In all honesty, we are still mad that FCA killed the Viper. For every Alfa-Romeo, Maserati, and Fiat on dealer lots, Dodge had to give up their supercar and the dedicated team at the Connor Road Assembly Plant. The All-American two-seater was the brainchild of Carroll Shelby and Lee Iaccoca, and it never compromised.
So instead of relegating it to the history books, our friends at BJ Motors started a crowdfunding campaign. I wrote about it one year ago once they met their goal, so click this link for the preview:
They raised enough money to ship a pair of 2017 Viper GTS-R’s to the Nürburgring for one last shot at the record. Back in 2011, a Dodge/SRT factory team set the lap record for production cars at 7:03, but BJ Motors knew they could beat that time. From 2013 onward, all Vipers were painted by hand by artists at Prefix Corporation, so they signed up for one last ride and a shot at a new record.
For their attempts, they brought along a film crew that would document their attempts at the record. The resulting footage would then be compiled to create the document “7:01.” The film has been released and can be viewed below. Since its release, it has been nominated for “Best Documentary Film” at the 2018 International Motor Film Awards.
After set up and getting the Kumho tires lined up, the time of their attempt was upon the team. The run for the record was planned for Monday, July 25th, but it was rained out. On Tuesday, they matched the 7:03 from 2011, so a six-minute time seemed close at hand. They ran out of time by the beginning of the annual Industrie-Pool, so the team returned later on August 24th. Both of their drivers had other obligations on this date, but backup driver Luca Stoltz recommended Lance David Arnold to take the helm of the Viper.
While both cars were on the track, Luca blew a tire. Shortly after, the differential drain plug on Lance’s car fell off, sending the rear axles into meltdown. Racing is tough on drivers and their machines, and you will see the best of both in the film. Even with the troubles they ran into, the team managed to beat the previous Viper record time with a time of 7:01.3. The entire story of their trials, tribulations, and success is perfectly on display in the documentary and should definitely be seen by any automotive enthusiasts or film buff.
Prefix Racing and BJ Motors still cater to all things Viper, so here’s to them for such a noble effort. Of course, BJ Motors will always have a fine selection of exotic cars for sale, so be sure to check them all out by clicking the link below.