JALOPNIK: At $29,999, Will This 1996 Dodge Viper RT/10 Have You Shouting, Snakes Alive?
The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Viper claims its factory color is one of a kind. Let’s see if its price might make it kind of a deal.
Boise is the capital of Idaho, and the state’s most populous city. It sits in the southwestern region of the state in a swath of communities locally known as the Treasure Valley.
What sort of treasures lie there? Well, one might say yesterday’s 1989 Ford Bronco II was one. At just $1,500 seemed an amazing find. That fact was not lost on the majority fo you, who awarded the trucklet with an overwhelming 95-percent Nice Price win and the nebulous promise that it would yours if you only lived closer.
That Bronco II might be a rare sight on the road these days. After all, the model is antiquated, and it wasn’t really one that generated a ton of preservationists’ ardor either. Still, what if what you really wanted was something that was truly one of a kind?
That’s just what the seller of this 1996 Dodge Viper RT/10 avers in his ad. What makes it one of a kind? Well, it’s that paint. The current owner says that the only factory colors offered on the Viper in ’96 were Stone White, Viper Red, and Viper Black. This car is none of those three. Instead, it’s… well, let’s allow the seller to describe the hue:
This unique color is best described as a dark gray influenced black with very subtle undertones of light grey and purple.
Now I presently have a rather large bruise on my left bicep, the result of some uncomfortable contortions required while wrenching on one of my old cars over the weekend. Upon contemplation of said bruise, I would say he has accurately described its color too.
In addition to the unique color, all the badging has been removed from the car. That’s a plus should you suffer from Ophidiophobia.
Is a non-factory color on an old Viper really that special, even if it actually came that way from the factory? Maybe not, but it is at least interesting, and there’s a lot to like about this Dodge in addition to the funky color.
First off, the car is claimed to have been meticulously maintained over the course of its modest 48,000 mile life. According to the seller, who seems to be at least the car’s second owner, it accumulated those miles in sunny and salt-free California. Originally purchased at a Dodge dealer in Bay Area community of Burlingame, the car is now doing time in Sacramento, the State Capital.
Along with the custom paint also comes some desirable options—A/C and the hardtop among them—and some aftermarket additions. Those include an upgraded stereo, which may prove pretty worthless in a car as uncompromisingly noisy as a Viper. There’s also a GPS system and built-in radar detector. All this work is claimed to have originally cost $10,000, which sound pretty ridiculous if you ask me.
You didn’t ask me, but I’ll be you’d like to ask about this Viper’s mechanical condition. The seller says it ‘runs and drives great,’ and that it has enjoyed the recent addition of a new serpentine belt. That of course, is most appropriate on a car named after a snake. Aftermarket springs (by Dinan?) are about the only non-factory bits in there too.
Overall, the car presents as immaculate in the ad, and there’s seemingly nothing waiting to bite you oat the DMV either as it apparently comes with a clean title.
A quick search of the VIN shows the car having been offered back in 2013 for $34,500. Back then, the car was presented as #309 out of 721 built for ’96, and was claimed to have rolled out of the factory at 10 AM on Monday, December 11th of the prior year.
That’s pretty specific and is the kind of pedantic knowledge that if shared will make you unpopular at parties. The car doesn’t seem to have suffered any degradation in the five years since that last transaction, and in fact presents almost as-new today.
Prices on first generation Vipers have been fairly stagnant of late. Maybe it’s their uncompromising nature. Side curtains and heavy clutches get old fast. However, if you’re willing to put up with the car’s idiosyncrasies then you’ll be rewarded by a driving experience unlike anything this side of a Shelby Cobra or maybe a P51 Mustang.
What would that experience cost? The asking price is $29,999, and while there’s a lot of nines in that number, the leading two is what’s important. That makes this a wild, 8-litre, 415 horsepower monster for about the price of a new Toyota Avalon. Which would you rather have?
What’s your take on this one of one Viper and that $29,999 price? Does that make you want to slither into its seat? Or, does is that price a total pain in the asp?
Article By: Rob Emslie