Dodge Viper fans cried real tears a few years ago when Dodge announced it was discontinuing its Chevrolet Corvette rival. Then, surprise, word came that while the Dodge Viper may not return, the Viper would return under its all-new Street & Racing Technology (SRT) moniker as a 2013 model.
The SRT Viper is tentatively scheduled to go on sale later this year as a 2013 model. Yet eager buyers expecting to rush into the local Chrysler dealership to see/touch/smell/taste their favorite super sports car may be shocked to find that it’s not there. That’s because Chrysler is limiting the number of dealerships showcasing the Viper to a maximum of 150. That’s less than 7 percent of the over 2,300 dealerships in the U.S.
Competition among the dealerships for the SRT Viper is stiff. Says Chuck Eddy, owner of Bob and Chuck Eddy Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of Ohio, “It’s the image. I want to be able to say I have a Viper.” One way Chrysler will be culling the number of dealership is price. The automaker will charge a one-time, $25,000 fee to dealerships interested in selling the SRT Viper. The fee covers a technician’s program, training, tools, and various marketing tools for the Viper.
But the fee’s not the major requirement to acquire the Viper, though. The major requirement, states SRT head Ralph Gilles, is passion. “That the unofficial requirement,” states Gilles. “You have a love affair with the cars and you just love fast cars.”
The 2013 SRT Viper starts at $99,390.