You Know You Want To: Dodge Viper GTS

Say what you like about American cars; they've always been able to offer pure, uninhibited drama in automotive form. Noise, looks, and character – they have it all in spades. And none more so than the Dodge Viper.

Bulges, ripples, and slats: it's got 'em all
Bulges, ripples, and slats: it's got 'em all
When the Viper was launched, it became an instant object of desire. Kids' bedrooms in the late 90s were festooned with posters featuring its swooping, almost cartoonish body. That huge, swollen bonnet housed an engine which was the stuff of legend – an eight-litre (eight, no less!) V10 – and tapered back to a tiny cockpit and a wide, kicked-up tail. Along the way, the bodywork bulged and rippled, supposedly with the effort of containing all that muscle, even splitting in places to reveal vents and air dams that fed the monstrous powerplant with air. Gosh.

How the Viper drove was almost irrelevant (despite the fact that it actually drove pretty well). The hook was the look, and of course the unending power and torque - 450hp and 490lb ft to be precise, giving a 0-60mph time of around four seconds. And the noise. Gosh, what a noise. If you haven't already, go and look up some videos of Viper exhaust noises. Done it? Good. You'll know just what we mean, then.

Exposed in all its glory...
Exposed in all its glory...
The Viper wasn't perfect, by any stretch. It was pretty cheaply made, ludicrously expensive to fuel, and of course, the side exit exhaust burned your legs every time you tried to clamber out. But as a flight of fancy; as a pure, hedonistic hit of adrenaline, it was unrivalled. While newer versions – the latest SRT Viper, for example – have continued in the same vein, they have along the way lost some of the raw charm of the original.

So how's about it, then? This one's a great example. As a GTS, it does without the leaky roof and wind noise of the original RT/10 convertible. It's covered just 35,000 miles, and looks from the advert to be in immaculate nick. The silver over black colour combo is a tad dull compared to the loud, proud reds, yellows and blues that were available – but with that styling, it's not really an issue. There's no mention of history, but then the ad is pretty sparse, so you'd hope that it's an oversight rather than a shortfall in that department. It's yours for £34,995 – or, less than the price of a new Cayman. And as incredible a car as that is, if it's drama you're looking for, the Viper's the one.

Why you should: It's a cartoon character's car made flesh
Why you shouldn't: It's thirsty, and not particularly well-made

See the original ad here

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (291) Join the discussion on the forum

  • fatboy18 27 Feb 2013

    neilsfishing said:
    my 1st

    5 years lovled it

    And now what a pair

    Coor, Come on, More pics of the GT2 Please and don't forget to stick one in here too

  • 99GTS 27 Feb 2013

    neilsfishing said:
    my 1st

    5 years lovled it

    And now what a pair

    It's a shame you have to have those plates on the front.Most people [ including the popo ,haha] would only see your rear end anyhow, in case they want to write your plate numbers down,doing something silly.
    I carry my front plates in the trunk [ boot]. Haven't got pulled over for no front plates yet.Hope I didn't just jinxed myself saying it.
    Awesome cars, friend got the same black ACR as yours.

  • swerni 27 Feb 2013

    BlackPrince said:
    swerni said:
    I assume you don't use your Lexus on B roads, being 5" longer than the Viper it's clearly far too big to be usable in this country wink
    Haha mate all our B roads are just wide straight roads! At least where I live
    Well never bring it to the UK, it'll get wedged between the drystone walls.
    They still deliver groceries by pushbike, just in case wink

  • neilsfishing 27 Feb 2013

    my 1st

    5 years lovled it

    And now what a pair

  • BlackPrince 26 Feb 2013

    dvs_dave said:
    Shhh....don't let cold hard fact get in the way. wink
    Not sure if you realize that I dont live in the UK? And yes I found the Viper harder to see out of than the RX...I fail to see the issue here...

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