Owner Profile: Robert Niknam, San Francisco, California
Growing up, I collected car models, and my favorite was the Viper. I absolutely loved the GTS. Back in 2002, my father worked at a Chrysler dealership and he bought a 2003 Viper SRT10. Ever since then, SRT was the apple of my eye.
First Mopar® - When I turned 18, my first car was a 2005 Neon SRT4. The year after that, the dealership had a yellow 2006 Viper SRT10 that nobody had picked up, so I bought it myself for a pretty good deal. In 2007, I bought a Charger SRT8 in Plum Crazy. I named that car “Banafsheh”, because in Persian, “banafsh” means “purple” and that translated into “purple one”.
In the garage - Ever since Autoblog posted the Charger redesign, especially the tail, I knew that was what I wanted. One day, I took my daily driver in for service, and the moment I saw the Charger SRT8 in the showroom, I made the call: I wanted it. It’s Pitch Black, and her name is Victoria.
The latest addition to my garage is the Grand Cherokee SRT8. I’ve had my eye on one for quite a while, especially after the SRT Track Experience I attended a little over a month ago. There really is no better way to test-drive an SRT than at the SRT Track Experience. I really fell in love with the new Grand Cherokee, and I just had to have it. I took my Charger SRT8 to the dealer for an oil change and detail, and I saw the black Grand Cherokee SRT8 sitting in the showroom. We talked numbers, and I liked what I saw, so I said I’d take it. Her name is Natalia.
Favorite stretch of road - My favorite road has to be Skyline Boulevard from Los Gatos and Saratoga, through the hills of Santa Cruz, to Monterey. They’re nice roads for cars with great handling. I’m already envisioning sport mode in the Grand Cherokee on the windy road that travels through green forests and the mountains of the south Bay Area.
Farthest you’ve driven to meet a fellow car enthusiast - I drove 600 miles to San Diego for something organized a few years ago on ChargerForums. Most of us don’t consider ourselves fans or enthusiasts. We are like family.
Racing or cruising - I’m allegedly a racer, but I like to cruise, too, especially on those long drives. I guess the racing started after my first SRT Track Experience and after watching Fast and the Furious. Since then, I think I’ve logged over 300 hours of track time.
Badge of loyalty - When I was in high school, I used to ride my bike everywhere. We took apart my bike and painted the frame Viper Red. The wheels were painted black. It’s too small for me now, but it’s still sitting on my balcony. Since then, I’ve pretty much sold my girlfriend on the SRT lineup. We were eating popcorn together during the new Viper webcast. I’m planning to get a Stryker tattoo, and I have an SRT-10 logo attached to my bed’s headboard. The only thing I’m missing is a signature from Ralph Gilles on my car where it won’t rub off.