Friday, October 10, 2008

Viper's den

Ground effects
London, ON, September 2008 [Click to enlarge]

I'll admit I'm playing fast and loose with this week's Thematic Photographic theme, grounded (see here to participate. It's the most fun you can have with, um, your clothes on.)

The Dodge Viper - I found this one sitting near our van on a grocery run to Loblaws last month - is one of those cars that polarizes. Either you get it, or you don't. If you get it, you're okay with its outrageously powerful V-10 that sucks back gas at a criminal rate. If you don't get it, you're thinking something that expensive really ought to have lower door sills that don't burn your legs as you try to pull yourself out of the vehicle.

That's because the car's very hot exhaust pipes run inside those shapely lower panels from under the Viper logo to the side-turned exhaust tips just in front of the rear wheel. Rocker panel extensions like this are often called "ground effects" bodywork because they, in theory, clean up the aerodynamics in this highly transitional zone.

On a car like this, I don't fully buy the technical explanation. Simply put, it's supposed to look outrageous, which is the entire point of this vehicle. And because I can stick a "ground effects" label on this pic, and because there is a tiny bit of ground still visible here, I'm voting for inclusion in this week's "grounded" theme.

Yeah, I'm OCD that way.

Your turn: Got any other out-there interpretations for this week's theme? What does the word "grounded" mean to you?


Unknown said...

Fancy car! You know, the reflection was really the first thing I saw.

I like the three column layout as well but I'm not diggin' my color choice. I'm going to change it but I just don't know to what.

Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

TOTALLY get it - the Viper, the V-10, the ground effects. Awesomeness.

Grounded - makes me think either of being in trouble as a teen or having it together, in a humble sort of way.

sage said...

I had a friend in Utah who had a viper--we went on a ride up and across the mountains one day--wow, was that smooth and fast. Interestingly, his every day ride around car was a PT Cruiser!

Barbara said...

When it comes to the viper, or any hot car I couldn't possibly afford, I still GET it! As for stretching the theme, you put up a good argument. I just posted another entry that stretches in a way. Come check out Grounded Yet Swinging.

photowannabe said...

Really awesome car and I love your interpetation of Grounded. I have thought of a few off the wall ones. Perhaps I will get brave enough to post one later in the week.
My second Grounded post is up now. Come on by and check it out.

Mojo said...

Ground effects... Neat twist there. I hadn't even thought of that. The first reading I ever did on the subject came by way of magazine articles about F1 racing. This was back in the early 80's when F1 still allowed ground effect tunnels on the cars' side pods. As I understand (and remember) it, the cars had side skirts thta nearly grazed the road surface. Their job was to keep the space under the body more or less sealed off from the outside. The other component was the ground effect "tunnels" which were mounted as side pods on either side of the body. their job was to funnel air out from under the car. Between the two, the idea was to suck all the air out from under the car, creating a low pressure cell that sort of vacuum sealed the car to the road so it would corner flatter -- and faster. I think F1 outlawed these systems in ... '82 or '83, but the Indy cars in CART and IRL still use them as far as I know.

Neat take on the theme! I've has a couple of ideas I thought were kind of novel... though two of them are marginally related.

Jill said...

This isn't intended to be a post - I just couldn't figure out how else to email you! I saw this article and thought of you. Stunning photography - jill

awareness said...

Great car!!

My GROUNDED post is finally up....

come see...... :)

socks are involved........

Anonymous said...

I get it! Cool interpretation.
I finally got mine up and running.

Sorry, I'm hot link - lazy.