Cobra Killer: 1995 Dodge Viper RT/10 – SOLD!

Aug 2020 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Sports Car Saturday

August 13 Update:  While we were surprised by how much buzz this Viper generated on both our website and social media, it then meant it would not last for sale long.  The seller just deleted his listing from Craigslist so we’re calling this one “Sold!”

No exterior door handles, roll up windows, air conditioning, air bags, or anti-lock brakes.  Side exhaust pipes that can easily burn you and your passenger’s legs.  These adjectives describe some sports cars from the 1950s, not a new Dodge from the early 1990’s.  The original Viper is one of the last hairy analog cars for these reasons.  We came across this 1995 Dodge Viper RT/10 Craigslist in Nutley, New Jersey where the private seller is currently asking $29,000 or best offer for his Viper Red over gray leather beast.  Using the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool as a guide, the seller had his Viper priced between the #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $33,300 and #3 “Good” estimate of $23,800 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.

Here’s the Motorweek Review of a 1993 model Viper, which is virtually identical to the ’95 model featured here:

Other than the factory wheels receiving what appears to be a coat of flat black paint, since leaving the factory, this example appears to be very clean and stock.  You’ll need to confirm with the seller what kind of documentation comes with the sale as well as confirming the condition of the rudimentary side curtains and “Toupee” top  Like nearly every other first generation Viper you will come across, this one features low mileage as these beasts are not for daily driving.  Vipers with even just 30K such as this RT/10 are considered “High Mileage” examples, so you need to assume this car has been beaten at least a little if not not outright used for track days. Consequently, we highly recommend investing in a pre-purchase inspection (“PPI”) before you take the plunge on this car to minimize your risk of getting snake bit. If everything checks out, including a lack of any prior accident repairs, then we wish you good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Looking to sell my viper, possibly trade it for another newer muscle car, jeep SRT, Escalade, corvette, etc.. anything cool.
Viper is in amazing shape with under 32k miles

Do you have a first-generation Viper story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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