Have you ever seen the movie Gone in Sixty Seconds? If you have not and you're remotely interested in watching a sexy, blonde hair, mini-dreadlocked, tomboyish gearhead version of Angelina Jolie, then you should put down my silly blog and go watch that first. If you have, you'd know that the movie is based around gorgeous cars being hijacked, with the illusive Eleanor being the most sought after heist. The 1967 Mustang GT was and is a bit of a unicorn in the car world. My significantly lower budgeted unicorn is/was the Dodge Viper. In early 1994 when this beast was released, it had an MSRP of nearly $60k. To give relevance, the average NFL players salary in 1994 was $628,300 and Steve Young was the MVP that season earning $2.2 million. Point being, these cars were a hefty price tag for the average folk and probably still not a drop in the bucket for the big earners we would expect to be driving a Super Car.
So, being that I'm single, no kids, mid-thirties and have the buying habits of a Kardashian, I saved up some money for a couple years, sold all of my other toys and purchased a Dodge Viper. Not that crazy for someone to live within their means and purchase a dream car, right? Well, I'll be honest since thats what this whole experience is about, I bought two. Correct, a 1994 Dodge Viper and a 2001 Dodge Viper.
Now before you stop reading and think I'm some trust fund baby or pretentious dick that claims to be quitting his job, but is actually sitting on a boat load of cash and the ability to lob a quick "I miss you Mom and Dad" phone call so that they Western Union some loot out west... I am not. Promise. I am however very resourceful, lack long-term focus and have a completely different mindset than most.
I purchased two Vipers because I didn't know which one I wanted, standard for Libra's to be this indecisive. Generation 1 is old, raw, no frills and a death trap, but it's the original badass and iconic version that everyone knows and respects. The Generation 2 which is much faster, has windows, has airbags, has a roof, has door handles, has ABS brakes and is much better if you care about your health and any potential passengers that may hop in with you.
I had originally made my mind up and purchased the Generation 2 on eBay from a sincere, 56-year old gentleman in New York who cried when the car was picked up at his house. I spoke with him multiple times on the phone and he made me very comfortable that I was getting the car of my dreams rather than pissing away my savings. Once I picked it up, the car was as advertised. One of my first times out I succumbed to peer pressure and did 120 m.p.h. in third gear getting onto the freeway. That made my butthole pucker up and the girl sitting next to me grabbed my arm so hard that I think she still has part of my bicep vein under her fingernails. The moment was Snapchatted with the speed filter, which is also why I'm completely positive of how fast we were going.
I owned the Gen2 for a couple weeks when someone that I had been going back and forth with on eBay got back to me with the following text: "Fine. You win. No other buyers seem to be serious. You can have for 20K." That was from a trucker in Arkansas who owned his 1994, Red Generation 1 Viper since it was brand new. I was getting such a deal on that, I had to make it work. I used a credit card advance for $5k and used my personal credit line of $15k to get the cash out for the car. Stupid decision in most people's minds, but the interest rates weren't insane and I didn't expect this car to be with me forever. Before it arrived I found some used Gen2 tires and rims on Craigslist for cheap and knew that would make a major difference come time for resale.
Once I got this car, it changed my life! Scratch that, not that dramatic, but it was awesome! The Gen2 was not what I wanted. I didn't just want a badass sports car, I wanted the timeless beauty that gave me a true sense of accomplishment by checking off a childhood dream of mine. The car sounded good, looked great and everywhere I drove it 40 and 50 year old men gave me a thumbs up. It was amazing because it had no top, amazing acceleration, throaty exhaust sound, the gritty feel and zero accessories inside, not even AC or heat. It just made you feel good. It's weird to describe, but I will say, driving that car to work in the morning or home in the evenings was one of the best, most invigorating feelings of my entire life. Honest.
One month after owning it, our company lost the contract we were set to receive that gave us funding for the next 8+ months and I immediately went into furlough. Although it was explained as a temporary setback, I had zero faith in the investor group and knew it was time to start planning for my next venture. I posted the Gen1 car for sale first and as expected, she sold quick. Also as planned, the car went for plenty more than I bought it for, which not only paid back the loans I took out, I made a couple grand to put back in the bank. From the turn of events of driving the raw classic I've always wanted versus the more stable, dependable and realistic option of the Gen2 Viper, is where I got the idea to take this leap of faith and tackle this podcast/vlog/travel venture. None of these buying habits make common sense and owning one, much less two supercars, should not have been feasible looking at my bank account. But it's what I wanted to do, so somehow it came to fruition and I have zero regrets. I understand we are talking about buying a car versus being funemployed and traveling the country, but the same principles apply.
So now we are all caught up to modern day. I've committed to this journey and the last piece is to sell the Gen2 Viper, which will be my sole income to get going. I know it's weird to share, but I really think it's important to understand my financial position when getting this venture started because it is absolutely the intent when sitting down with the entrepreneurs I interview during the podcast is understanding to the tee how they got started.