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Philly Car Guy Gary Barbera Remembers Gifted Lee Iacocca with Viper #1

Via: ReleaseWire

Updated 10:02 AM CST, Mon, January 27,2020

First production Dodge Viper built and sold at Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction for $285,000.

Philadelphia, PA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/27/2020 -- Gary Barbera has a framed signed picture of Lee Iacocca, his Viper #1 and the original title proudly displayed in the Gary Barbera on the Boulevard FCA's #1 Volume Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Chrysler dealership in Philadelphia, Roosevelt Boulevard. Gary Barbera remembers fondly the day Mr. Iacocca was so duly gifted the first production Dodge Viper RT/10 #001 by Dodge Dealers in 1992. "There would not be Gary Barbera's 300 Jeeps Cheap without the Legendary Iacocca!" All FCA (Chrysler Corporation) dealers and countless individuals and entities in the automotive industry owe Mr. Iacocca their forever gratitude for his product innovation and dedication to saving Chrysler Corporation in late 70's.

As seen in Automobile

Rory Jurnecka, writer.

First Dodge Viper Ever Built Sells for Big Bucks. It was sold alongside a 1986 LeBaron convertible—and both were owned by Lee Iacocca.

First-generation Dodge Vipers have been on our short list for budget performance cars for years now. With solid examples of the early Viper RT/10 roadster typically selling in the $30,000 bracket, we'd argue there are few more potent or eye-catching cars for the money. So, what to make of a 1992 Dodge Viper bringing $285,500 at Bonhams' Scottsdale auction? Let's just say this is no ordinary Viper; it's only previous owner was the late Lee Iacocca and the car was also the first production Viper built, with number 001 on the VIN tag.

When the Viper was introduced with a bang for the 1992 model year, it was a critical car for parent company Chrysler. At the helm of the brand was Iacocca, already legendary as the father of the Ford Mustang, among other triumphs. Iacocca, realizing a savvy business and marketing opportunity when he saw one, also brought none other than Carroll Shelby on board to help develop and promote the car. Under the neo-Cobra bodywork sat an 8.0-liter V-10 engine co-developed with Lamborghini, which Chrysler owned at the time. With 400 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft of torque blasting out of the side-exit exhaust system, the Viper was just about the hottest car going that year, and it was clearly an instant classic. Iacocca retired from Chrysler at the end of 1992.

Four generations of Viper followed with steady performance improvements before the model's retirement in 2017, but the original model is still the most fondly remembered by many Viper enthusiasts. Values have dipped significantly as more modern Viper models flood the used-car market, and while you can find lesser examples for closer to $20,000, spending 50 percent more puts a buyer in the position of picking from the very best cars available.

Of course, the high bidder at Bonhams paid a significant premium to take home Iacocca's Viper #001—nearly 10 times what an excellent 1992 Viper would fetch a little further down the assembly line. We're still waiting for verification, but we believe this to be a new world record for a first-generation Viper RT/10 at auction. As a modern classic from the 1990s, we believe the future holds more appreciation potential as those who grew up lusting after Vipers in their youth come into greater spending power.

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About Gary Barbera's on the Boulevard and his BarberaCares Programs
Gary Barbera's on the Boulevard proudly celebrates their 30th anniversary since swinging open the doors showcasing Dodge, Ram, Chrysler, Jeep and CPOV vehicles collaborating with it's own Philadelphia's Credit Connection- On-Site Instant Auto Credit. Over 1000 Vehicles including 300 Jeeps Cheap at one location. Barbera's on the Boulevard is recognized by FCA as Philadelphia's #1 volume dealer in both new and pre-owned vehicles for decades. Getting their start as a Dodge dealer has propelled them to be the #1 Dodge Dealer in 6 states, PA, NJ, DE, MD, VA, and WV since the start while receiving Chrysler's highest accolade J D Power certification.

The Barbera Culture, rooted in the belief that Business Comes Where it is Invited and Stays where it is Well Treated. The Barbera organization hires hospitality and trains talent instilling within every single employee the philosophy of guest hospitality, consistent service, and gratefulness for the client's most precious gift of their valuable time. Their proudest moments are when they are welcoming back families who have purchased 9-10 cars and who send their friends and family. The biggest compliment is the wonderful thoughtful gift of a referral of family and friends.

The Barbera family credits their parents with instilling the Barbera Culture of Hospitality, Family Values and Work Ethic. Their mother Rita Barbera, known to all as "Lovely Rita" was kind, socially conscious, and valued family and hardwork. Their father, Eugene Barbera planted the automotive seed through his business, Palm Auto, a carwash, gas station, auto repair and body shop center located in Fishtown before it bloomed into the sprawling area it is today. The Barbera Family would work for their father as children inspired by their father's work ethic and client satisfaction standards. Their dad said, "Hard work never hurt anyone but Aggravation sure will kill you."

Honored to be recognized with the prestigious Family Owned Business award for dual accolades; Gary Barbera's on the Boulevard for positively impacting their communities economically and BarberaCares for Community Service Excellence. On the heels of this crowning achievement Gary Barbera's on the Boulevard is recognized alongside industry icons 6ABC, QVC, and Comcast NBCUniversal for Corporate Philanthropy as the region's most charitable givers.

BarberaCares principles of Support, Enhance, and Inspire lead the way in community service including broadcasting their Don't Text and Drive Campaign- Keep the Boulevard Safe message to everyone, especially the young. Proud to be the inaugural partner of Governor Edward G. Rendell's Adopt-A-Highway state wide clean up initiative from the ground up, 1000's of Turkey and Winter Coat hand deliveries to underserved sections of the city such as Strawberry Mansion, massively leading the way in Solar Recycling Cans around the city. Support of Philadelphia's finest including P.A.L, honoring Veterans for their service and sacrifice. Of course 1000's of individuals, children, families, youth groups, churches and synagogues have been added to the list of those being assisted by BarberaCares over the 3 decades.

Their Philly famous mascot – the Barbera Bear can be seen lending a paw and entertaining during parades and community clean-ups. Gary Barbera's on the Boulevard is also known for where the Stars buy their Cars! It all began with Jim McMahon and Doug Pederson as a young Quarterback in the 90's with many, many stars in between and after. Now it's Coach Doug Pederson and he's been driving Barbera for decades! Now it's your turn. I would be remiss if I didn't ask you.... Is Barbera the Best... Boy I Guess!

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