Thread: Driving 94 RT/10 with out doors legal?

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  1. #1
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    Default Driving 94 RT/10 with out doors legal?

    First, I do realize it is a foolish question to ask, and some may not find the humor in it, but there is no such thing as a Stupid question.

    So I was hanging out with friends at a going away party (I am a USN sailor in Norfolk Virginia), and as always, when the weather is good, I took the Viper.

    I already knew I was sleeping on my buddies couch that weekend, so I kicked back a couple of adult beverages. As with all of the Armed Services, when you get a bunch of sailors, marines, airmen, and soldiers together and mix the spirits, you tend to get a lot of off the wall, disturbing, WTF conversations, and what if scenarios. So I was hanging out with bunch of Jeep, 4x4 /Truck /trail riding/ mud stopping guys who never saw a Viper outside of a computer screen. I knew just by virtue of bringing the Viper, a conversation always steers its way to me and the Viper (a big plus on Viper ownership, and you know that we all love to tell the Viper's tale)

    So after showing the car to people, and a couple trips around the block, (and a couple of millimeters off the rear tires, for those who were shipping out), oh and pre-drink of course! I explained that the sickly looking soft top toupee along with the Saran-wrap windows were in the back of my other car at home, and sleek body devoid of exterior door handles. I was pleasantly stumped when some one asked, "Hey buddy, can you take your doors off and still drive legally, like us Wrangler folk?" If I remembered his name I would quote him, but I do not.

    So for the next 45 minutes, it became the question to ask everyone and rip apart their opinion.
    The Jeep guy say all they had to do was get a side mirror relocation kit, and boom they are almost 50 state legal (I think New York said no way, here have a ticket, you need doors), a guy from PA says since his Jeep is a soft top, it is legally not a roof, but only to keep the elements out.

    Because I have a 94, my seat belts are door mounted, and needing to relocate the door mirrors, would driving a Viper without doors be legal?

    I am pouring over Virgina's vehicle code now, but it's so dry, so it will take me awhile.

    Before someone mentions the crash beam in the door, I know first hand the door is crap in a crash. I sadly let a friend drive my first 1994 right into a fire hydrant (you can see the impact by the drivers door, and the red paint transfer) My friend didn't walk away, but only because his foot got trapped under the gas and clutch from the impact (oddly, his foot was not trapped under the brake -something we joke about now a days) He only got a couple pins in his left leg, and I got a couple scratches. I had Jeff's 3 piece top, so the glass is from the window that comes with it, this was Thanksgiving 2008.

    More pics here.
    http://www.majhost.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=191156


    1b3br65e6rv101969-15.jpg

    With the beefy frame rails, driving without doors should not affect the already stiff chassis. Now I have not said I was going to do this, but I do want to know what you guys think of this.

    By the way I bought both of my 1994's with my own hard earned money you guys/gals paid me (by taxes), and I can't thank you guys enough. And not having a kid helps to.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Driving 94 RT/10 with out doors legal?

    I have no idea what the answer is to your question but I would imagine if a Jeep can do it then if you relocate the safety equipment properly, why not? (Though I wouldn't want to debate that with a cop after a couple of cocktails....

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Driving 94 RT/10 with out doors legal?

    I do not believe that doors are a requirement of safe vehicle operation. At least here in Texas they are not. As long as like you say, the seat belt still functions, do the redneck thing, but post pics or we won't believe you.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Driving 94 RT/10 with out doors legal?

    PSiEK!,

    I see you are in VA and FROM IL. While I can't speak on VA, I can let you know about IL. In IL there is no such thing as a "door law" for vehs. So yeah, if you wanted to take your doors off you could drive around however long you wanted to (but look pretty stupid and get some stares). In IL we only require one mirror that can show you an unobstructed 200ft behind you, so if ya got that you're golden (rear-view mirror). However, almost all states have the same sort of violation that IL has called "operation of unsafe vehicle". It basically is a catch-all that says if for any reason your vehicle is unsafe because of its condition, added parts or DELETED parts you can be cited. The law is mainly used for cars being driven that are POS and could cause issues for other drivers, but if for some reason you gave another motorist, or a police officer, a reason to think that your vehicle was un-safe without doors you COULD be cited for it. But, it would mean a trip to court and the brunt of everything would be on the state to prove WHY your car was unsafe without doors. Blah blah, other than that, there are some federal laws that talk about what a "safe vehicle" is....but that's going pretty far for something as silly as a guy wanting to drive around with his doors off. I hope the no doors on a Viper remains only a drunken talk.
    Last edited by DrTaco; 09-27-2012 at 02:54 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Driving 94 RT/10 with out doors legal?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrTaco View Post
    I hope the no doors on a Viper remains only a drunken talk.
    I don't. Do it and post pics.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Driving 94 RT/10 with out doors legal?

    From one Squid to another, don't sacrifice another Viper to a bad decision. This might be a going trend.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Driving 94 RT/10 with out doors legal?

    While it may be acceptable to the DOT, the car has been engineered for operation with the doors in-tact. If you got in an accident with the doors out you lose a LOT of protection and probably the integrity of the cockpit.

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