The Dodge Viper is an American sports car with nine lives it seems. After being discontinued twice, it seems Dodge will bring back its two-seater in 2020 after ending its production (for the second time) in 2017 due to financial trouble.
While many enthusiasts are highly anticipating the release of the new Viper hopefully next year (which would mark the cars 30th anniversary since its 1989 debut at the Detroit Auto Show), there are some that prefer a nostalgic piece of automotive history.
Leo Vediz is one of these few who wanted something more timeless. “I thank God every day for allowing me to own this Viper,” he admits. “I initially bought my ACR because I wanted to track it, but once I found out that Dodge decided to stop production on it, I realized I had a gem on my hands and wanted to make it a garage queen.”
Before the Viper, he had a 2015 Corvette Z06 that according to Leo “broke the Internet” due to its massive appeal, so the new build needed to surpass the former.
To transform his Viper into a garage queen, Leo had to first figure out what sort of “queen” he wanted. Despite the trend to have crazy colors, such as color shifting or chameleon-like vehicle wraps, Leo wanted something classic to go with the look and feel of Viper. He decided to throw it back to the 1990s Fast and the Furious days of automotive culture. “I went with a simple gloss orange exterior that pays homage to Paul Walker and the Toyota Supra that he drove in the movie.”
For Leo, the popular franchise was more than just entertainment, but his gateway into the customizing scene. “I would have never started what is now the biggest club in the world, Headturners Car Club, so I’m truly thankful to him and the legacy he left behind. May he continue to rest in peace.”
He then enlisted a buddy of his to design his vision for the car on his Xbox Forza Horizon video game and fell in love with the finished product. Connecting with companies was the next step in his intricate plan, enlisting Wrap Legacy for the wrap and Simbolo X for a custom set of 3-piece wheels.
Mike’s Exhaust did the muffler delete so that the Viper’s unrestricted rumble would be heard while also demonstrating the power of its monstrous V10 power plant. The color shift halos also give it an aggressive appearance, especially at night, Leo adds.
To give the Viper an online persona, Leo named it Lucifer as a way to connect the car’s namesake to the snake in the Garden of Eden. After its debut on his @headturnerscarclub IG account, the car went viral despite its mixed reviews. “Some people have said that the Paul Walker livery only belongs on a Supra, while others say it’s a great way to remember Paul Walker,” Leo explains.
“Others like how I combined the muscle and import scene together in one car, which I know Paul would have appreciated. He loved all cars, not just imports.” But it doesn’t matter what people say about the Viper since Leo is 100% in love with his creation. “Every time I get behind the wheel and see people’s smiles, I realize how much people admired Paul Walker just as much as I do.”