Buy a Used Dodge Viper
America’s other two-seater sports car was born of the vision of Lee Iacocca and Carroll Shelby. Chrysler needed to refresh their image at the end of the 80’s, and a new supercar was the best way to bring new customers into the showroom. Since 1992, Viper has been the antihero for a generation of enthusiasts. Finding a Dodge Viper for sale in excellent contition can be difficult due to the fact that many of these used cars have been abused or modified.
Dodge Viper Engine
Lamborghini was owned by Chrysler at the time and was commissioned to build a ten-cylinder engine for the project. Adding two cylinders to the 440 Magnum was no easy task, so the 90 degree V10 was given an odd firing order to achieve balance. The block and heads are cast aluminum, with s single camshaft working the valves.
Dodge Viper Development
Shelby was tasked with defining what the concept should be. His answer was a no frills GT car. Suspension is independent, with coil springs at all corners. The prototype was finished in late 1989, but the first production cars were titled as model year 1992. Viper’s first generation arrived with a cassette tape player and no windows, roof, or door handles. Suppliers for the early car were the best in the aftermarket. Momo supplied the steering wheel, and instrumentation was by VDO. For the transmission, Borg-Warner developed a stronger version of their T-56 six speed manual, with 5th and 6th gear as overdrives. Triple cone synchronizers used carbon fiber to spin up each gear.
Owning a Dodge Viper
An automatic transmission was never offered, and the clutch pedal is on the heavy side. Early cars have no safety equipment whatsoever. Wide front tires forced the designers to move the pedals off center of the driver’s seat. Regular maintenance is much less than other sports cars. Oil changes and tires are the largest maintenance-style expenses. A large aftermarket exists for customization and adding power.
Dodge Viper First Generation
Lasting only from 1992 to 1995, first generation Vipers are characterized as being devoid of luxuries. Much like a Surrey with a fringe on top, the windows are eisenglass which can be stowed in the trunk. In a true roadster fashion, the only way to open the doors is to reach for the inner handle. On the street, the first generation cars are addictive to drive. After adjusting to the center pedals, the clutch is very predictable and shifts are short and precise.
The flywheel is on the lighter side which makes driving in traffic somewhat annoying, but once in gear and moving, the Viper exposes its fangs. Today 400 hp might seem plebian, but in the early 90s it was supercar territory. Considering these cars are unencumbered by 19 speakers and six airbags, the curb weight was less than 3,300 lbs. Torque measured in at 465 lb-ft, which allows for acceleration even in the deep overdrive of 6th gear.
Dodge Viper Second Generation
1996 was an evolutionary year, as the Viper lost weight and gained power. The side pipe exhaust was killed in favor of rear mufflers and traditional tail pipes. This bumped horsepower to 415 and torque to 488 lb-ft. More aluminum and less steel resulted in a diet of 60 lbs in the chassis. Late in the year, the RT/10 roadster was joined by a new GTS coupe.
Dodge Viper GTS
The Dodge Viper GTS was aimed at weekend racers and featured a double bubble roof to accommodate driving with a helmet. Sharing the same styling language as the roadster, GTS only shared 10 percent with its sibling. The first Viper to feature power windows and airbags, it lacked ABS brakes and traction control systems. The V10 engine was bumped to 450 hp for the coupe, along with a few other luxuries.
Another special edition aimed at weekend racers was the ACR, or American Club Racing. Intake and exhaust improvements bumped power to 460 and torque to 500. Over 50 lbs of weight was shed in the chassis, and they arrived with BBS racing wheels. The ACR program was introduced in 1999 and was offered up to 2017.
Dodge Viper Third Generation
Viper was given a clean sheet redesign for 2003. Launched as a soft top convertible, the SRT-10 arrived with a new 8.3L V10. The new engine made 500 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque. The new design replaced the sensuous curves of the original design with sharp angles and a more conventional hood design. A coupe followed along in 2006, sharing many styling cues of the original GTS coupes. Production lasted until late 2006 and Viper took a vacation for 2007.
Dodge Viper Generation IV SRT-10
Engine development took most of 2007, and a new Viper was launched in 2008. SRT-10 arrived with a new 8.4L V10 with variable valve timing on the exhaust side. Horsepower was up to an even 600 along with 560 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission was Tremec’s TR-6060 which replaced the T56. Performance was much improved, with 0-60 times reported under 4 seconds. With proper drag radials, the SRT-10 can go faster than 11 seconds in the quarter mile. Production ended on July 1st 2010. Viper was once again on vacation.
The return of the venomous snake started at the 2012 New York Auto Show. Production of an all new Viper began for the 2013 model year, and it was branded the Dodge Viper SRT 10, as part of Chrysler’s Street & Racing Technology brand. The 8.4L V10 was bumped to 640 hp with 600 lb-ft of torque. The Viper GTS made a return as a premium model, with more features than a normal production SRT. Ever tightening fuel economy regulations and slow sales forced the automaker to announce that 2016 would be the final year for production. Viper is going out on top, with an ACR model that dominated Laguna Seca. Top speed is 177, making it the slowest generation due to massive downforce. Five special editions will be offered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the car.
Although going in and out of production a Dodge Viper for sale on dupontregisty.com have remained strong. Resale value overall for Vipers can be up and down based on color and options.
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