Viper in danger...

Discussion in 'SRT10 and SRT10 Coupe Discussions' started by chorps, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. chorps

    chorps Enthusiast

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    It's a pretty small community of people working on cars in Detroit, so I'm not surprised that information gets leaked out.

    All I'm saying is that the next gen Viper has a lot to do with the Firepower. Since the Firepower doesn't have the following that the Viper has and the Challenger will get a lot of press as well, the Firepower needs all the support in can get.

    BTW, this is not the Viper's swan song, but at times DC has been confused on what the Viper's mission is. They did waste alot of effort on the ME412 when they should have put it into the Viper program.
     
  2. MoparMan

    MoparMan Enthusiast

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    What you're saying regarding the pricing is close to what I was told, except that the base Firepower would be near the base vette. I took this to mean that, in typical Chrysler fashion, the Firepower would be priced slightly more than the base vette but that the top dog Firepower would deliver far more performance for less money than the top dog vette (not including the Z06 or Blue Devil). I agree that the base Firepower and high end Challenger would not be in the same market space and thus would not cannibalize sales from each other. I seriously doubt that a potential buyer would be cross shopping the two cars.

    I have also heard that the Viper (ZC platform) will need the increased sales provided by the Firepower to continue as the Viper no longer has halo status among those controlling the purse strings. The edict has come down that each platform must show a profit to continue, Viper included. Adding increased sales from a Firepower would definitely help this as the developmental costs and manufacturing costs could be divided among many more sales instead of the 2000 or so that the Viper brings to the table. Increased sales of the ZC platform makes me wonder where these cars will be built. It seems that CAAP does not have the capacity to build several thousand (or more) Firepowers along with the 2000 Vipers.
     
  3. Bill Pemberton Woodhouse

    Bill Pemberton Woodhouse VCA Member - West

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    I personally think this was a great post ,as I am quite sure your inside source is well known to the SRT guys/gals, and goes by the code name of " Lucy Looselips." This does great good in totally confusing Ford and GM, who still can't figure how Numero 3 snuck in with three performance sedans, and a turbo terror when no one was looking ( SRT8s in 300C, Charger and Magnum form, along with the SRT4). So logic obviously leans your way that they can not support a high priced sports car, a medium priced sportscar, and a lower priced sports car, since these other cars are real sales slugs ( okay, the SRT4 is now being discontinued since a new model is replacing it ) ----- whoops, I guess not, since most Dealers are asking well over MSRP for them. Now these same Bozos, think they can come out with AWD Super Hemi Jeep, but what are they thinking, this can't be justified at half the price of a Twin Turbo Cayenne ( and faster too ).

    I hope we continue to hear from you and your secret source , as it will get out into the airwaves, mass media, etc. and totally bamboozle the critics when the bombs are dropped.


    and have a nice day!
     
  4. Schulmann

    Schulmann Enthusiast

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  5. Nader

    Nader Viper Owner

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    Killing the Viper program would be unpatriotic and extremely stupid.

    The Viper is a Halo car and brings credibility to the entire American arm of DC.

    Also they would go out with a whimper - finishing second or last place in all the recent tests is not the way you want to leave your final impression.

    They must hit back and hit back hard - lighter and faster and with a stunning (see Gen I&II) design.
    ________________________________________

    I agree with Hirohawa comments.

    DC would be foolish to simply terminate the Viper. It is an icon at this point and brings credibility and focus to their entire product line. By making one off, high end cars, whether sports cars or other vehicles, car companies hope to develope attention to their entire product line. It is a fact that many car companies follow to this day.

    Dan Knott of SRT mentions in his departing letter in the latest Viper mag that he has been involved in the development of the next generation Viper and promises that it will meet and exceed all expectations...
     
  6. Bwright

    Bwright Enthusiast

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    chorps,

    You are more correct than I think even you realize. For the Viper, calendar 2003 - 2004 saw sales down an astonishing 15% (2,103 - 1,782 units). Dodge's hope that sales would rebound in 2005 ended yesterday when released sales figures showed that though there was a month-to-month jump with the introduction of the new Coupe YTD sales were down again this time by 7% (1,652 units). Everyone remembers the forced plant shutdown recently when the inventory of unsold Vipers hit 200 days. Furthermore, as can routinely be seen on Ebay, the market has simply crushed the Viper's asking price to a new and sobering reality thereby further eroding the car's business case.

    This simply cannot continue. Building cars is a business, not a charity. If a business case no longer exists for building any given car it simply cannot be permitted to exist in the ruthlessly cutthroat world manufacturers now live in. There is nothing sophisticated about this. Real world examples of this are legion. Everything from the NSX to Plymouth Prowler owners who insisted that their cars would be around forever. Much like people on the Titanic, little did those equally passionate Prowler owners realize that the pressure on PLYMOUTH, never mind their individual car, was so great that PLYMOUTH was being snuffed out. A market that removes entire car divisions will not hesitate to kill a vanishingly small money-losing car.

    Dodge needs the Firepower! (name will change as DCX does not own the rights) to offset some of the development costs of building the Viper. It is the ONLY way to prolong the Viper's life. There is just one problem...name one seriously comparable vehicle in the Corvette's price range that has survived to this day. If you check the debris in the Corvette's 50+ year wake you will find the corpses of the RX-7, 300ZX Turbo, Supra, 3000GT/Dodge Stealth etc. Nothing serious survives in that price bracket for long. Nothing.

    Good luck guys.

    P.S. Carefully read the first three paragraphs of the third page of this June 2005 article on the Firepower! http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=7&article_id=2382
     
  7. Joseph Houss

    Joseph Houss VCA Member - Northeast

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    Wow! Interesting discussion.

    Chorps: "All I'm saying is that the next gen Viper has a lot to do with the Firepower."

    ....on the contrary .... the Firepower has a lot to do with the Viper!

    I believe all have described quite effectively the reasoning behind the car... it'll add volume to OUR parts list .... and that, my friends, means more bang for the buck!

    Comparison: Corvette and XLR = Higher Volume with little or no "cross sell competition" (in other words, there are very few XLR buyers walking in to Chevy showrooms.) It's a different beast.
     
  8. DodgeViper01

    DodgeViper01 Viper Owner

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    Interesting Story.
     
  9. JonB

    JonB Viper Owner

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    Factually, what our friend Dan Knott said on this site was:

    "I know what the future holds and I know you will be amazed and delighted." Dan also said in VM: "I have seen a glimpse of the future and I can assure you, we will raise the bar and blow you away with things to come."

    Remembering the hat he wore (not the cowboy hat!) Director, SRT, .... Dan did NOT specifically mention The Viper, A Viper, or VIPER in those specific sentences. I hate to parse his statement, but nothing Dan said guarantees us a "VIPER" badge after the current model. I think of his statement as in 2001-Space-Oddessey: "Something Wonnnnnnderrrfulll is coming...." And I BELIEVE.
    SRT will develop it, and I'll probably buy it. And I hope it is a big-ass-kickin' VIPER of some sort.

    Tony's (chorps) 1st-10th post is as worthy as any other yet-to-be-owner with 1000+ posts. And I for one appreciate that he took the time to don the flame suit and post it. But those who dismiss 100% of Tony's post out of hand are being short-sighted. I remember what they said in the USAF, paraphrasing the USN: "The big problem around here is SCUTTLEBUTT. It affects security and morale. The problem is not SCUTTLEBUTT itself, but that it's always partly true!"
     
  10. George Farris

    George Farris VCA Member - South

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    Chorps: "I'm surprised that there's a bunch of guys here who want to turn this into a vette bashing forum. "

    This is a VIPER Forum - we can bash vettes here!!!

    Thank you very much!
     
  11. 2002_Viper_GTS_ACR

    2002_Viper_GTS_ACR Viper Owner

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    Thats right JonB !! Vipers are good for busineSS ;)


    Jon
     
  12. vipermansrt04

    vipermansrt04 Enthusiast

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    You are a idiot.
     
  13. chorps

    chorps Enthusiast

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    I think DC has the best hand in the domestic sports car lineup right now and has some awesome [email protected] products coming down the pipe. The only issue is their own confidence level. Too confident and they'll overprice the Firepower to the point where it infringes on Viper sales. Not confident enough and they'll kill the Firepower project and stuff all the development costs into the Viper alone.

    I'm not saying what I've been told is gospel.

    Perhaps DC management has figured out a way to make all the products the gear heads want. Contrary to what some of you may think, I don't think any of the DC management are dumb or 'bozos'. I've known and met a bunch of the guys there and they are just as smart and as passionate about what they do as you guys are, it's that they just have real world business decisions to make, and sometimes you cut to the bone when you're trying to trim the fat. The car industry isn't exactly rosy right now. There was alot of hand wringing about the 300C before launch as well, and maybe these are pregame jitters too for the Firepower.

    Brampton is already at full capacity, so I wonder where the resources are going to come from to make yet another variant (Challenger) of the 300C/Charger/Magnum.

    The only thing I can say is that if the Firepower (whatever they decide to call it) makes it to production, it only makes the Viper stronger, and that's where the scuttlebutt can do some good instead of harm: the people who are in the market for a great mid level sports car should know and consider the Firepower, and Viper owners are guys who should be encouraging those people.
     
  14. Y2K5SRT

    Y2K5SRT VCA Member - West

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    I welcome this discussion wholeheartedly. I would also put my money on JonB's conjecture more than most.

    That said, I think many are missing a key factor: The Firepower, if produced, will be a Chrysler branded vehicle. The Viper is a Dodge. Dodge dealers desperately wanted a 300C to sell and got the Charger. Chrysler wanted a sports car and got the Crossfire. With the demise of the Crossfire, Chrysler needs a sportscar replacement. It is not a Dodge, and the Challenger is not a sports car per se, it is a pony car. Much like the Charger SRT-8 is not considered a sports car, but a sports sedan. So that means that Dodge will continue to have only one viable sports car, and that is the Viper.

    From Dan Knott on 9/20/05: "I can assure you that I will be looking with one eye on what is going on with Viper. I know what the future holds and I know you will be amazed and delighted."

    From Steve Landry, Dodge Vice President 12/05: "Viper is the halo vehicle for the Dodge brand and for most American sports car enthusiasts."

    The Challenger will be a great car, assuming it gets the green light (amusing in itself, as it hasn't even been shown to the public yet). But it is not a Viper replacement, nor is the Firepower. Just as the Mustang is not the halo vehicle for Ford - by a long shot.

    If any of Jon's thoughts grow legs, I can live without the Viper name if it comes to that. And I wouldn't mind an ME FourTwelve in the garage... :2tu:

    PS. I think Hirohawa summed it up best.
     
  15. SweetRed04

    SweetRed04 Viper Owner

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    Again, why are you on the SRT forum?

    I prefer those Vipers built Vipers after 2003. It is my opinion that ONLY full convertibles are true sports cars.
     
  16. JonB

    JonB Viper Owner

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    Thanks Chris....
    In my opinion, the MB-based Crossfire (80% MB?) came about due to the early-upgrade of that sibling 2-seat roadster from Mercedes whose model number escapes me. The frames/engines/etc got amortized/fed/routed, surplus white-elephant like, to the Chrysler brand of D-C, where they died a slow, future cult-car death. That Chrysler dealers were 'needy' was also an opportune solution for the parent!

    P.S. True sports car? GEN 1 VIPER! May They go down in history like the TR-3, XK's, AH3000, 356-A, etc, etc and any early Ferrari.

    PPS. ME-412? The 2 that were built are Museum-bound, if not already ensconced. The 'program' was announced as officially dead in Jan of 2005, virtually 365 days after it debuted......at least I got to SIT in one...
     
  17. sween

    sween Enthusiast

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    there is one thing that i dont get about the firepower. they said that its based on the gen 3 coupe. so how can the gen 4 viper be based on the firepower? is it going to have the same frame?? :confused:
     
  18. MoparMan

    MoparMan Enthusiast

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    The Firepower concept is based off the current Viper platform (code name ZB). The next (gen IV) Viper platform is code named (predictably) ZC. Both the Firepower and the Viper will be based off this platform, just like the Wagnum, 300 and Barger are all based off the LX platform.
     
  19. SRT10

    SRT10 Enthusiast

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    quote by Bwright

    Sorry, but your facts are wrong. In 2003- 1875 units were built.In 2004- 2435 units were built. In the 10 years of Viper producton, from 1992 to 2002, how many years had a higher production than the convertable only 2003? Answer is 4.
    Whats interesting is that some years of 3 models RT/10, GTS and ACR couldn't sell more than the 2003 'vert SRT and the 2004 is the 2nd highest production year ever for Vipers! Now, isn't that "astonishing"?

    source http://ivr.viperclub.org/build.php
     
  20. JKVIPER

    JKVIPER Enthusiast

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    What corps is saying make no sense to me.

    I believe the Challenger is a unibody car built on a modified 300C platform. If anything it could/would be built at the same plant.

    Also the Challenger cannot possibly be the same price as a Firepower which would be hand built on the same assembly line as the Viper.

    It's almost like thinking that Ford would cancel the GT40 because they are comming out with a Mustang.

    One should have nothing to do with the other.
     
  21. Black SRT

    Black SRT Enthusiast

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    Chorps,

    Having dealt with a couple hundred product managers and marketing exec’s throughout my career, your dissertation is unmistakable. You’re not acting as a shill for some DC marketing type, you are indeed he/she. The timing of this just prior to the LA Auto Show (commencing tomorrow) followed by Detroit next week, also leads me to this conclusion. Additionally, it’s clear you have an agenda we should probably embrace, but I’m still not certain how you expect us to promote your cause?

    Certainly, if DC can piggyback the Firepower platform on top of the Viper to save costs, this makes good sense, but why wasn’t this thought of a few years ago? Instead DC built 1,000 more Vipers per year than the market could bear, making the product line a laughingstock, with unsold inventory of 2004s still floating around. DC also asked our opinion of what a new Coupe should look like; we told them, and then they ignored us. Stupidity abounds, and now you ask us to take our pompoms to the auto shows to give support for a concept car that few here care about? Well, I don’t like it, but I'm headed out to LA on Sunday and I’ll do my best.

    P.S. If you are a shill, you still give a good impersonation.
     
  22. safireviper

    safireviper Enthusiast

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    I'd give my opinion but that would be wrong.
     
  23. VENOMAHOLIC

    VENOMAHOLIC Viper Owner

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    I would find it hard to believe that DC, being relatively healthy as a whole right now, with multiple successful cars like the 300C, the Charger, the Ram, etc on the American side alone would not give the Viper at least one more generation. The end of the Viper would be horrible press at a time when all else is great with DC and could spook investors.

    Few here will disagree that there is a prototype Gen IV being worked on and a Gen III is being used as a mule for a Gen IV engine as we speak. The overproducton now could be to make up for future shutdown and retooling at Connor.

    I see no reason to be pessimistic when everybody here knows the tremendous potential success the Viper has if managed right by DC in the future. Nobody but DC execs know the facts and we need to be patient.
     
  24. JonB

    JonB Viper Owner

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    OOPS: Somebody thinks BUILT = SOLD. NOT ! A 200-day unsold supply at one point, remember?

    2004s and 2005s were so distressed that for the 1st time ever, D-C allowed dealers who took these cars some $1000 SRT-certificates. These certs could be combined up to $4000 worth to help move these cars. Heck, some guys snagged several certs and bought a 2nd Viper for their Mommy. GREAT!

    One reason for slow sales? MANY ORACLES and PROGNOSTICATORS HERE HAVE CAUTIONED ENTHUSIASTS --NOT-- TO BUY A VIPER NOW, BECAUSE "Something WWWWONNNNNDEERRRRRFULLLL is COMING!"

    SCUTTLEBUTT: Yeah, its coming, and if you don't own an '06 or '05, or 04, or '03 SRT-10 Viper product, you might NOT even be able to order one early on !!!! How's THAT for Hisssstory repeating itself perhaps a THIRD Time?!? [ Pure speculation / scuttlebutt . ] SUPPORT THE BREED or it will wither. C.Darwin
     
  25. Warfang

    Warfang Viper Owner

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    Exactly! That's why the z06 is not meeting all of its marks... everyone is waiting for the Pink Devil or the new-fangled engine that is gonna kick out a gajillion HPs. :rolleyes:

    Unfortunately some in the Viper camp think rumormongering is the way to go. Like computers: Buy the best and fastest you can at the time. Sitting around worrying about what might come out in 6 months is pointless. Think of the 6 months of fun you're missing out on.
     
  26. JonB

    JonB Viper Owner

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    APPLES-POMMEGRANITES comparison. Someone is again confusing BUILT with SOLD, and Supply-Demand. I cannot belive I'm gonna write all this, but I have a medical event all day tomorrow, so cannot sleep.....forgive me:

    The Gen-1 and Gen-2 years ALWAYS pre-sold every Viper built, with one small and unfortunate exception that I'll reveal in a minute. All this while building even MORE total vehicles at CAAP 97-01 (remember PROWLER?) than during 03-04. Short version: Dodge / D-C probably could have sold MORE Vipers 96.5-2001.5, except that capacity was taken up by PROWLER. Viper and Prowler Demand exceeded Supply....just the way D-C /Dodge wanted it, and Adam Smith mandates.

    Relevant PS: An SRT10 is 'easier' to build than was Gen2. CAAP can build 4-more per day with fewer Craftspersons. Built faster. Built More. Sold Slower.

    The Exception: PLEASE learn from this ?! --- The 96 RT was a half-year plan due to GTS-Fever,but all pre-sold. But the 2002 RT/10 sales took a huge DUMP at the mid point of production. WHY? Because "SOMETHING WWWWONNNNDERRRFULLL was COMING"..... namely the VGX-SRT-10. Who wanted a 450HP beautiful and awesome 2002 convertible sports car, when the UNKNOWN WONDERFUL was coming sometime soon, with 500+ (550 rumored) HP, for about $10K more!?

    In fact, 360 UNSOLD GTSs were in the future-capacity of CAAP at mid-year '02, due to the same anticipation and reluctance caused by WHAT WAS COMING. Future poroduct HAD to be BETTER, right?

    So, this somewhat weird # of 360 unbuilt, unsold, future GTSs became.... ...wait, wait, wait: THE FINAL EDITION GTS ! 360 RED/WHITE. Numbered. SPECIAL! SIGNIFICANT! WONDERFUL! [And NOW you know why 360, and not 100.] The strategy WORKED, and 360 chassis and bodies already bought, changed planned COLORS and SOLD almost overnight. WHEW!

    All those unsold/unwanted/unsellable '02 RT/10s? THEY WENT ACROSS THE PACIFIC OCEAN! [No early SRT10s for export, remember? More history!] EVEN THE LAST-EVER RT/10 built was not bought (or noticed?) in time before being converted to Asia/Pacific. It slipped thru our collective, collector fingers to be converted to Right Hand Drive. DAMN! VCA Shoulda-Coulda-Wouldnta snagged and raffled that car... I tried to get them to do it. It was still stateside. The last GTS brought $138k (?) at a charity auction. The last RT/10 was dissed away and lost due to VGX-GEN3-WAITnSEE mania. A Shame.

    Quite a few owners even sold their Gen 1-2 early, fearing a slump in value!

    We (2500+?) redeemed vouchers to buy a car we knew very little about. We had FAITH. Then, it eventuated that many hated certian VGX style points, once known. Dodge LISTENED to us, as always, and changed several things. The car was delayed..... [History- remember the Mass-Drive-Away of SRT-10s that never happened at VOI-Nashville? More History- Same thing happened, er, um, did'nt happen at Indy in 96!]

    Eventually, many in the "old crowd" preferred or missed their Gen 2! Fickle? Not really.... but we/they had bought ANTICIPATION...and dismissed their Gen1-2 sexy lovers, perhaps a bit early. Premature De-Viperlation.

    The '03 later took a price slump...but the Gen 2 holds value nicely as a % of original MSRP, especially the begining and end models of those era.

    HISSSSSTORY is there for us to learn from: BUY AN '05-'06 SRT-Viper, maybe the END of an era. Keep the breed alive and well. Hell, you may find that the WONDERRRFUL future sexpot is not as pretty as the sexpot you could be enjoying NOW. [ History-WE collectively squawked about both SRT10 and SRTC and made delaying styling changes, right? You think we'll 'accept' outright the next big thing? ]

    And If FUTURESNAKE actually IS prettier and even sexier in '07.5-'08? Well, then you are not abstaining / celibate for 1.5+ more YEARS. [History-Every Viper launch was delayed, EVERY ONE.] Solution: Have a sexy relationship NOW as well as THEN: Buy an 05-06 SRT10.

    Want sex once?......or want sex TWICE? Darwin says its better for the breed to have it twice.

    Me? I bought an '06 SRT-C because I love it. What's not to love? I may discover that the FUTURECAR is not as much to my LUST as this one is. It could happen. I may discover that History Three-Peats and you MUST own a VIPER to buy a VIPER...except maybe SRT-owners get 1st pick next time!?! It Could happen. I like being 1st. Or at least early. [History-This "Owner loyalty" formula has happened twice before in VIPERdom and every-car in Ferraridom.]

    That's all. The End. Thanks for reading my rant. I'm off to see Dr Dodge. Dan Knott says something wonderful is coming. I believe him as if he were a younger brother. But I lust for, and am proud to drive the sexy-sibling he built for us before departing for PERFORMANCE PARTS PASTURES. I like the company: now, we BOTH sell PARTS!
     
  27. santo

    santo Viper Owner

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    Jon,

    You should write a book for us new Viper owners. Great insight. Best of wishes on your "medical event".

    Santo
     
  28. Smog Dog

    Smog Dog Viper Owner

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    Jon B,
    A great read, especially for those of us who have only be on the Viper scene for a few years. Thanks for taking the time to post.
     
  29. Bwright

    Bwright Enthusiast

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    Jon,

    Many thanks. You beat me to it. I am amazed that the fundamental and significant difference between build (irrelevant) and sales (the only thing that pays the bills) has to be explained to anyone. Memo to SRT10, my sales numbers were from DCX's own website (go to the IR section). You will find that they bear an 'astonishing' resemblance to the sales figures I presented here.

    Anyway, on a far more important note, Jon, best of luck on the medical thing. Keep us informed of your progress when you can.
     
  30. HiYoSilver

    HiYoSilver Enthusiast

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    Jon, Excellent review!! It puts things in much better perspective.

    Wishing you a very Healthy" New Year. Bob :usa:
     

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