Viper GTS-R GT2

1998 Dodge Viper GTS-R

Offered by Mecum Auctions | Dallas, Texas | September 6, 2012

The second-generation Dodge Viper was introduced in 1996. It was the first time the car could be had in two-door hardtop coupe form. Generation one cars were only available as a roadster. Stylistically, the cars were unlike anything else on the road – especially at their price point.

Chrysler took the Viper racing in 1997. It competed in the FIA Championship in GT2 guise. The Viper won the GT2 Championship in 1997 with the French Oreca team. The team’s colors were white with blue stripes (they would adopt the famous red with white stripes for 2000). Vipers would also win their class at Le Mans in 1998 and a few more GT Championships over the years.

To celebrate and commemorate their 1997 FIA GT2 Championship, Chrysler released a special edition of the Viper road car for 1998. It was called the GTS-R (sometimes referred to as the GT2). They came only in Stone White with twin Viper Blue stripes. The cars had the racing aerodynamic package with the big spoiler out back, BBS-style wheels and some small giveaway graphics. Power was increased by 10 horsepower to 460 over stock in the 8.0-liter V10.

This one has had one owner its whole life and has covered only 3,600 miles. There aren’t too terribly many special edition Vipers that have been built and this is the coolest, most well-known of the handful. And it’s legitimately rare – although there are some imitations out there. If I were to own a Viper, it would be this one (or a Ketchup and Mustard Roadster).

For the complete lot description, click here. And for more from Mecum in Dallas, click here.

Update: Sold $83,000.

Local Car Show Revue – July 2012

I was able to hit up a few local car shows during July (as of this writing July still has more than a week left, so hopefully I can hit up more). Here’s a quick rundown:

July 15 was the date of the British Car show put on by the British Car Club of Greater Cincinnati. The setting was nice but the weather was uncooperative. I had to hand it to some of the owners, embracing the spirit – and weather – of British motoring. I saw a guy in an MGA driving in – sans roof – during a downpour. Many of the cars received impromptu plastic coverings, but some were open to the elements. It was both sad and awesome to see. Sad because you hate to see the interiors of these restored cars get wet – awesome because it means the ones that did get some rain probably also get some regular use. And I’m all about cars being driven regularly – flawless paint isn’t as attractive as paint that shows it is being enjoyed.

Photos are sparse due to the heavy rain and the fact I treat my camera as if it were my child. Here are some highlights:

My favorite of the show came down to two cars, first this Daimler SP250 “Dart.”  This was the first Dart I’ve ever actually seen in person. The side view (below) shows it better, but I had two people tell me how Daimler had the styling so right… until they got to the front. Either way it’s a great looking car with a Chrysler Hemi V8 underhood. It’s also a lot longer than most of its contemporaries.

The other car I loved very much wasn’t even British – it was a Saab Sonett II. Many of these cars simply fell apart over time but this one was glorious. And it had, if I remember correctly, the three-cylinder two-stroke engine.

Some other cars: Jaguar Mark 2 (white), 1959 MG Magnette (black), 1970 Austin America (bluish-green), and a DeLorean DMC-12 (silver, obviously).

Another show was the 2012 edition of Rollin’ on the River (held on July 22). It is a properly big show with cars just rolling in one after the other. Again, I failed to take a plethora of photos (although the weather was brilliant) as I spent the early part of the day watching – and more so listening – to the cars roll in. The afternoon was spent chatting up some of the owners and unfortunately, no one offered to just give me their car.

This show had something for everybody, from customs:

To muscle cars:

And Corvettes:

The two directly above I really liked. One is an obvious “work in progress” and the one with the black wheels looks racy and mean. I love it.

And there were cars for everything in between. My favorites included a super rare Pontiac Trans Am Tojan and a 1912 Ford Model T Town Car. This Viper was perhaps the most exotic supercar there. It was listed and displayed as a 1997 Viper GTS-R. The window sticker didn’t mention an “R” (which was mostly an aero package that would be duplicated in 1998 for the GT2). I’m guessing it was all dealer-added post-sale. But whatever, it’s still fast.

(Don’t worry about this one, once it got a little speed it fired right up).

Ketchup & Mustard Viper

1996 Dodge Viper RT/10 Convertible

Offered by Russo & Steele, Scottsdale, AZ, January 18-22, 2012

This 1996 Dodge Viper is one of 166 Vipers built with red paint and yellow wheels. The McDonald’s look, which I’ve always heard referred to as “Ketchup & Mustard,” is one of the most iconic (perhaps unfortunately so for Viper owners) color combinations of Vipers. First generation RT/10s tend to be shown in red, while the second generation GTS Coupe is always blue with white stripes. Plus, the character “Nick Papagiorgio” (Rusty Griswold) in the movie Vegas Vacation won a Viper with this color scheme – which is perhaps where my affection for it comes from.

The car features the monster 8.0 liter V10 with a slight horsepower increase (for 1996) to 415. The color combination is love-it or hate-it, but it is rare and this particular car was a Canadian model originally (one of 30) but has been imported into the U.S.

No pre-sale estimates were given by Russo & Steele but you can read more about the lot here and find out more about the sale here. I expect a price between $30,000 and $40,000. But the paint scheme is kind of a wildcard.

Update: Sold $39,050.