The Dodge Viper was conceived as a futuristic interpretation of a classic American muscle car. During the development stage, it was decided to utilize Lamborghini, then a Chrysler subsidiary, to cast a prototype aluminum V10 engine based on their truck drivetrain and modify it for performance car use. The Viper version of this engine, as opposed to the truck’s V10, included a low profile cross-ram intake with dual throttle-bodies; the compression ratio was raised, and the rods and crank were strengthened. With a curb weight of only 3,339 pounds and a combination of 400 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque on tap, the Viper had a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds and could reach a quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds. These were extremely impressive numbers for the early 1990s, and hold up well even to today’s supercars.
During his time at Chrysler, Carroll Shelby explicitly endorsed the Viper as the spiritual successor to his 427 Cobra from the 1960s. The later 1996 GTS Viper Coupe was heavily influenced by Shelby’s Cobra Daytona coupes and sported a “Shelby Blue” paint color complete with white stripes.
This particular 1994 model is the last car that was track driven by legendary author, architect, artist, commentator and race driver Sam Posey. It is a generous donation by Sam and his wife Ellen. Sam’s son John also won an ice race in this car. Sam has tracked it around Lime Rock, the famous race track with the straight that bears his name.
Manufacturer: Chrysler Corporation
Country of Origin: United States
Drivetrain Configuration: Front mid-engine, rear wheel drive
Engine: Odd firing 8.0 L (488.1 cu in) V10
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Top Speed: 197 mph
Years of Production: 1992-present
Number Produced: First generation (1992-1996) approximately 6,500
Original Cost: $54,500