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Lot 17
1996 Dodge Viper GTS


Selling on Saturday


• Only 22 actual miles on this as-new GTS
• Factory fresh aluminum V-10 engine pushes 450 HP
• Just two owners from new with all factory documents
• 1 of only 1,166 produced in the first year of GTS availability

This lot is available for online bidding at, and

8.0-liter fuel-injected V-10 engine, 450 HP, six-speed manual transmission, power-assisted rack and pinion steering, double-wishbone front and rear suspension with coil springs over tube shocks, power disc brakes; wheelbase: 96.2”

Chrysler executives saw the need for a performance car in their lineup, and the Chrysler Design Center responded with the Viper prototype for the 1989 North American Auto Show. Designed to emulate Carroll Shelby’s Cobra, the first-gen Vipers were a pure performance vehicle, capable of 415 HP and 165 MPH, but without a lot of creature comforts. Even traction control and anti-lock brakes were not on the horizon. They were, however, certainly a huge image builder, proving that stodgy old Dodge still had a little race fuel in their veins. Originally built for Dodge by SRT, they soon joined regular production and proved to be popular with the motoring press and a valuable sales tool for their dealers.

Gen 2 - or SRII - was introduced in late 1996, and part of that update was the brand-new GTS Coupe body style. Here’s also where the power was upgraded to 450 HP, while the chassis weight was actually reduced by using more aluminum suspension components. That allowed the engineers to add in airbags, air-conditioning, CD sound system, power windows and power locks, and it was as if that old rough performance car was suddenly wearing a brand-new suit and a shiny pair of shoes. The coupe body was stiffer and far more aerodynamic, and even with the new exterior door handles, the 1996 Viper was, at the time, the fastest Dodge ever produced.

Body wise, close examination reveals the new center exit exhaust pipes for a bit less back pressure, and a restyled front end for better aerodynamics at high speeds. The iconic Cobalt Blue paint with the full-length wide white racing stripes is in as-new condition, and certainly reminds us that, despite a few amenities, Cobra-style performance was still in the minds of the Chrysler execs. As the first full year of production of the SRII, many Viper aficionados believe the 1996 Viper to be the ultimate model in the car’s 20-year run. Inside, you’ll certainly enjoy sliding into the driver-oriented cockpit, with the aforementioned air-conditioning and power amenities. The cockpit literally surrounds the driver, and those deep leather bucket seats, along with performance additions like traction control and anti-lock power disc brakes, make this a thoroughly modern race car.

This example was purposely purchased new by a Viper lover and specifically preserved. He would later succumb to the persistence of a good friend and allowed him to acquire it, knowing he would take equal care of this special car. All the usual dealer prepped items are provided here - in fact, the original window sticker is still in place. Mix in 100% of the manuals and warranty packets, and even the original tires in excellent condition, and it’s obvious the kind of care this GTS has received. It’s ready for any major car event, with a highly detailed underside and an exemplary factory-correct engine compartment and, of course, a clean Carfax® and a full complement of the dealer and factory manuals provided with the car when new.

The chance to buy a pristine performance car that hasn’t been ridden hard isn’t easy to find, and this first-year GTS offers it all - solid provenance, expert long-term care, impressive performance, and just 22 actual miles of use. It’s an investment-grade collector car that’ll also go 185 MPH, all in a package that is certain to turn heads on the track or on the street. They say money can’t buy happiness, but this Viper GTS might just be the exception.

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