1994 Dodge Viper RT/10 With 2,850 Miles!

When the covers came off the Dodge Viper concept car at the 1989 North American International Auto Show, the public’s reaction was far beyond anything that the company had ever envisaged. The concept was being considered as a possible production car, but the response was so strong that Dodge gave the Viper the green light for development. This 1994 Viper RT/10 is a striking looking car, and what makes it extra special is the fact that it has only accumulated 2,850 miles on its odometer during its lifetime. It is now looking for a new home, which means that someone has the opportunity to park a true low-mileage survivor in their driveway. The Viper is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is listed for sale here on eBay. An indication of the level of affection that people feel for the Viper is best reflected by the interest this car has generated. There have been 35 bids submitted up to this point. These have pushed the price along to $35,700. I’m not surprised to learn that the reserve has not been met.

I can’t think of a better color to grace one of these cars than Viper Red. The Viper is a bold car, and it deserves to wear a bold color. With a mere 2,850 genuine miles on the clock, it is no surprise to find the presentation to be close to perfect. The paint shines in the sun, without a single noticeable blemish. The distinctive alloy wheels are free from damage and stains, while the glass is spotless. The owner states that it looks like it has just driven off the showroom floor, and the supplied photos leave me no room to argue this point. The styling of the Viper is very similar in concept to the Corvette but is far more aggressive in appearance. The lack of exterior chrome was an inspired move by Dodge because it meant that there was no “tinsel” to draw your eyes away from the bold body lines. Even the subtle integration of the side exhaust allows the car to achieve a “complete” look.

The Viper wasn’t just about appearance and presence. Dodge decided that they needed their new baby to perform, so worked with Lamborghini to develop the V10 engine that resides under the hood. Based on the Chrysler “LA” V8, this all-aluminum 8.0-liter brute punches out 400hp. In today’s terms, that output might seem to be relatively modest. In 1994, this was enough power to propel the Dodge through the ¼ mile in 12.9 seconds. If you were brave enough to keep your boot buried to the floor, you would eventually find yourself hitting 165mph. Shifting duties in the Viper fall to a 6-speed manual transmission, while proceedings are brought to a halt by enormous 4-wheel disc brakes. With so few miles on the clock, the Viper is anything but worn out. The Michelin tires that the car rolls on are new. However, the original tires have been bagged and are included in the sale. The vehicle underwent a fluid flush and service in late-2019. Since then, the owner has put 1,600 miles on the Viper. What he has found is that it is a classic that still runs and drives perfectly.

The faultless presentation continues inside the Viper. The seats are upholstered in gray leather and show no signs of wear. All of the plastic and carpet is in as-new condition, while the gauges look crisp and clean. Air conditioning was not an option on early Vipers, but this car is fitted with it. Also, you get power windows, power locks, a leather-wrapped wheel, and an AM/FM radio/cassette player. It is interesting to note that the Viper doesn’t come equipped with airbags. Dodge was very conscious of vehicle weight and felt that airbags were an unnecessary luxury at this point. This feature finally appeared in the 1996 Viper GTS.

Growing up in Australia, I had become quite used to the fact that the majority of vehicles Down Under that wore the Dodge badge were commercial in nature. We’re talking about pickups and the unique Dodge Wayfarer ute. There was the occasional dalliance with passenger cars, but these were in the minority. The first time that I saw a Viper, I admit that I was utterly blown away by it. I guess that this means that my reaction was similar to all of those people who saw the original prototype. This wasn’t just a breath of fresh air from Dodge but represented a vehicle that could rightly challenge Chevrolet’s iconic Corvette. Finding an example today with such low mileage is going to be a tough ask. They are about, but they don’t come onto the market that often. When they do, prices generally seem to be somewhere north of $45,000. I suspect that this is about where the reserve has been set for this car. The low mileage does present potential buyers with one conundrum. Part of the car’s inherent value lies in the odometer reading. So, would you drive it and enjoy it as its maker intended, or is this a car that is destined to be a museum piece? I believe that classics like this deserve to be out on the road, but your opinion could be very different from mine. I’ll be interested to hear what our readers think.

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Comments

  1. Stephen Miklos

    This is a great looking Viper for it’s age. I remember seeing this first come out at the New York coliseum auto show. The test vehicle before production was a red Viper with a 360 v8. They were working on the V10. No roof or side windows. You could get side curtains and a cover for the top. Only certain dealerships with high mark.. aka 5 star dealers.. got this car to put on the showroom floor to sell. Of course they bump the list price supply and demand… The early Vipers were animals. What traction?? You floor it and smoke the tires!😄 Never got a chance to drive one. But one day..🙄

    Like 2
    • MOPAR Joe

      My recollection of the first Viper concept which was developed by the Jeep/ Truck engineering team at Chrysler had a v-10 created by taking a 318 engine and adding 2 more cylinders. Never saw or heard of one with a 360. Besides the looks it was The v-10 that made this car so different. Nothing sounded like that original concept vehicle

      Like 1
      • Stephen Miklos

        Hi Mopar Joe. When I was young I worked at a 5 star dealership. I got to know the Chrysler rep real well. He showed me a photo a mule Viper with the hood open with a 360-4 . It was for testing. The 360 what’s modify the bit but it had a stock exhaust manifolds but with the side pipes hooked up. He told me they were going to put headers on it but they wanted to see how the car would run with stock manifolds. This was a long long time ago. 🐻🇺🇸

        Like 1
  2. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    Buy now…because these will hammer for 6figures inside of 10 years from today. And you just know that FCA will bring it ba k someday.

  3. George Louis Member

    If FCA were smart they would bring the car back but it will not happen since they turned the Viper Prowler Assembly Plan in Detroit into a Heritage place. With the low volume they could make a profit and you still need something tospike customer interest to your company. Remember the Copperhead concept car:? FCA could build that with just a 392 Hemi Engine who needs go fast?

    • MOPAR Joe

      Great idea George!

      • George Louis Member

        Glad you like the idea!!!!!

  4. Mark

    I own a 95 Viper and it can be a little unforgiving….it routinely spins the rear tires while traveling 100 mph. These cars sound horrible, I would rather have a hemi in it.

    Like 1
  5. JoeNYWF64

    I don’t think anyone made much money on these things, storing them away – like the last Eldorado convertibles.

    Like 2
  6. MOPAR Joe

    Stephen, interesting info. That was probably a Dodge Dakota chassis in that early mockup.

  7. Beignet at the Beach

    Oh this brings back memories…. The early V-10s would leak coolant, we’d re-torque the heads, and if it still leaked, then we’d send in a BIG box, have the dealer pull the engine, then send it (via airplane!!), to Arrow Engineering in Michigan, they’d pull the steel liners out of the block, knurl em’, then press them back in, then balance and blue print the rascal….Had to replace a couple of Hood-bonnets…to much filler from the iffy molds that were in use in the early run..heat from the engine..lottsa cracks if you USED the car as intended,(WHICH IS WHAT YOU WERE MEANT TO DO!)..A tough car to live with, but when I had one for a weekend, I put over 900 miles on it and never left the county, giving rides to EVERYONE…good Lord what FUN these totally insane rides were/are! …. Never was fan of the exhaust note.. the Pentastar V6 in Twin -Turbo mode used by the Cousins over at Maserati puts out more POWER and DOES make mechanical MUSIC…(and thats before they tag a 80-90 hp electric hybrid torque convert to it)…hmmm?

    • MOPAR Joe

      That brings back memories B at the B. I was the guy who approved payment to Arrow Racing when I ran the warranty payment system at Chrysler.

      • Beignet at the Beach

        Sorry ,I was the T/A that sent you a couple from Virginia & Maryland! The Viper Club in Virginia was a joy to work with and be around. Still have the photo from Chesterfield Dodge with the club meeting there, and the best Lic plate,”2 HUN MPH” on a blue coupe!

        Like 1
  8. George Louis Member

    The actual process was for the dealer to pull the V 10 engine and send it to the Viper Warranty Engine Center in Rochester Hills , Mi. They would tear down the engine make the necessary repairs and then Dyno Test the Engine to ensure it runs per Engineering Specification and then return to dealer for reinstall into vehicle. Information was gathered and reported to Viper Engineering and Mopar Warranty operations for product improvement. I know because I was one of the individuals that devised the program and ensured that the program worked!

    • MOPAR Joe

      Yes you were George. Thanks again for your assistance.
      Joe C

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