July 2019 Update – this Viper has been sold. Please keep checking our website for other examples we feature for sale.
No exterior door handles, roll up windows, air conditioning, air bags, or anti-lock brakes. Side exhaust pipes that could burn passenger’s legs. These are the adjectives used to describe many British sports cars from the 1950s, not a new Dodge for model year 1991. The original Viper is one of the last hairy analog cars for these reasons. We found this 1994 Dodge Viper RT/10 with a limited description where the owner simply states, “it’s too much power for this 75 year old man!” You can get the deets here on Craigslist in Asbury, New Jersey where the private seller is currently asking $29,900 or best offer for his Viper Red over gray leather beast. Using the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool as a guide, the seller has his Viper priced between the #2 “Excellent” and #3 “Good” levels. In the late 80’s Chrysler was on roll after successfully recovering from near bankruptcy at the beginning of the decade. Adding to that newfound success, Chrysler’s Product Manager Bob Lutz commissioned a show car that would be a modern interpretation of the Cobra. Lutz intended the original Viper to be a performance sports car. The V10 Powered Viper Concept first appeared at the January 1989 North American Auto Show. Dodge received such overwhelming positive response (including reports of customers trying to place deposits at the local dealerships) the company formed “Team Viper” with just 85 engineers in March 1989. This team had its first pre-production prototype ready for testing by February the following year. Another pre-production car paced the 1991 Indy 500 before the Viper RT/10 entered production in January 1992.
Chrysler owned Lamborghini by that point and they were tasked with designing the aluminum-alloy 8.0 Liter (466 cu in) V10 engine based on Mopar’s existing LA V8 engine architecture. The new engine produced 466 horsepower at 4,600 RPM and 465 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. The mill in this example appears to be well maintained and nicely detailed.
The private seller does not provide much of a description other than he believes his Viper is in “excellent condition” and also comes with the original set of wheels and tires. Another nice feature he does not elaborate on is the aftermarket fiberglass hardtop that provides a small amount of civility over the original soft cloth “Toupe Top” which we hope also comes with car. With just under 44,000 original miles its no surprise the body looks straight and what is likely the original paint appears to be in excellent condition. We like the look of the chrome rims currently on this Viper versus the thick three spoke gray units that originally came with the car. You’ll have to ask the seller about who, how, and when the twin black stripes were added to his car.
The gray leather interior was the only color available on these early models. The seats present well; the only thing we notice is the detached lower speaker grill between the front seats that will need to be addressed.
We have a feeling this might be one of those Craigslist ads that could be a hidden gem. Give the private seller a call and we’re hopeful it turns out he’s the original owner with more documentation and the complete history than he’s revealed on the ad. If you decide to buy this beast, treat it with A LOT of respect as this is one snake that will bite you if you’re not careful! Good luck with the purchase!
Coincidentally, shortly after completing the writing of this post we noticed Tyler Hoovie posted a one year update of his Dodge Viper on his YouTube Channel Hoovie’s Garage. He states on the video that adding a $1,300 set of Michelin Pilot Sport tires tamed his Viper by providing increased grip in all situations.