YouTuber Buys Childhood Dream Dodge Viper. But Can He Handle It?
Hoovies Garage host Tyler Hoover is smitten but quickly learns all the foibles of the mighty 1995 Viper RT/10.
Every automotive enthusiast has a dream car (more than likely, they have several of them). Unfortunately, not every car nut is able to get the machine that they spend hours fantasizing about. It depends on what you want. Tyler Hoover, the host of the popular Youtube channel Hoovies Garage wanted the first-generation Dodge Viper RT/10 roadster when he was a kid. He recently bought one and made a video showing just what it’s like when you turn an automotive fantasy into a reality.
His love of the Viper’s styling certainly didn’t diminish after he took ownership of the red roadster. It looks just as beautiful in the metal as it does on a poster. Hoover says, “From every angle – every angle – this car is gorgeous. Just gorgeous.” The Viper’s appeal is about more than just its looks, though. The fact that Dodge actually made a breathtaking V10-powered concept car into a street-legal vehicle is also satisfying.
The catch is that Dodge seems to have rushed certain aspects of the Viper’s production. Hoover mentions exposed wiring and points out a computer on the passenger’s side of the car that is largely exposed to the elements. In stock form, there is no form of security system that prevents hoodlums from getting under the massive hood or into the cockpit.
When Hoover himself gets inside the cabin, he bumps his head into the fabric roof (aka “the toupe”) and has to duck down to see through the fabric/plastic window panels.
So what’s the Viper like out on the road? A bit tricky. Even after Hoover installs a $3,000 hardtop/hard window package, he has trouble taking the Viper through a drive-thru. He says, “It’s kind of like a bigger, really powerful Miata.” In fact, it’s a little too strong for its tires. The Viper’s old rubber has trouble staying hooked up with the cold pavement.
The Viper may not be perfect, but it has advantages over its contemporary rivals. Back in the ’90s, the Viper shared bedroom wall space with cars from Italian manufacturers such as Lamborghini and Ferrari. Unlike those exotics, the Viper makes repairs relatively feasible. “The engine? Four-hundred-horsepower V10. It’s a good old-fashioned American pushrod engine so it’s super easy to work on,” Hoover says. The car itself is no longer as unattainable as it may have once seemed. According to Hoover, many of the first-gen Vipers for sale on Autotrader are under $30,000.