2009 Dodge Viper: Put Down The Potato Salad, Let's Do Some Burnouts
May 05, 2010
The first time I laid eyes on ourlong-term 2009 Dodge Viper, it was sitting under a tent, on carpet, surrounded by tables and chairs in the Dodge SRT owners hospitality area at the Long Beach Grand Prix.
I was told I could take the car home at the end of the day to begin our long-term test, but not before.
So for five hours I watched racing, ate the free food, mingled with Ralph Gilles the President and CEO of Dodge and got to know some of the SRT owners in attendance. Great people. Real car people. My kind of people.
And they all brought their cars. Challengers. Magnums. Chargers. And yes, Vipers. Both first and second generation Vipers. One guy even did big clutch-dump burnout when he left the party. Ralph just laughed and said, "They do that."
Gilles isreally getting to know his Dodge loyalists since taking the CEO job only months ago and to watch him interact with them is to see it done right. Ralphgenuinely likes and respects this crowd. (As he should, he's one of them. In his garage is a black Viper ACR.) He listens to their stories. Asks about their Dodges, both new and old. And he signs their t-shirts like any other celebrity.
As promised, when the party was over and the last race was run, the Viper keys were mine and our long-term test had begun. The car already had 5,000+ miles on it but Dodge was nice enough to throw on a new set of tires for us.We don't expect them to last long.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief