Dodge Then and Now Viper

Then & Now: 1998 Dodge Viper GTS-R

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Two amazing events happened in September of 1998.The first one was my 15th birthday, and the second was Dodge celebrating their first GT2 championship. To beat everyone else, they used the venomous Viper GTS. It was the first of 5 such victories, and their dominance lasted all the way to 2002.

To celebrate the big win, 100 examples of the GTS were built with GT2 aerodynamic parts and (the 90’s requirement) 18″ BBS wheels. It was the easiest way to buy a street legal race car in ’98, and one of them ended up taking home first place at an obscure race known as LeMans. In fact, the GTS-R was the first American car to win since the Ford GT40, and it cemented the Viper as a national hero.

Much has changed since 1998, but duPont REGISTRY is still your best resource to buy or sell exotic cars. So taking a look back, let’s start with an early example. A 1993 Viper carried a retail price of $50,700. Dealers made fortunes by marking them up because Dodge built them in very limited numbers.

The owner probably made a nice return on this investment. Stories like these coincided with product placements, and the Viper even starred in its own TV series from 1994-96. Imagine a TV show about a crime-fighting car, wait…nevermind. First generation Vipers were so mesmerizing that our hometown wrestling champion Hulk Hogan allowed us to showcase the “Hulkster” for a decade.

I took this car on tour with Motor Trend back in 2012, and it appeared in West Virginia, South Carolina, and a few other stops courtesy of our friends at Exotic Car Transport. Driving a first generation example is pure excitement. You won’t care that it has a tape player, because they don’t have ABS, stability control, or automatic transmissions. You have six gears, ten cylinders, and no windows. Early cars had Eisenglass that snapped into place after you got soaked getting them out of the trunk.

By 1998, the retail price had risen to $66,500, and the final model year was 2017, which sold for just over $90,000. So what does an early Viper go for in 2018? Our loyal fans keep us loaded with nice examples for sale, so as of January 11th we have many to choose from.

One of the best dealers in the midwest has to be North Shore Classics. They only deal in low mileage and numbers matching rides, so they have a 1995 example with 12,300 miles. Rare Emerald Green and with grey interior can be yours for $34,900. The “windows” are still in the bag.

Another rare Viper shade is Yellow, and Kelley Motors of Philadelphia has one that is ripe for the picking.

This is another 1995 car with brown interior and 28,692 miles. Just like all the others, it has been cared for in a meticulous fashion. The tape player is unmolested and the leather looks showroom fresh.

And what would you pay for this one? Only $33,977! Considering the brutal power and unlimited grip, these cars are very undervalued. Thirty grand will get you an amazing car that looks and sounds like nothing else on the road. Click the link below to find the right one for you, and join us next week for another blast from the past.

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