Owner Profile: Mike Kovalkevich, Mayfield Heights, Ohio.

Owner Profile: Mike Kovalkevich, Mayfield Heights, Ohio.
Posted on Aug 23, 2011

Ever since I was born, I have been around Chrysler products. My dad has been a Dodge technician for 33 years and a Viper technician since the first-generation car first came out. I myself hope to one day pursue a life-long career at Chrysler.

In 2003, when I learned that the new SRT4 was coming out, I tried ordering one here in Ohio and was told that the car would debut in California and Florida first. I went online and found a dealer in Miami who had a flame red SRT4 in stock. My friend and I flew to Miami, took possession of my brand new SRT4 and immediately headed back to Ohio, driving some 22 hours straight to get home.

Throughout my entire childhood, all I ever wanted to own was my very own Viper. I made it my number-one priority. Since then, I have owned 13 new Chrysler Group vehicles. Of them, ten were SRTs. I have owned two SRT4s, three Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8s, two Dodge Ram SRT10s, two Dodge Viper SRT10s and one Dodge Challenger SRT8.

First Mopar: My first car was a 2002 Dodge Neon R/T which I bought brand new right off the showroom floor. I really enjoyed that car; I even went as far as putting a Viper-style hood on it and replacing the tires with Michelin Pilot Sport tires, which were the OEM Viper tire at the time.

Mopar Garage: The two cars I currently own are a 2006 Dodge Viper SRT10 first edition coupe and a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.

Favorite stretch of road: My favorite stretch of road would probably Route 11 in Ohio, where there really isn't any traffic, so you can really open your car up.

Farthest you've driven to meet with a fellow car enthusiast: The farthest I have traveled for an SRT or Viper event was the Viper Owners Invitational in Salt Lake City, Utah last September. It was my first VOI, and it was such a great time. I got to meet a lot of great people and even had a chance to see the next-generation Dodge Viper concept.

Racing or Cruising: When I owned my 2005 Dodge Ram SRT10 Commemorative Edition, I added every Mopar modification they offered. I drag raced that truck. Now, I'm not really into racing my Viper or my Jeep, so I just cruise around or head to car shows.

Badge of loyalty: When I turned 18, I went out and got my first Viper tattoo. I now have four Viper tattoos, and I'm about to go and get the next-generation Viper logo with SRT logo tattooed next to it.

Online hangouts: I’m always online at the Viper Club of America website. I am one of the Viper Club of Ohio membership directors, which hosts some great events every year. We have tech days, track days and holiday parties, just to name a few.

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