Viper Nation

Supercar Dodge Viper site with pictures, technical info, experiential stories with a few other winter action extreme stories posted.

RTTTTed On November - 21 - 2010

My Piece of Heaven

 

by Ted Hlokoff

 

 

Ever since I admired the Copperhead Viper Concept Car back in ’89 I’ve had a strong desire to purchase one of these Supercars.

At over a hundred thousand the opportunity to own a Viper was beyond my reach.  When side windows, hard top and outside door handles were introduced in ’96 the desire to own one started to become a necessity.

To compensate for my financial shortcomings I built a 750hp resto-mod big block Duster for show and go.  I modified a half dozen Turbo Daytonas and Shelby Chargers to learn the ins and outs of forced induction and fuel injection systems.  That experience led me to purchase a Dodge Stealth R/T Twin Turbo, then a modified Stealth R/T TT that I eventually further modified and tuned to 500hp.  Losing an “acceleration test” to a new Z06 Corvette slapped my ego pretty hard.  Money or not, I started Viper shopping.

About a year later the finances did appear in my life.  However, after shopping for a year, my tastes had changed to shopping for a Viper to shopping for a Forced Induction Viper.  Never again would I get “spanked by a Corvette.”

After purchasing a Roe supercharged 1998 Viper GTS, I’d found myself a piece of Heaven.  Driving a 600rwhp air-conditioned car is so different from driving any other car in my life that it can’t be explained.  You have to try it for yourself.  However, as published in Jul/Aug ’07 issue of www.domesticdriver.com magazine my enjoyment was short-lived as a head-on with a Semi sent my piece of Heaven to the wrecking yard.  Miraculously, my wife and I didn’t even get a scratch, thanks partly to the accident happening at the highway speed limit and the safety design of the Viper GTS.

I found a 2001 Deep Sapphire Blue (1 of 37 with Silver Stripes), Roe Supercharged Viper GTS on the Internet.  Flying to Ohio I spent an hour and a half looking for flaws with this car, I couldn’t find any!  This particular Viper had won 5 out of 6 trophies at the V 10 Nationals and had gone 10.5@139mph on stock Michelin Pilot Sport tires in the quarter mile.  Opening the hood of this rare colored Machine I first noticed the polished Roe twin screw positive displacement Supercharger nestled between the body colored air tubes and valve covers.  There was a Custom Larry Macedo cone filtered airbox, body colored at the front of the engine and 80mm throttle bodies.  Stainless Steel braided lines led to twin NX nitrous fogger nozzles fitted into the air tubes.  Unimpressed I asked Dave, “What’s with the Nitrous?”  He explained that they had installed a new 100hp Nitrous System in the car, but it hadn’t even been tested yet.  Personally, I can’t imagine any reason to turn the Nitrous on, but if I do … 

 

The car had dyno’d 720rwhp, 120hp more than my previous GTS.  A test drive started my entire nervous system tingling and nearly caused brain freeze.  When Dave Polen told me that this Viper was “Better than perfect” – he wasn’t kidding, I bought the car.  On the 3800 mile drive home I was forced to spend a extra few days before crossing the border into Canada because the US Export Office I’d sent the paperwork to had thrown it into the garbage.  Back in Canada I was informed that my 2 years of warranty had expired at the border.  I then battled with Canadian “Registrar of Import Vehicles” for a couple weeks attempting to get them to admit they did receive the necessary paperwork at least 5 of the 6 times I faxed it.  Eventually, I paid for the required inspections, paid the two extra luxury taxes and did register the car in BC.          

During this delay I had hardwired the required Daytime Running Lights, installed a nose bra, washed, polished and nearly waxed my new Viper to distraction.

Aug 11th I showed the car at the Hot Night In The City show in Kamloops, renown for it’s high quality entries.  Limited to only 450 entries and only about 11 class trophies, I took home 1st place in current collector car (1980 to now).

Sept. 7th the wife and I attended the Western Canada Viper Club of America’s Revelstoke 2007 Mountain Rally.  We met a lot of other owners and a good time was had by all.  Saturday morning found 13 Vipers lined up waiting for the gate to Mount Revelstoke Sky Parkway to be unlocked.  First ones through the gate we left at 1 minute intervals and the rules were; nothing over 50mph throughout the 15 miles to the top and please don’t mess up the landscape.  I figured that having the only Roe supercharger and a modified suspension added to my Virgin experience at rallying and hill climbs would equal me finishing somewhere towards the upper part of the group.  Other drivers had road course driving lessons and some had Paxton Superchargers so the competition was fierce.  My wife had decided to accompany me on this experience which was a surprise.  Crashing my other Viper just over a month ago had totally freaked her out and I had expected that she would wait at the Hotel until I’d “done my thing.”  I’m certain that I would have been disqualified if she hadn’t been with me as the temptation to keep going past the 50 mph speed limit was strong.  Each time I approached 50mph, I remembered the heroic effort she was making to sit in the car with me and that urge went away.  Contrary to popular belief I did do my best to keep at the 50mph limit, thanks to her.  At the Banquet that evening I received 2nd place!

 

My idea of perfection is not necessarily the same as everyone else’s and I did work on some upgrades to my car.  Sight and Sound in William’s Lake was instrumental for the stereo upgrades to my Viper.  After weeks of research they came up with a Hertz door speaker system that included tweeters, wide frequency speakers and an active crossover.  The sound was incredible and the price was about half of what I expected to pay.  Once I agreed that the quality was what I had in mind they ordered me a set of Hertz mid-subs for the rear of the car.  Their price was so good that I ordered an Escort SRX Radar Detection System (the best available at that time).  This built in unit comes with visual alerts, messages, audio alerts Laser shifters and 65 safety alerts such as Fire Truck, Ambulance, Dangerous Road Conditions, etc.  Winter of 2009 I went back to S&S and bought a Premier 780BT Blue Tooth head unit because the Gov’s wisdom made it against the law to use your hands for you phone while driving. 

I called Sean Roe of Roe Racing and he sent me laptop connectors and new software for my Vec2 sub-computer along with programmable ‘smart cards’ for instant program changes if I wished to run higher octane fuels, etc.

I did meet a Z06 along the highway and decided that the previous injustice done to me in my Stealth needed some payback.  With my supercharger there was NO contest, but my coffee cup flew all over my car, burned me, and that took away much of my joy in the experience of ‘pay back’.  So I fabricated some small steel brackets that fastened behind the radio dash cover and merely hold screws that cup holders can clip to.  When not in use the cup holders can sit in the trunk.

Winters I enjoy my Viper by making it a better car.  I installed lightweight 14" Front Brakes.  I pulled the blower and the heads from my GTS and ported them one winter.  I blended the vlave seats into the ports and the combustion chambers (think of it as a 50 angle valve grind) then backcut the valves.   The invention of the far superior PS2 tires has me thinking about programming the Nitrous Oxide for a little more power after 100mph.

Maybe I’ll see you on the highway one summer?

 

Categories: Dodge Viper Stories

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