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02 VOI -7 Nashville TN
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Registered: February 2006
Location: Bartonville, IL
Posts: 4,516
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Registered: February 2006
Location: Bartonville, IL
Posts: 4,516

Dodge Viper owners stage their cars for the Worlds Largest Viper Parade that traveled through the heart of Nashville, Tennessee, the Music City, on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2002. Leading the parade was the all-new 2003 Dodge Viper SRT10 driven by Dodge NASCAR Driver Sterling Marlin.

Registered: February 2006
Location: Bartonville, IL
Posts: 4,516

Music City to Rock with V-10 Tunes as Dodge Viper Owners Arrive in Nashville

Nashville, Tenn., Sep 18, 2002 -

More than 1,500 owners of the legendary Dodge Viper will converge on Nashville next week from around the world to celebrate the unique lifestyle and shared passion that come with owning the ultimate American sports car.

The festivities begin on Thursday, Sept. 26, when the "World's Largest Viper Parade" travels through the heart of the Music City, led by Tennessee natives and Dodge NASCAR stars Sterling Marlin, Casey Atwood and Bobby Hamilton.

The seventh edition of the Viper Owners Invitational (VOI.7), based at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel Sept. 26-30, will also provide Viper owners and their families with on-track driving at Nashville Superspeedway, a scenic tour along the Natchez Trace Parkway, a consumer-oriented Dodge City interactive display, and top-notch entertainment.

"Bringing together and spending time with the most loyal group of owners an automaker could ever dream of is easily one of the most exciting -- and important -- things we do," said Jim Julow, Vice President - Dodge Motorsports and SRT Marketing. "And this group defines the word 'loyal.' Our research tells us that Viper owners are more passionate about their cars than any other group of vehicle owners, and that a Viper owner is 24 times more likely to buy another Chrysler Group vehicle than if the Viper was never purchased. I don't know how you can be more loyal than that."

VOI.7 will bring Viper owners to Nashville from almost every state in the U.S., as well as owners from Japan, Germany, Switzerland and Great Britain. Following Thursday's parade, they'll gather at the Opryland Hotel before heading out for a variety of driving activities on Friday. That evening, the entire group will bring "Vipermania" to the popular Wildhorse Saloon for a night of entertainment, Nashville style.

Weekend activities will include popular in-depth technical seminars with the Chrysler Group's Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO) engineers, and the opportunity to drive the all-new 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10.

"With so many things to do, it's difficult to choose what the highlight of the event might be," Julow said. "Just gathering with the most loyal owners in the world is the highlight for me. For the owners, this year is extra special. They get to speak to engineers in detail about the new 2003 Viper, and they get to drive it. For the 'Viper Nation,' it doesn't get any better."

In fact, the Viper Nation -- the name the loyal Viper owner base goes by -- was offered first dibs on the 2003 Viper. In just 30 days, the entire production of 2003 Vipers was sold out.

"That's a real strong testament to just how unique and loyal this group is," said Darryl Jackson, Vice President -- Dodge Marketing. "And, it's proof that the 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10 is exactly what Viper owners asked us to deliver."

Before designing the 2003 Viper, Dodge engineers asked owners at a previous Viper Owners Invitational (VOI.5 in Las Vegas, 1999) exactly what they wanted in the next-generation Viper. Their answers included even more horsepower, a new convertible top mechanism, lighter weight and greater interior comfort.

The engineers delivered indeed, but made sure they stayed true to the mission of the original Viper -- an exciting American supercar. Representing the third chapter in the vaunted history of the icon, following the original 1992 Viper RT/10 Roadster and the 1996 Viper GTS Coupe, the 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10 features a 505 cu. in. V-10 engine that now boasts 500 horsepower and 525 lb.-ft. of torque.

For the first time, the Viper is a true convertible, again granting another popular owner wish. Its styling cues include lowered hood lines, swept-back fenders and deep-cut side scallops, reminiscent of the original, yet giving the Viper a fresh look."The list goes on and on," Jackson said. "In short, it's everything our owners asked for, and a whole lot more. Our PVO engineers have elevated the ultimate American sports car. They've refined the Viper, all while keeping its outrageous design and road presence -- its 'Viperness.'"

After Viper owners enjoy plenty of seat-time behind the wheel of Vipers -- their own, and the new 2003 version they helped create -- VOI.7 will conclude Monday morning at the Opryland Hotel. Past Viper Owner Invitationals have been held in Detroit; Monterey, Calif.; Indianapolis; Orlando, Fla., Las Vegas and St. Louis.

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