Dusty Garage Find: 1994 Dodge Viper R/T 10


One of the more interesting aspects of a potential garage or barn find is when the seller seemingly glosses over the fact that the car in question hasn’t been used in some time. In the case of this 1994 Dodge Viper R/T, a desirable early production example of the iconic muscle car, the dust-covered paint isn’t a feature worth mentioning in the listing. The seller does note it has picked up some healthy mileage, recorded as being 52,000, which is far more than we typically see on a car used solely for special occasions or otherwise kept as a collector’s item. The Viper is listed here on craigslist in Bennington, Vermont for $28,000.

I’m a big fan of the earliest Vipers, as they were by far the crudest and rudest version of Mopar’s most iconic muscle car built in the last three decades. Yes, that’s a subjective opinion, but the fact that the Viper was a barely warmed over version of what was slapped together for the car show circuit just warms my heart, as it’s the last time I can remember such a vehicle actually making it into production with nearly all of its exotic features still intact. These cars were known as much for the features it had – three-spoke wheels, snake eyes headlights, an 8.0L V10 engine – as much as for what it lacked, which included a roof, side windows, and actual door handles. You could construct the soft top to provide some weather protection, but it’s not exactly a graceful installation.

The interior was devoid of creature comforts, with no airbags, A/C, or stability control. The Viper came with the three-spoke steering wheel you see here and a stubby gear shifter that left little to the imagination in terms of the driver’s connection to the monstrous engine abutting the firewall. The Viper may have faced some criticisms for how raw it was, but that was how Carroll Shelby wanted it: a spiritual successor to the iconic Cobra, which perhaps set the high watermark for a performance cars that all thrills and no frills. The seller includes one lone picture of the interior, but given how spartan it was, it’s not as if there’s much to see there anyway.

As you can see, the Viper doesn’t spend much time getting polished with a diaper cloth, and that’s OK. Still, the lack of license plates gives me pause, as Vermont is one of the more affordable states to keep a car registered in, so it seems odd the take the plates off of it unless you don’t anticipate the Viper moving for quite some time. It does have new tires, so the owner likely had some expectation of driving it once or twice, and likely enough to justify keeping it registered. Whatever the story is, this desirable Viper RT/10 is an icon, and with above-average miles, it’s a slice of exotica you won’t be afraid to use.


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  1. SMS

    “ it’s a slice of exotica you won’t be afraid to use.”

    Take it you have never driven one of these. Sure scared the heck out of me

    Like 11
  2. qmmq

    Wife and I got one for the day out in Vegas in January 2002. Drove it out to Lake Mead / Hoover Damn. The National Gaurd had check points set up, this was just post 9/11. One of the Gaurdsman said “rip it up bro”, spun my dumb ass around and almost took them out. Good laugh on their part, quite embarrassing on mine. Good memories.

    Like 3
  3. Big_Fun Member

    All these years, I haven’t seen one with the top and side curtains installed.
    Looks like a bad toupee’.

    Like 25
    • Ike Onick

      It gets worse- A British car magazine referred to the top as a “merkin”. An apparently they would blow off the car at high speed.

      Like 6
    • smokeymotors

      Take note this is a REAL roadster NO outside door handles No roll up windows, I own a convertible vette really not a roadster, that top and side curtains were only if you got caught in bad weather, if you could get this for $25k it would be a great deal, future $$$$! there only original once.

      Like 5
  4. Frank Sumatra

    I wonder if it was driven in the winter?

    Like 1
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Man’d have to be a fool….

      Dangerous in the hands of anyone with bravado exceeding skills level. Winter driving one of these beasts, even on dry but cold pavement, makes the task all that more challenging.

      Like 8
    • Mark

      I have a 95 and it’s very dangerous on wet roads so it would be helpless…. The front tires are almost 11″ wide and they catch every grove on the road.

      Like 6
  5. CJinSD

    We’re all now at risk of telling the people that we didn’t buy a Viper for $28,000 at some point in the future.

    Like 25
  6. bobhess bobhess Member

    Twin to this car was on display at the entrance to the garages at the ’91 Indy 500. Couldn’t pull away from it until we had looked at every nook and cranny. Beautiful car to this day… and it goes like stink too!

    Like 7
  7. LamboMan

    My nephew owns a Dodge Neon with badly glazed headlights. Looks like these headlights would fit.
    He might be interested in it for parts.

    Like 1
  8. Dlegeai

    I love that Viper….why? It had just been introduced to the market, wife and I flew to Vegas from Chicago for a weekend “in the fast lane”, won $700 at the $ slot (back then = 700 $1 coins!), convinced wife I should “waste” that play money on renting a Viper I saw on the way from the airport; drove to Mt Charleston and beyond, all day. That ate up all of the winnings but had a blast. It was like (I can only imagine) spending 8 hours with a wild mistress….fun while it lasted but would not marry her….😂

    Like 8
  9. sign guy

    Yes, that top does look like a toupee, but at least it had a function – keeping the dust off the interior.

    Like 3
  10. Howie Mueler

    Looks like a great deal, but maybe not being it was posted 17 days ago.

    Like 1
  11. Robert White

    Dusty old Viper with no plates collecting dust, and taking up a valuable parking spot in a nice clean garage, eh.

    I’d offer $7k tops, and would likely get the car judging by the dust on it alone.

    If I was selling a Viper I’d spit & polish the whole car and roll it out into the sunshine for a Barn Finds photo op.

    The seller will gladly part with the car for $7k IMHO.

    I know sellers & buyers.



    Like 1
  12. angliagt angliagt Member

    Bennington,Vermont,home of Hemmings.

  13. bob carroll

    don ‘t ever pass up a chance to drive or be a passenger in one. un believable.

    Like 1
  14. Beignet atthe Beach

    Had several experiences with these early Vipers: Experience #1:The puddle of antifreeze lurking under it would be due to the cylinder liners MOVING. Attempt the ‘factory” fix 1st…’retorque the heads to new spec’…then when they came BACK, pull the motor, put it in its special , sent-by-team-Viper-shipping-box…wait several weeks…reinstall said WONDERFULLY REWORKED AND BALANCED V-10. Experience #2 Check cracks in the red paint on the clamshell hood. Under warranty, ,dealer body shop ground off 1/4″+ of filler,(those early ones had issues coming out of the molds!), reapply with a filler many Corvette owners have had success with. Failing THAT, if the customer fussed, REPLACE the entire hood! $$$$…all under warranty. Having said that, I STILL recall the BEST 900 miles I’ve ever driven with one of these , tough to live with, but enormously F U N. The sellers car is WELL worth the price of entry , EVEN IF it has “issues”.

    Like 1

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