2018 Shannons Melbourne Late Spring Classic Auction
2000 Dodge Viper RT10 Roadster
This lot is no longer available
Perhaps the closest America has come to building a successor to the legendary Shelby Cobra, the Dodge Viper was a supercar developed by Chrysler with input from Carroll Shelby himself in the late 1980s. The aggressive shape certainly captured something of the Cobra’s brutal beauty – from the side pipes to the huge 17-inch rims, the Viper looked the part when it wowed the public as a concept at the 1989 Detroit Auto Show and little changed from the original prototype to the first production model of 1992. Boasting an all-alloy 8-litre V10 developed by Lamborghini (then owned by Chrysler) under the hood, the Viper could certainly get up and move. A 0 to 60 mph time of 4 seconds and top speed of 165 mph put the Dodge firmly in the big league in terms of outright performance. The Viper wasn’t all brute power though, employing race car technology – the structure was a tubular space frame, with composite body panels, suspension was full independent, with coil springs and wishbones all round and the transmission was a Borg-Warner T56 six-speed manual. Other notable features included electronic direct ignition and sequential multipoint fuel injection, vented, four pot disc brakes and a limited-slip diff. The Series II SR’s Vipers were a significant improvement over Series I SR’s, although the earlier signature exposed side-pipes now exited at the rear. Power and torque increased from 298KW to 336kW & 640Nm to 662 Nm respectively. Series II Vipers also carried improved appointments over the earlier model, such as power windows instead of awkward removable vinyl side curtains, air conditioning, door locks and second-generation air bags as standard equipment. Other improvements included a revised camshaft, stiffer chassis, and major weight savings. A removable factory option double bubble hardtop was now also available. Total production for the Series II RT10 was only 3,626 units over a seven-year period between ’96 & ‘02, making the Series II RT10 the rarer and greatly improved version of the Viper Roadster. Always built in limited numbers, the Dodge Viper is already regarded as a modern classic and looks set to follow the original Cobra’s exalted road to collector car status.