It was the late 1980’s, Chrysler had just been bailed out and things weren’t looking so chipper for the American car industry. Apparently this didn’t concern the group too much, however. Bob Lutz wanted something to put Chrysler back on the map and show the world that they could still create some pretty crazy kit if they wanted to. In a world ravaged by Grand Caravan’s and the like, it was time for some late nights and some good old fashioned American muscle. Queue The A-Team theme.
Lutz, in a similar way to Britain’s Trevor Wilkins, didn’t want any pansy aids or focus groups - what even is that? He wanted power and thrills in bucket loads. Lutz met up with the head of design for the period; Tom Gale. The design brief was set, and this is what led to the legendary but terrifying Dodge Viper, like the one here that is a one off.
Inspired by a huge array of the world’s most iconic machines, including the E-Type, and the Shelby Cobra, Gale also drew upon his own experiences at the start of his career where he was on the team who came up with the Plymouth Barracuda and Dodge Challenger. Quite a resume, then.
The recipe was simple: an engine big enough to power an interstate 18 wheeler, no roof, no windows, no electronics, no door handles, no sanity. What they came up with is a car that in this day and age will likely never be recreated, but something that is universally respected world-wide. The Viper RT/10.
At the time Chrysler had quite a few tricks up its sleeve, the biggest being Lamborghini. They sent their iron block 8 liter V10 to Lamborghini and asked them to add some magic to it. They turned it into an all aluminum monster developing 400-horsepower at just 4,600 rpm. 465 lb/ft of torque hit you like a tsunami from just 3600 rpm. If you could tame the snake it would reward you with up to one lateral g of force in corners, a figure that most couldn’t touch in its day.
The vehicle featured here is a 1998 car, featuring an actual roof, so pretty glamorous. This particular car has some pretty cool provenance, however. It was owned by one of Dodge’s executives of yesteryear, and as such was a special order vehicle. This car is actually one of a kind thanks to the Firethorn red paint, along with the special order chrome alloys that are classic Viper. With just 21,000 miles this is clearly the one to have.
To find out more, visit the Motorious classifieds where this Viper is listed for auction.
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