In 1988 Bob Lutz, then president of Chrysler Corporation decided the auto maker needed to build an exciting new car. His vision was a modern Shelby Cobra. Lee Iacocca gave him and his team the go ahead, approving a $70million development budget. Code named “Team Viper” 85 engineers from Chrysler’s Advanced Design Studios began work. The body was designed by the team, then produced by Metalcrafters. With chassis and body development under control attention was turned to the power train. At that time Chrysler owned Lamborghini, and the Viper team had the Italian company cast an all new aluminum V-10 engine block based on Chrysler Corp.’s V-8. Prototypes were shown in 1989-1990 to critical acclaim. Delivery began in the first half of 1992, and the car was an immediate hit. Lots of power, a 6 speed manual transmission, no ABS, no A/C, no glass side windows, no roof, and no airbags. The result absolutely hit the conceptual idea of a modern Cobra.
The second generation Viper was introduced for the 1996 model year, and would continue through 2002. Changes from the original included a power increase to 450 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque, the addition of power glass side mirrors, air conditioning, airbags, available fiberglass hardtop, and eventually ABS brakes.
This car, chassis # 101646 represents the final iteration of the original Viper concept. Collectors always say to buy the first year of a model for its rarity and avant-garde qualities. Buy the last year to get the best of the breed. Re-claimed from a 5-year slumber, the SSA team lovingly prepared 101646 to return to form. Now, showing only 15,000 miles this Viper is ready to hit the road once again!