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By Erica Cusumano | STAFF
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2003 Viper
By Kathleen Ostrander

Charlie Barber of Springfield has always liked performance cars.

"I had a 2001 Corvette, but I wanted something that had more horsepower and more performance. I like the body style of the 2006 Corvette, but the top didn't come off," Barber said.

In 2006 Barber, who's retired, saw an ad for a 2003 Viper and so he bought Nadine.

The bright red sports car that turns heads got her name from a Chuck Berry song.

"I like the feeling of raw power that this car has," he said.

"People want to know how fast she'll go and when I tell them, they say you can't go that fast around here anyway, and that's not the point. The point is that it can, and I know it can," he added with a smile.

The combination of high performance suspension and tires makes the ride a little rough but he said he doesn't mind that.

He said people treat the car like a beautiful woman; they look at the outside but don't think about the inside - the engine.

"This," he said, "is the only factory high-performance car that has never disappointed me." 




Viper Vitae

* One of the fastest cars under $300,000

* 0-60 mph in 3.9 sec.

* 0-100 mph in 8.3 sec.

* Will do a quarter mile in 11.2 sec. at 121 mph

* Top speed: 196 mph

* The Viper was conceived in 1988 and called the Copperhead. The engine is still known as a copperhead. It was approved for production in1990 and was an Indy pace car in 1991. It went through several changes, and the 2003-06 models included convertibles. The convertibles are about 500 pounds lighter.



Story published Friday, December 5, 2008 ( Volume 3, Number 7 )

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