2001 Dodge Viper RT/10

These photos are from the first time I ran into this particular bi-winged serpent. The second time was at Barrett-Jackson, on the other side of town. It wasn’t being auctioned, it was just parked next to a bunch of other Vipers. I can’t really tell you the story on the Wright brothers wing setup, other than to say that I hope it’s functional. According to the driver, it is a 2001 model, which would put it at 450 hp and an easy low-12-second quarter mile, which is pretty respectable for a car that’s more than 10 years old. It would have no problem keeping up with the supercharged LSA V8 found under the hood of the Cadillac CTS-V, though it wouldn’t get nearly the same mileage.

This particular Viper was made during the time that it’s marque was considered to be getting “tamer”, which is to say it had dual front air-bags and ABS. Neither really helped the cars image as anything more than an American powerhouse that would bite back hard if you tried to charm it. Other minor changes included larger wheels and getting rid of those goofy side pipes.

If you can’t tell by the pictures, this car is either a victim of notoriously bad pre-bailout construction, or the victim of a fender bender. The panel gaps are a little off across the board for a car that costs one and a half times as much as a Z06 from it’s era.

You can sidewind around all of the faults though, because look at this bright yellow beast! It’s got an absolutely evil 10 cylinder engine with a displacement larger than any big block from the muscle car heyday, it only comes with a manual transmission, and it wants to spill your blood. It’s Steven King’s Christine with an A831 under the hood. It’s Tanya Harding jacked up on PCP. It’s the car Hulk Hogan’s son didn’t wreck and maim a U.S. Marine in.

It’s a Viper.