Jim’s Blog: Viper ACR — The Next ACC Car

ACC’s ’63 Dodge is gone, and now our ’64 Nova is, too. What does that leave us? A couple of empty parking spaces, that’s what. Well, that was the case until we made a deal on our next magazine car, which is waiting to be delivered to us now.

As I mentioned back in February, we had some specific criteria for the next car: First, it needed to be something we would want to take out and use on a regular basis. Second, and along those same lines, it needed to be something without any nonsense attached — no projects or full-on race cars. This thing should work when we hit the key. Finally, the budget: $25k, give or take.

So what did we end up with? A 2000 Dodge Viper ACR. For $42,500. Hmm. How’s two out of three?

OK, so we ditched the budget. But what’s a little more money when the right car comes along?

I’d been looking hard at early Viper RT/10s with miles when this coupe crossed my path, and it was just too cool to pass up. It has just 1,600 miles from new, one owner, and all of its original paperwork. It’s a stripe-delete black car with black interior and optional a/c from the factory. I’m a sucker for black cars and for Viper GTS coupes — this was the American poster car for kids of the ’90s. I know because I had the actual poster (of a blue and white car) on my wall for years.

What’s an ACR? It’s a harder version of the standard GTS coupe, built with an eye toward track day use. That means it has an adjustable suspension with stiffer springs, slightly more horsepower (460 — ten more than the GTS or RT/10), stickier tires, and a little less weight. These will run from 0-60 in 4 seconds flat on the way to a 12-second quarter-mile time. They’re relatively rare, too. This car was one of just 219 ACRs built in 2000.

Word on the street is that these are totally drivable despite their racing components, although I’ve read warnings about potholes leading to dental visits. Either way, we’ll be driving it a lot. We’ve got some big plans for the car this summer, and everyone on staff is looking forward to getting some wheel time in it. We’ll be writing about our first impressions of it in an upcoming issue of the magazine — as well as any issues we encounter along the way.

As for the price, it falls right in the current ACC price guide range of $36,500 to $47,000 for good #2 examples, so I think we did just fine on the deal.

Now it just needs to be shipped out here from the Midwest. But soon it will be here, lurking in ACC’s underground lot.