When a 1991 Dodge Viper SR1 rolls onto the auction block or pulls up at your local classic car meet, it rolls a little lower and louder than other muscle cars on the lot. Its long, curvaceous lines harken back to the roadsters of the 1920s and, that beastly V10 engine sounds like one, too. What else makes this collector car so special?

Why Did Dodge Even Dream of a 10-Cylinder Engine?

The early 90s was a curious time for performance vehicles and sales in the showroom. The few remaining muscle car badges of the 70s were getting smaller while performance dwindled. In 1988, Chrysler execs Tom Gale and Robert Lutz wanted to build a car that brought back the horsepower and excitement associated with Ford’s Shelby Cobra. It needed to be built from the ground up as a track-ready ride and to house an engine unlike anything else on the market. The Viper concept was born.

The Specs that Made the 1991 Dodge Viper SR1 Turn Heads

The huge eight-litre engine housed 10 cylinders in a V configuration. Each cylinder featured a 101.6 mm bore and 98.6 mm piston stroke. Naturally aspirated, it produced an earth-shattering 406 horsepower and 462 lb-ft. of torque. With a six-speed manual gearbox, double-wishbone front and coil-spring rear suspension, its light steel tube frame clung to every twist in the road.

Even with its unusually long nose, the open-top two-seater measured just 444.5 cm long and 192 cm wide–which placed it below the full-sized car market and slipped sweetly in among other sports car roadsters and coupes.

Performance that Brought Home Trophies

As a pace car, this unique vehicle took its first public bow at the 1991 Indianapolis 500. The early pre-production model was capable of racing from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. When you mashed the pedal, it easily attained top speeds of around 165 mph.

A 22-gallon gas tank hid underneath–which you needed as it could only produce 12 mpg in the city but managed a reasonable 20 mph highway.

But this beast was never meant as a commuter car. It was born to race. The second generation of the Dodge Viper took to the track as the Viper GTS in 1995 and ran under the Chrysler and Dodge badge worldwide. Of the 262 races it entered in the GT2 class of the Grand Touring Series, it won 163 times, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 24 Hours of Daytona.

An Interior that Only a Mother Could Love

If you think you will spend hours cruising along the St. Lawrence Route in opulent comfort while piloting the 1991 Dodge Viper SR1, think again.

It has no glass side windows. Zippered vinyl windows meet the minimum for government regulations but don’t help with the view. The door has no outer handle or key lock. You need to reach in to release the door latch and slide down into the leather-surface bucket seat. At least the seat does slide back and forth. Oh, and you want to block out the wind? Again, a few manual clips secure the canvas roof in place. The hardtop came later as an option.

Your instrument cluster stands out in white against the plain grey dashboard with a pebbled texture finish. Your feet have to slide over to the left, as the beastly engine left no room for feet in the centre. Yes, the showroom model featured a stereo, but who can hear it over the roar of the engine? They didn’t include airbags or air conditioning.

Drivers would complain of burning the legs on the driver door rocker panel due to poor positioning of the muffler.

But you could buy an adjustable suspension system which is further proof that Dodge never meant for you to take this roadster on holiday.

How Much Does a 1991 Dodge Viper SR1 Sell for Today?

When the car launched in 1992, it sported a sticker price of $55,000. As one of the most popular classic cars today, a mint ’92 Viper with a pedigree can earn an auction price of up to $400,000. If the collector car saw plenty of action on the highways, you can score one in the mid-$30,000 range.

If you are adding this classic car to your collection, don’t forget to ring us up at Wayfarer Insurance for a quick quote to properly protect your new baby.

Spread the love and share this post!

    Get A Quote


    What are you looking to insure?

     

    What are you looking to insure?

     

      Get A Quote

        Get A Quote

          Get A Quote

            Get A Quote

              Get A Quote

                Get A Quote

                  Get A Quote

                    Get A Quote

                      Get A Quote

                        Get A Quote

                          Get A Quote

                            Get A Quote

                              Get A Quote

                                Get A Quote

                                  Get A Quote

                                    Get A Quote

                                      Get A Quote

                                        Get A Quote

                                          Get A Quote

                                            Get A Quote

                                              Get A Quote

                                                Get A Quote

                                                  Get A Quote

                                                  [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

                                                    Get A Quote

                                                      Get A Quote

                                                        Get A Quote

                                                          Get A Quote