Ever since I was old enough to know what a car was, I wanted a Viper. I didn’t know enough to be biased towards any one manufacturer, I just wanted a Viper. The fact that it ran a V10 as well as a manual transmission as its only option made it the most badass. While everything else American was being watered down with V8s and automatic gears, I felt the Viper stayed truest to what an American car should be. It had the widest rear tires. It looked better than any car ever made. I loved reading any literature I could get my hands on about this car. The brutal handling, lousy exhaust note, cramped interior, warm a/c, it all called to me.

My father gave me a model of a 1997 GTS when I was 4, and that became the exact car I wanted. Not blue with white stripes like everyone else wants, just a solid red.

Fast forward 20 years or so, I marry the woman of my dreams. After being married a few months, her father starts buying every good collector car deal he came across, or so it seemed to me. This delighted me to no end, as his interests often coincided with mine in regards to automobiles. I eagerly awaited every car or truck he would bring home.

As a twenty-something year old newlywed with loads of college debt, driving a Viper someday seemed like a lost cause, never mind owning one. In the meantime, the old man has picked up 2 60s Mustangs, 2 Chevelles, 3 Camaros, 2 modern Challengers and 2 early 70s Challengers,and when I though all hope was lost, a 1997 Viper GTS Gold edition.

He ended up selling the car 5 months later for a 69 Stingray, but I put over 6000 miles on that car in that time. I loved every minute of it. Even in August when the a/c blew hot.