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This Is The Grossest Grimiest Dodge Viper Ever

All image credits: Matt Farah
All image credits: Matt Farah

Occasionally, when I’m in a masochistic mood, I like to daydream about first-gen Dodge Vipers. You don’t see that many of them and they are so hilariously bad that they are actually amazing. This red one I’m showing you now is the grossest, grimiest, most disgusting example of an early Viper that I’ve ever seen. And that is what makes it perfect.

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This Viper and its owner live near Jalopnik friend Matt Farah on the westside of Los Angeles. He sees it every so often, but this time he found it parked and managed to get some photos of it. He told me once that it was dirty and bad, but I didn’t know it was this dirty and bad.

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How does any light even shine through those fogged headlights? Incredibly lackluster paint. And just look at that crooked bumper!

Illustration for article titled This Is The Grossest Grimiest Dodge Viper Ever

At least the seat covers are new. But, there, in the passenger seat... is that... trash? Why? Why would you do this?

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And here: Some kind of attempt at touch-up paint? But applied with a massive brush? What is going on?

Farah said that the Viper has 191,000 miles on its odometer. I would be willing to bet that 190,000 of those miles have been burnouts. Raph thinks the car has averaged 22 mph in its lifespan. But its rear tires? 122 mph.

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God bless whoever owns this car. It is a love, a life, a prince. Maybe one day, it will be my prince.

Illustration for article titled This Is The Grossest Grimiest Dodge Viper Ever
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Illustration for article titled This Is The Grossest Grimiest Dodge Viper Ever
Illustration for article titled This Is The Grossest Grimiest Dodge Viper Ever

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

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DISCUSSION

Why do you put 191,000 miles on a car like a Viper?

Is it necessity? No, if the owner was limited by cash they would have sold this long ago for a beige 1998 Toyota Camry that would be far more reliable and inexpensive to maintain.

Is it practicality? Comfort? Space? Hell no. It’s a Viper.

Did the owner’s spouse purchase this car for the owner as a gift, and maybe the owner just doesn’t care about keeping the car nice? I hope not, because what monster would force someone they love to daily a Viper, of all cars? And you would think that at after about 100 miles on the odometer, after the excitement wears off, a person who did not specifically want to drive a Viper would be ready to be done with it.

Is it because they want to be seen in a flashy sports car? Maybe, but if that were true the owner would surely keep it in a garage, baby it, and drive it on special occasions. And there are plenty of cheaper, more reliable options if you just want a convertible to look cool.

No. The reason this Viper has been driven for 191,000 miles is the same reason I daily my S2000. My S is the perfect size for me (5'9), tight for anyone up to 6', and literally too small to fit anyone above about 6'3— some of my friends can’t ride in the car with me. The features include a radio, a convertible top, 2 seats, an air conditioning system, and most importantly the glorious engine, Six Speed Manually Operated Gear Selector, and handling. But that’s it. Practically? The trunk is bigger than expected and can hold many different things, but not many things at once. Reliability? Yeah pretty solid actually if you keep up with the (frequent) suggested maintenance. Comfort? Decent, for what it is, if you don’t mind things like being in a small space, unwelcome heat from the transmission tunnel, deafening road noise above 35mph, and one single passenger side A/C vent. There absolutely zero things to make a normal person choose to daily driver this car. But I love the crap out of it and accept every single one of its shortcomings as a daily so that I can enjoy every other aspect of ownership.

This person may or may not know the exact significance of the car they are driving. But clearly they know it is special. For whatever reason they have decided to let the car’s appearance fade (literally). Maybe they are old and stopped caring about how the car looks, or maybe all their money has gone into keeping it running. But they still drive the damn thing which is no easy task. I can’t imagine fear of death by burnout every time I leave a standstill. The point is that someone has put 191,000 miles onto a dodge viper, which is still running, and that is truly impressive. It could not come from anything but love.