Lot 268 - 1995 Chrysler Viper Venom Roadster
|Odometer reading||65,215 miles|
|Estimate||£23,000 - £28,000|
|Result||Sold - £22,960|
That a major US manufacturer could come up with such an exciting concept car was startling enough but Chrysler's decision to put the Viper into production was nothing short of astonishing. Inspired, as its name suggests, by the legendary Cobra, Tom Gale's design study made its motor show debut in 1989 following discussions between Chrysler boss Bob Lutz and Cobra-creator Carroll Shelby; its appearance triggering an avalanche of deposit cheques. Without doubt, a large part of the Viper's 'back to basics' appeal stems from its unique selling point: a massively powerful eight-litre, V10 engine. The latter had been born out of the requirement for a larger unit to power the Dodge Ram pick-up truck, the prototype being created simply by grafting two extra cylinders on to the Ram's existing 5.9-litre, V8. Despite being relatively 'low-tech', the Lamborghini-developed pushrod V10 churns out 400bhp and a brutal 450lbs/ft of torque at just 3,600rpm, figures which the 3,280lb Viper translates - via a six-speed manual gearbox - into a 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 165mph. Compared with this paragon of power units, the Viper's running gear makes somewhat less interesting reading: a multi-tubular spaceframe chassis endowed with all-round independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes residing beneath the svelte glassfibre bodywork.
This example of the ultimate in open-top motoring incorporates the 'Venom' package of enhancements developed in the USA by Chrysler tuning specialists Hennessey Performance and is reported to have 600+ horsepower on tap. Other noteworthy features include Koni suspension, slot-in windows and clip-on hardtop. Following the previous owner's death in December 2009, the Viper was kept in dry storage before being sold in 2013; at that time it is believed that the clutch was replaced by a specialist in 2009 but unfortunately there is no supporting documentation or history of any kind was available from the deceased's estate. In 2013, the Venom was repainted returning it to its original black, refurbishment of the road wheels, replacement of the power steering rack and pump, and various other works. This most exciting Hennessey Viper Venom roadster, with yellow leather interior and carbon-style dashboard is supplied with a V5C registration document and an MoT test certificate which expires in April 2018. A rare opportunity to purchase a real 1990's supercar.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.