One of the many collector cars that crossed the auction block at WestWorld of Scottsdale in January was a Dodge Viper SRT/10 that, according to the seller, was the only one manufactured for its year in its specific color combination and with the Aero Package. In the video below, Luke Lamendola and I discuss some of the merits of this iconic machine.

Viper Backstory

The Viper is one of the “poster cars” that was an object of desire for car enthusiasts of any age. Like so many other exotic sports cars, it made very little sense from a practicality perspective. It was a two-door, two-seat roadster that was first brought to market in 1992 with a canvas roof, vinyl side windows, minimal driver aids, and no available air conditioning (at least until 1994).

None of that mattered. What mattered, instead, was that the Viper had a 400-horsepower V10 and a 165-mph top speed. It was a supercar built for raw, exhilarating driving experiences.

Horsepower Wars

By the time the second generation, or ZB, Viper came to market in 2003, it had been heavily redesigned by Dodge’s performance division, Street & Racing Technology (SRT). Engineers had taken a “bigger is better” approach when it came to the powertrain, and the engine grew to 8.3-liters with a rating of 500 horsepower. Again in 2008, the size ramped up – this time to 8.4-liters. At 600 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque, it was now playing in the big leagues with the likes of the Eaton-supercharged Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. Just like the heated muscle car wars of the 1960s, automakers were continually battling.

Featured Viper

Offered as Lot Number 972, the Viper SRT/10 was an unmistakable piece of machinery in the Barrett-Jackson salon showcase. According to documentation that accompanied the vehicle, it was a two-owner car with up-to-date maintenance history and garage-kept preservation. Speaking of preservation, the hood, mirrors, and rocker panels were protected with clear paint protection film to keep the car looking fresh. The odometer showed just 28,713 miles, and I guarantee the prior owners wore a perma-grin for each and every mile.

There were a few important changes that happened with the Viper for model year 2008. The former TREMEC T-56 six-speed manual transmission was replaced with a TREMEC TR-6060. The rear end received a ViscoLok limited-slip differential, the exhaust system was reworked, and there were upgrades to the electrical system and fuel system including a 180-amp alternator and a high-capacity filtration system. The enhancements took an already-great platform and made it even better.

“Seeing this Viper in person is a dream come true,” Luke said. “We are super lucky to be here.”

I wholeheartedly agreed! And by the way, the winning bid for the car was $107,800. Perhaps this was someone’s long-term dream car that they were finally able to acquire. We extend our sincere congratulations to that lucky owner! Enjoy your 600-horsepower snake.

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