you vendors, headlight lens crafters, mechanics---all doing 'God's Work' LOL
 

MoparMap

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I've always said you can daily drive a lawnmower if you're dedicated enough, but yeah, the Viper really isn't nearly as bad as a lot of magazines and stuff made it out to be. If you drive it like a normal car, it drives like a normal car. I know that sounds dumb, but so many people seem to think sports cars are an on/off throttle or rock hard suspension or stuff like. The thing I like most about them is that that just feel so direct on every control. My dad briefly had a C7 Vette and while it was probably equivalent performance to my 04 Viper at the time, it just felt a bit off to drive. Like there was a little too much assist or a little less feedback on every control, so it wasn't as positive feeling when trying to do any particular action. Still a cool car and still very capable, but just not as engaging to drive for me. I bought mine as my daily something like 10 years ago. Just rolled over 135,000 miles on it and have no plans to stop.
 
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kmagnuss

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What year/model did you get? Pics?
If you meant me it’s a ‘03 srt10, silver, 55k miles. Love the car. The previous owners apparently hated it because the preventative maintenance was basically zero. I’ve spent the last few weekends getting it up to *****.
 

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Badsnek

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If you meant me it’s a ‘03 srt10, silver, 55k miles. Love the car. The previous owners apparently hated it because the preventative maintenance was basically zero. I’ve spent the last few weekends getting it up to *****.
Welcome! You better watch out it becomes a bit of an obsession. Long story short, I grew up a corvette guy, flipped off-road vehicles for years and random cars and trucks. Figured I’d buy a Viper to get the itch out and make some money. Drove the car one time and swore I’d never get rid of it. Subsequently bought 4 more Vipers in the last 4 years. Extremely underrated. Tons of fun. Nothing like them out there.

Also every one I’ve bought, common theme. Shit for maintenance
 

eaks

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Welcome! You better watch out it becomes a bit of an obsession. Long story short, I grew up a corvette guy, flipped off-road vehicles for years and random cars and trucks. Figured I’d buy a Viper to get the itch out and make some money. Drove the car one time and swore I’d never get rid of it. Subsequently bought 4 more Vipers in the last 4 years. Extremely underrated. Tons of fun. Nothing like them out there.

Also every one I’ve bought, common theme. Shit for maintenance
Well said Badsnek. I have a similar story. Owned plenty of different vehicles (lambo, porsche, bmw, ect) and with the transition to electric I wanted to try a massive V10 as you arent going to see large displacement engines ever make a comeback in a production car. Plan was to find a good deal on one buy it right, drive it for a year and sell to get the experience.

Since buying the Viper I havent put more than 100kms on my cobra 427 replica and most likley if I do list a car for sale it will be the cobra and ill be keeping the Viper. Ill be putting a paxton on it this fall. I have the cobra, 911 turbo and viper as my fun cars and find myself going to the viper most of the time (unless I want to hit the twisties then ill take the 911 turbo or if it looks like there may be some bad weather or during late fall, winter and early spring ill drive the turbo).

Great car and very easy to drive. Its a simple car that just works and is a blast to play around with.
 

Badsnek

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Well said Badsnek. I have a similar story. Owned plenty of different vehicles (lambo, porsche, bmw, ect) and with the transition to electric I wanted to try a massive V10 as you arent going to see large displacement engines ever make a comeback in a production car. Plan was to find a good deal on one buy it right, drive it for a year and sell to get the experience.

Since buying the Viper I havent put more than 100kms on my cobra 427 replica and most likley if I do list a car for sale it will be the cobra and ill be keeping the Viper. Ill be putting a paxton on it this fall. I have the cobra, 911 turbo and viper as my fun cars and find myself going to the viper most of the time (unless I want to hit the twisties then ill take the 911 turbo or if it looks like there may be some bad weather or during late fall, winter and early spring ill drive the turbo).

Great car and very easy to drive. Its a simple car that just works and is a blast to play around with.
That’s wild! Always wanted a Lambo or nice Porsche. But every time I start looking, I end up buying another Viper. I will say 3 out of my 5 are supercharged. My favorite one to currently drive is my Paxton Gen 3. They are just so much fun when they are boosted. I think you’re gonna love it. However if you like adrenaline even just a little bit, you’re going to find yourself rowing gears and over 100 mph quite frequently. Just pulling onto highways or leaving red lights on empty roads, I’ll go through 3 gears and shift into 4th and let off and be doing 140-150. I’m not a speed *****, I’m more about just accelerating and then letting off. I constantly lie to myself and say “It’s a nice day for a short cruise, I’m just going to go to the store, I won’t get on it.”……. 120 in a 45 here we go ‍
 

eaks

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That’s wild! Always wanted a Lambo or nice Porsche. But every time I start looking, I end up buying another Viper. I will say 3 out of my 5 are supercharged. My favorite one to currently drive is my Paxton Gen 3. They are just so much fun when they are boosted. I think you’re gonna love it. However if you like adrenaline even just a little bit, you’re going to find yourself rowing gears and over 100 mph quite frequently. Just pulling onto highways or leaving red lights on empty roads, I’ll go through 3 gears and shift into 4th and let off and be doing 140-150. I’m not a speed *****, I’m more about just accelerating and then letting off. I constantly lie to myself and say “It’s a nice day for a short cruise, I’m just going to go to the store, I won’t get on it.”……. 120 in a 45 here we go ‍
I think we may be quite similar. Although I do like some top speed runs. I had a friend with at the time the fastest mclaren in the world. It was a 720s with exhaust, tune and nitrous. made 1200hp and did 60-130mph pulls in the mid 3s range. First car I have personally been in while doing 200+mph. Was a crazy experience. I want to hit those numbers in the 911 this year (it will do it with its current setup.. Just need to find an event with the room to do it). And do it in the viper after the paxton install. Ive also had a few bikes and was considering another turbo/supercharged hayabusa or maybe the H2R. Theres a time and a place to do these in controlled environments. Then once I hit the number I think I will be satisfied.
 

Badsnek

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I think we may be quite similar. Although I do like some top speed runs. I had a friend with at the time the fastest mclaren in the world. It was a 720s with exhaust, tune and nitrous. made 1200hp and did 60-130mph pulls in the mid 3s range. First car I have personally been in while doing 200+mph. Was a crazy experience. I want to hit those numbers in the 911 this year (it will do it with its current setup.. Just need to find an event with the room to do it). And do it in the viper after the paxton install. Ive also had a few bikes and was considering another turbo/supercharged hayabusa or maybe the H2R. Theres a time and a place to do these in controlled environments. Then once I hit the number I think I will be satisfied

We might be quite similar. Except only one of us has been fortunate enough to be around high end cars and exceed 200 mph lol. I’ve always wanted to see how fast the car can go. However I wouldn’t be upset if I never get the chance. I’ve had it to 160/165ish before and it got there surprisingly easy. I will say though 140-160, depending on surface, the car does start to feel slightly unstable. I’ve had the floating feeling a couple of times at higher speeds and that’s where I draw the line lol. Mines a Vert though, not sure if you have a coupe. I’ve accidentally done 150 with the top down….very dumb.
 

eaks

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We might be quite similar. Except only one of us has been fortunate enough to be around high end cars and exceed 200 mph lol. I’ve always wanted to see how fast the car can go. However I wouldn’t be upset if I never get the chance. I’ve had it to 160/165ish before and it got there surprisingly easy. I will say though 140-160, depending on surface, the car does start to feel slightly unstable. I’ve had the floating feeling a couple of times at higher speeds and that’s where I draw the line lol. Mines a Vert though, not sure if you have a coupe. I’ve accidentally done 150 with the top down….very dumb.
Yeah mine is also a vert. I will have to see how stable it feels at speed.

I know in the cobra I have taken it to about 140-150mph and the front end got extremely light and almost felt like it was about to lift off. Safe to say after that experience the cobra became more of a cruiser instead of a top speed monster haha (I dont think ive used the nitrous since this experience). After this I gained a whole lot of respect for the old school race car drivers. I could not imagine driving something like that near the limit especially at a 24 hour event. Those men had balls of brass.
 

Badsnek

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Yeah mine is also a vert. I will have to see how stable it feels at speed.

I know in the cobra I have taken it to about 140-150mph and the front end got extremely light and almost felt like it was about to lift off. Safe to say after that experience the cobra became more of a cruiser instead of a top speed monster haha (I dont think ive used the nitrous since this experience). After this I gained a whole lot of respect for the old school race car drivers. I could not imagine driving something like that near the limit especially at a 24 hour event. Those men had balls of brass.
Luckily I haven’t had that yet in a Viper. But have definitely had that feeling in an old camaro before. Not a fun time .
 

Viborin

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What a love fest, truly like it. I bought my snake new in 2003 and I am still head over heels in love with it. I live in an area where Ferraris, Lambos and Mac Larens are seen everywhere, however whenever I drive my snake people ask for pictures. It only gets better with time.
 

wkooiman

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I'm on my 2nd Gen-2. Both were daily drivers. I sold my 2001 ACR to free up some cash. It was the only car I regretted selling. When my cash situation changed, I bought a 98 GTS, which is currently my daily driver. This one has Gen 5 wheels, Gen 3 brakes, 3:55 gears, Corsa/Belanger exhaust, 1.7 rockers, and a Kenne Bell 2.8 blower. I think that's it - other than fixing all of the stupid things that were broken on it. It is a blast to drive. The A/C is currently not working, the body panels are not aligned very well. I think I'm about to 70K miles on this Viper. I put more than 50K on my previous. Never wrecked either one, although one numb nut hit me once. Very easy to drive in traffic. Close to 20mpg. Very reliable. Other fun cars are a 427 Cobra replica and a 72 Pantera. Other than no-A/C, all 3 have been acceptable daily drivers.
 

Richard S

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A Gen 1.5 R/T 10 and a 98 GTS, here. Bought both new. Still have them both. I was also a Chevy 60s Corvette Stingray collector and late 60s Camaro guy in the early 70's. Hated Mopar at that time. Sold them all back in the day and have subsequently seen many of those cars go thru Barretts in the multiple 6 figures, particularly the low number, big-block cars and dealership-specialty cars. One in particular was a basic '67 L88 427 Stingray just like the one that I bought in 1976 for the painful sum of $4300 and sold for $3800 about a year and a half later. It was a used car, ya know.

I've learned from my past experience that super-low production numbers, huge big-block V8s, raw old school performance, killer looks and lots of noise and that nascar smell.. become nearly priceless as people with money long for the good ole days.. but keep the miles down somewhat.

My nearly 30 year old cars are all those things in spades, and have both been absolutely reliable to boot! So I apologize to all the Mopar fans I razzed back in the day.

Just wish my cars had ABS.. flat-spotting the right fronts gets pricey .. so now, I am the ABS, lol.

I'm hanging on to my 96 R/T-10 and 98 GTS. They have been kinda slow to take off in value, but it will happen and is already starting to. Maybe my kids will be able to retire early from them.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the living heck out of them.
 

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