If you want a used Dodge Viper, you should just buy yourself a Dodge Viper.
The car has a strong, loyal following thanks in part to its storied past, which began with a combination effort between Chrysler and Lamborghini. Yes, it’s true, the Viper’s famous V10 engine has roots with the Raging Bull.
Lamborghini, owned by Chrysler from 1987 to 1993, was charged with modifying Dodge’s iron V10 truck engine into something suitable for a performance roadster. The resulting engine weighed over 700 pounds, but included cast aluminum heads, produced 400 hp and propelled the first generation Viper to 60 miles per hour in 4.0 seconds.
The Viper gained a reputation for being a spartan ride, but also a brute force in performance.
Used Vipers are still on the market, for relatively decent prices, considering new SRT Vipers cost over a hundred thousand dollars. A search for a first-gen 1992 Viper on the CarGurus used listings returned one car listed at just under $34,000.
Plenty of later models are listed as well, with prices generally between $35,000 and $55,000. While those are not prices most people would call affordable for a used car, they are pretty reasonable for a near-exotic car with unmatched personality.
For the people who want a Viper but not the price tag, there is another option.
Browsing through the blog-o-sphere this weekend, I saw a post over at CorvetteBlogger, which featured a Viper for sale for about $11,000. Intrigued, I clicked through and read up on the car, which is actually a C4 Corvette (1984-1989) with a second-generation Viper body adhered to the frame.
The blog post says:
The owner says some original parts were used, including emblems, lights, mirrors, and wheels, and notes that the interior features racing seats, power windows, door poppers, and an Alpine detachable CD player, Kicker Woofers, and a Memphis Belle M Amp.
For that eleven grand you’ll also get a Chevy V8 engine (in need of a tune-up, according to the article) and the unmistakeable looks of a genuine Viper. For those who value looks over performance, this could be a wise buy. For the rest of us, it probably makes more sense to keep saving coins from under the couch cushions to buy the real thing.
If no one would ever know the truth, would you consider buying a knockoff car?