The Dodge Viper was conceived as a modern Cobra by Chrysler’s Advanced Design Studios in 1988 and realised by 85 “Team Viper” engineers hand picked by Chief Engineer Roy Sjoberg ready the first deliveries in 1992.
The brutal aesthetics are matched by a few agricultural underpinnings including a pushrod operated 2 valve per cylinder motor originally designed for the Dodge Dakota Pick up as were the tie rod ends and parts of the front wheel hubs.
For 1996 the RT/10, like the model seen here at Summer Classics Easter Compton, was revised which resulted in a lighter car with a stiffer chassis and more powerful motor.
Viper engine blocks aluminium cast versions of the cast iron Dodge Dakota blocks, with the castings originally being done by Lamborghini a Chrysler subsidiary at the time. In Phase II RT/10 form seen here the V10 produced 415 hp from its 7,998 cc / 488 cui.
The RT/10 is intended to be a garaged vehicle originally these cars are supplied with a roof, side screens and instructional video on how it all fitted together.
Vipers exported to Europe like the example seen here are sold under the Chrysler brand, but do not appear to differ in any other way than their Dodge branded siblings for the US domestic market.
Capable of reaching a 119 mph in a quarter mile run and with a top speed of over 180 mph the Viper’s only week spot has been it’s brakes even after ABS became available in 2001.
Second generation Phase II Vipers were replaced by the third generation ZB series in 2003.
Thanks for joining me on this “Lighter Stiffer Faster” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !