1995 Dodge Viper RT/10
Super rare example enhanced by U.S tuners Hennessey to 600 Venom spec boasting a claimed 600Bhp from its 8.0 V10 engine - Mega!
That a major US manufacturer could come up with such an exciting concept car was startling enough but Chrysler's decision to put the Viper into production was nothing short of astonishing. Inspired, as its name suggests, by the legendary Cobra, Tom Gale's design study made its motor show debut in 1989 following discussions between Chrysler boss Bob Lutz and Cobra-creator Carroll Shelby; its appearance triggering an avalanche of deposit cheques from a sea of excited power hungry Yanks.
Without doubt, a large part of the Viper's appeal stems from its unique selling point: a massively powerful 8 litre, V10 engine born out of Dodges requirement for a larger unit to power their popular Ram pick-up truck. Despite being relatively 'low-tech', the Lamborghini-developed pushrod V10 churned out 400/450bhp and a brutal 450lbs/ft of torque giving ferocious performance (think of it like a TVR on steroids) driving the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, into a 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 165mph for the Targa top model.
Underneath, we find no driver aids and little else bar the multi-tubular spaceframe chassis endowed with all-round independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes residing beneath the svelte fibre glass bodywork covering its enormous 17inch 335 section rear tyres.
This example of the earlier RT/10 version (the slightly more refined GTS coupe came in 1996) dates from 1995 and was imported to the UK in 2007. Its previous Wiltshire owner sadly died in 2009 and the car was offered for sale following 4 years dry storage post-mortem.
Prior to sale at that time, we gather the clutch was replaced (taken from previous sales information in 2013, but not formally invoiced). The history file does however include the V5C showing 5 former keepers to the current of 6 years, current MOT valid until June 2022 with no advisories recorded and 4 old MOTs which shows the car to have covered only c.1,000 miles per annum since 2013 to its current indicated total of 67,030 proving that these really can be usable monsters clocking up c.13,000 miles since its first MOT in 2007.
This particular example looks to have been breathed on in the States by Hennessey Performance of Houston, Texas, and proudly wears their plaque inside the snug cockpit suggesting the car to have been tuned to ‘Venom 600’ spec Serial No. 019 suggesting the car to put out 600Bhp.
We understand the Viper has Koni suspension, carbon fibre interior trim, removable slot-in side windows, removable Targa roof panel (this is a stock feature of the RT/10 model), side exit exhausts (its LOUD) which was also stock up to 1996/7, non-standard air intake, Venom 600 branded rocker covers.
The Venom 600 spec will no doubt include other enhancements to get the power up from the stock 400/450 to the quoted 600 but there is no supporting documentation on file to clarify exactly what this includes but a look online at the Hennessey website reveals the enhancements usually include freer flowing air intake, heads, exhaust and uprated cams as part of the Venom 600 package.
We also note from previous sales information and from looking closely at the car it had a colour change from its original yellow to black and then back to yellow at some time although this is not reported on it Experian history. The yellow leather interior has also had some restorative work and looks an exciting place to be with an awful lot of power under your right foot, these are big, wide, fast, noisy and imposing cars but ones that will leave you grinning from ear to ear when you get it ‘just right’.
A rare opportunity to purchase a proper 1990's supercar.
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