Jim’s Blog: A Week of Mopar

This week is all about Mopar here at ACC.

Last Wednesday morning, Reliable Carriers was waiting for me when I got to the office. In the back of their big orange truck was our new 2000 Dodge Viper ACR — and while it is 14 years old, it really is still new, with only 1,700 miles on the clock. Of course, everyone on staff was there, too, ditching their desks and whatever they were supposed to be doing to stand in the sun and hear that snarly V10 breathe through aftermarket Corsa exhaust. We even had the ACC drone out flying to shoot it from above.

Since then, I’ve driven the Viper a few times — first to the Oregon DEQ for a VIN inspection and state-required emissions test, and then to the DMV for our title and registration application. My first impression of the car is that it’s both everything I expected and completely unexpected at the same time. How is that? Because it’s beautifully twitchy and brutal — this is a car you really have to respect — and that’s what everyone told me it would be like. But it’s also easy to use, with light steering, a smooth clutch, air conditioning, and fantastic brakes. Compared to my SRT8 Charger’s 6.1L V8, the Viper V10 is slow to rev, but that doesn’t matter because it builds torque about twice as fast. Thump the throttle in any gear and it’ll throw you forward with a howl. No waiting. 

As for its actual usability, it seems like it’ll be great out on the highway, and we’re about to find out. ACC Associate Editor Chad Tyson and I are driving it to Central Oregon today — about four hours away from Portland — for the Charles Kee Collection sale of Mopars. Mostly made up of Chryslers and Imperials spread out across a sprawling high desert plain outside of Bend, the sale is sure to attract a fair number of collectors and local car guys looking to see what kind of deals they’ll be able to score on some heavy Pentastar iron. We’ll be on-site to cover the sale for ACC, kick some tires, write some market reports, and talk with buyers. Our coverage will appear in the next issue of the magazine, along with a more detailed look at our new Viper. Stay tuned!