The Dodge Viper was updated in 1996, the first major overhaul since its introduction in 1992. Perhaps the largest update was to the engine, which was now rated at 415 horsepower, a boost of 15 horsepower over the prior years. The T56 six-speed manual transmission with overdrive was unchanged. The original side-mounted exhaust system was replaced with a low restriction rear outlet exhaust. The car now rode on five-spoke forged aluminum wheels and (the first for an American car) Michelin Pilot MXX3 Maximum Speed-Rated tires. They also received a JTEC Powertrain Control Module, OBD II on-board diagnostic system, and a stiffer frame. The suspension received an all-aluminum setup in both the front and rear. The fuel tank size was reduced from 22 gallons to 19 gallons.

The Viper RT/10 came in two forms, a roadster which was priced at $58,600 or the GTS Coupe which sold for $66,000.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2011
GTS Coupe
Chassis Num: 1B3CR65E8TV100317
Sold for $39,050 at 2012 Russo & Steele.
This Dodge Viper is one of 721 examples built in 1996, and one of 166 with the Red/Yellow wheel combination. It is also one of only 30 Canadian built Vipers, possibly the only 'McViper' that is Canadian. The car has metric gauges and was legally imported into the United States.

The car has several extras which include a hard top with stand and soft top. There is a Shelby rear spoiler, glove box signed by Shelby, custom Red/Yellow be Venzano interior, Venzano tire cover in the trunk, air conditioning, 6-speed transmission, and new Pilot Sport Michelin Tires. The V-10 engine offers 415 horsepower and 488 lb-ft of torque.

This car has under 14,400 original miles. In 2012, it was brought to Scottsdale, Arizona where it was offered for sale through the Russo & Steele auction company. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for $39,050 inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2012
GTS Coupe
Chassis Num: 1B3ER69E1TV200634
Sold for $60,500 at 2015 Barrett-Jackson.
This Dodge Viper GTS has just 3,517 original miles. It was in the care of its original owner until purchased by the current owner. Standard features found on the car include bucket seats, fog lights, limited-slip differential, power brakes, tinted glass, 17-inch wheels, tachometer, alloy wheels, driver and passenger front airbags, leather seating, power steering, tilt steering wheel, leather shift knob trim, leather steering wheel trim, air conditioning, intermittent windshield wipers and AM/FM/cassette audio system. Power is from an 8-liter V10 overhead valve 20V engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2015
Conceived as a modern take on the classic American muscle car, the Dodge Viper is a two-seat sports car, possibly the most powerful production car produced by Dodge.

Production for the Viper began in 1992 at the new Mack Assembly in Detroit Michigan. The Mack Avenue Engine Complex was the original production site from 1992 through 1995.

Opening in 1966, the Conner Avenue Assembly was purchased by Chrysler in 1995 for the production of both the Dodge Viper and the Plymouth Prowler. October 1995 the production for the Viper began.

The home of Chysler's production of large-displacement V8 and V10 engines, Mount Road Engine was a Chrysler Corporation Automobile Engine factory in Detroit Michigan. In 2002 the plant was closed as production shifted to the Mack Avenue Engine Complex.

The dream behind the design of the Dodge Viper was directly inspired by Carroll Shelby, one of the automotive indsustry's greatest legends. Building one more ultimate performance car was the vision of the initial designer of the Viper. Far too large and heavy to seriously claim any direct lineage with other compact and lightweigh vehicles such as the ionic AC Cobra, the Viper was an altogether separate design.

Driven as the pace car at the Indianapolis 500, Caroll Shelby had a long career as a driver, owner, team manager, manufacturer, consultant, and visionary before being inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1992. More than a decade later, he has continued to impact the world of racing and automobile design. A master organizer and team leader, his charisma, vision and ability to know the best person for the job developed his ability to produce consistently impressive results.

Initially conceived in late 1987 at Chrysler's Advanced Design Studios, the Viper first apeared as a concept to test public reaction at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 4, 1989.

Receiving enthusiatstic public aclaim as orders began to flow before the show even ended, the 'go' was given and chief engineer Roy Sjoberg was directed to develop it as a production car.

'Team Viper' was organized by Sjoberg with a handpicked group of 85 engineers that began development in March of 1989. Their primary goal was to construct a vehicle that concentrated on performance above all else. Their benchmark: to go from 0 to 100 back to 0 in 15 seconds.

Three years of intensive, often around-the-clock operations were began by Team Viper that stretched from Italy, where the aluminum engine block was perfected -- to the race tracks at Nelson Ledges and Road Atlanta, where they fine-tuned the chassis and powertrain. Working closely with major automotive suppliers to develop unique components for Viper RT/10, team members searched for only what would withstand the tremendous stresses associated with high-performance driving.

The first prototype was tested in December of 1989.

At the time Lamborghini (a Chrysler subsidiary) was asked to adapt their V10 truck engine for sports car use in May. The centerpiece of the car was its engine. The original design was based on the Chryler LA engine, Lamborghini, was designed as a truck engine. Recasting the block and head in aluminum alloy gave the engine a significant power boost as Dodge's cast-iron block V10 was revamped.

Completing the production body in the fall, by December a chassis prototype was running. Originally using a V8 in the test mule, by February 1990, the V10 which was the production car was meant to use was ready.
A more comprehensive design was suggested that would included four valves per cylinder as some felt the pushrod two-valve design may have beens adequate for the truck application but unsuitable for a performance car.
The budget for modification was not approved by Chrysler due to uncertainty regarding Viper's production costs and sales potential.

By May of 1990, official approval was granted from Chrysler chairman, Lee Iacocca. It was one year later that Carroll Shelby piloted a preproduction car as the Indianopolis 500 pace car. First shi pment began in January 1992 as the car was released to reviewers during the debut November 1991.

Initially predetermined to be two things to the corporation, the public version of the Viper was intended as a halo car for Chrysler proving that they were still the most competent at building a low cost vehicle of any type. Within the corporation, the Viper was a production tecnique test to see if the corporation really could develop new methods of manufacture and assembly to lower the cost of a vehicle.

Though 1st generation Vipers were considered by some as a crude 'kit car', Chrysler translated this into a vehicle and production line that became the most sought after assignment in the corporation up to that point.
Typical of American performance car design, the Viper had a front-mounted engine driving rear wheels with a curb weight of 3,280lb(1,488 kg) while lacking many modern driving aids such as traction control or anti-lock brakes. In a straight line performance, the Viper completed a quarter mile in 12.9 seconds and had a maximum speed of 164 mph (264 km/h).

The engine produced 400 hp (298 kW) at 4600 rpm and 450 ft·lbf (610 N·m) of torque at 3600 rpm. Due to the long-gearing allowed by the torquey engine it provided surprising fuel economy at a claimed 21 mpg US (11.2 L/100 km) if driven sedately. The body of the Viper was a tubular steel frame with resin transfer molding (RTM) fiberglass panels.

By 1998, 9,500 Vipers cruised the world's boulevards and racetracks, building a very strong and extremely enthusiastic owner core. Currently there are more than 1,700 members of the Viper Club of America and 27 Viper Clubs throughout the United States.

By Jessica Donaldson

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