Today, Viper Parts of America reached an agreement with a partnership of established Viper Parts vendors to take over all VPA operations. The VCA and a group comprised of PartsRack and Don Scharf Auto reached an historic agreement to take over all the assets that comprise the VPA. Operations at the VPA will therefore cease on May 11, 2015 (existing phones and email will forward to the new owners). As many of you know, PartsRack’s JonB is one of the original 14-founding regional officers of the VCA. He has probably answered more forum questions of Viper owners and prospective owners than any other single person, and has been an incredible asset to the Viper Nation. PartsRack’s partner Don Scharf Automotive has dismantled more Vipers than anyone, and maintains the largest inventory of used Viper parts in existence. The partnership of PartsRack and Scharf will ensure Viper owners a long-time supply of used and surplus Viper parts at reasonable prices. Q and A: What are the deal terms? This is not a windfall for the VCA. Many of the most sought after parts have been sold off, and the VPA reached a tipping point where it received more revenues from new MOPAR parts rather than the original inventory of parts received from Conner Avenue. As such, of the ~500 types of parts in inventory, only ~100 have real value today. As with many business contracts, the financial terms remain undisclosed per stipulations in the sale agreement. The monetary value received by the VPA for its assets are in the high 5-digit range. We believe the terms are agreeable to all parties involved, and no party will unduly profit from this transaction. Additionally, the VCA will maintain its sales of apparel and Viper logo items, as well as back-issues of Viper Magazine. Why did you reach this decision? At the time the VPA was formed. Chrysler was in bankruptcy, and the Viper was dead. The reality is now different, Chrysler is wildly successful, and the Viper’s future is safe, thanks largely to Ralph Gilles. The original goals of the VPA have either been met, or are no longer needed. Additionally, VPA is a distraction: a parts business is not a core competency for a car club, and it created needless friction between the VCA and the sponsor-vendors in the community. Frankly, it just doesn’t make strategic business sense to continue it as is. The VPA was created by previous VCA BODs and Officers. The current BOD and officers are focused on returning the VCA to its roots, as the best sports car club in the World, we will leave the parts business to the experts. We were originally told that the VPA would protect us from gouging on hard to find parts? Agreed, that was an original goal for the VPA. As such, the new owners have agreed to not charge higher than MSRP (with some inflation adjustments if necessary) for any part received as part of this transaction. What about any Open Refunds, Returns, and VPA Gift Certificates? These rare transactions (if any) will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the VCA Administration. What about the tooling? The tooling is another “inherited” item from past leaders. We had Chrysler personnel, former Chrysler personnel, parts manufacturers, and other experts in steel/mold injection fields examine the tooling. They all agreed 100% that the inherited tooling is scrap. Much of the tooling was past its lifespan, many items were damaged. Some still had so much resin in them, they are not even eligible to be scrapped, much less used as tooling. We asked many of the largest Viper collectors in the world if they wanted to take some of the tooling, for posterity, at zero cost. Every offer was rejected. Every single person that we thought would have any interest in the tooling has told us this stuff is only usable as scrap. Why now? When the current board took over, we made a LOT of changes, re-established connections with PartsRack, changed management companies, changed management at VPA, lowered operational expenses across the board, took a “no payment to any officer or board member policy (including travel or event stipends),” and changed the moderation stance on the website forums. We invite tough questions that were previously not allowed (and even re-instated many persons that were questionably moderated/banned). But when it came to VPA, we promised we would give our predecessors the benefit of the doubt and give it one year to see if it made sense. So at the one year anniversary of the re-vitalized VCA, we began looking into alternatives. This sounds like a sweetheart deal for the Partnership. No. Some of the parts have a limited shelf life (the soft panels bend over time), some parts are not worth the weight to transport them (literally millions of bolts), some parts, the consortium already have 100s of they cannot sell in a decade, if ever. They must package, transport, store, insure, process, ALL of this, the good stuff and the bad stuff. Additionally, we have price protection for all the items, and VCA members will receive a discount on parts. What will the proceeds be used for? Attorney’s fees, shut-down costs, a modest severance for Keith Laxson, and repayments of all loans to the VCA (which will be used for regional stipends). Anything else? Along with a revitalized VCA, we feel this is a way to restore the way the VCA interacts with the vendor community at large. For several years we have competed with dealers and vendors. Now, we are once again a partnership. We appreciate all that PartsRack and Don Scharf have done for the Viper Community in the past, and appreciate their continued support of the VCA and the Viper Nation.