Featured: Falling In Love With Dodge’s Limited-Production Legend, The Viper RT/10

Falling In Love With Dodge’s Limited-Production Legend, The Viper RT/10

By Petrolicious Productions
March 11, 2015

Owner and Photographer: Jason Keesee

I guess it all started with Matchbox cars when I was little and just grew from there. While other boys my age were playing with G.I. Joe figures, I was playing with cars in my bedroom. And one car in particular was always at the top of my list.

The Dodge Viper RT/10 was the car that I had on my wall when I was 15, not the exotic Lamborghinis and Ferraris that so many of my friends had. There’s something about the RT/10’s raw and brutal nature that I love. The Viper is one-of-a-kind in looks, and it’s a design that captures the essence of looking fast while standing still. Its complex curves and almost cartoonish appearance really push it over the top. Nothing else looks like it. Nothing.

I remember the first time I ever saw a Viper in person. I was riding my bike down the street and one came roaring over the hill—I instantly locked eyes on the car. As a kid, I remember feeling like it was an actual snake slithering down the road, apart from the thunderous noise coming from its side pipes! As it passed me by I couldn’t take my eyes off it…and I crashed into a mailbox.

The driver saw my embarrassing accident, stopped up the road, and invited me back to his house where he let me sit in the car and, to my surprise, actually took the time to start it up and teach me about it.

Fast forward 16 years and I was able to finally buy my dream car. I searched high and low for years but to find one that wasn’t abused or heavily modified was difficult. I finally came across the one pictured here at a dealer where a collector had traded it in. I purchased it over the phone.

My 1994 Viper RT/10 is different from all the others thanks to its very special prototype hardtop made for me by Autoform’s Steve Dryer, an automotive genius in Michigan. There are only two of these tops in existence and, as a result, my car looks different from just about every other RT/10. To finish its looks, I’ve also fitted custom HRE race wheels. This car is an in-class show winner and has no trouble attracting attention, both good and bad!

In fact, the car sometimes attracts as much negative attention as positive, which surprised me. Sometimes it’s ultra ‘green’-type radicals, and sometimes it’s just people who don’t seem very happy to begin with. It’s worth it, though. I love being on the back roads in my area and thundering through the forest, but it is also pretty awesome to be in the city and watch impressionable kids stare at the car the same way as I did when I was a kid.

About 16 years after I saw that first Viper while riding my bicycle, I looked like the owner of the car that had caused me to plow into the mailbox and who had ignited my own passion for these cars. I invited him to lunch and he accepted. This time, though, we got to enjoy my car.

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3 years ago

What a wonderful example. The first time I was turned on to the Viper was an old commercial for the GTS in blue with white stripes right before a movie back then. I’ve been hooked since. I still can’t decide between a GTS ACR or a newer Cobra kit car. Also small point, this one may have one of two Autoform hard tops, but there are many others that make them.

Jim creybohm
Jim creybohm(@jcreyb)
6 years ago

What a great story, and truly – what a great person to represent the make and model of the car. Not too many would stop to help and then let a young man sit down and play with it. Classy move by him and by you to invite him out to lunch!

Kevin Schugar
Kevin Schugar(@2togo)
6 years ago

I’m six months into my own stewardship of a 1994 RT/10, silver over black. After years of weekend sportbike riding, and having read all the articles about the widowmaker factor, the Viper was on a very short list of what I would enjoy and what I could afford. Spent months looking at and driving Cobra replicas, and was about to pull the trigger when a Viper came up locally. A five minute test drive and I knew I was in trouble.
I work in the auto industry, and pretty routinely get to drive exotics, and I get more questions and comments about the Viper than I do when Im driving a 458, Gallardo etc, etc.
I agree 100\% that the car is VERY polarizing, and I like it even more for that. As my younger brother said when I told him I’d bought it, “If your going to drive a penis car, may as well drive on that looks like a giant hard-on”

Michael Banovsky
Michael Banovsky(@banovsky)
6 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Schugar

Please tell me you have that quote on a T-Shirt that you wear while driving the car… 😀

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo(@fanigbo)
6 years ago

I remember when these cars first came out, I wanted one in the worst way as it reminded me of 1960s Le Mans racers. Over time I lost interest in them until I happened upon one at a used car lot and decided to give it a try. The test drive was slow and very careful as the throttle response scared me silly — the car just felt like it wanted to go berserk every time I as much as thought of stepping on it. If I bought one, it would be the original coupe, I think it is called the Viper GTS, in blue with white stripes.

Halstead Frost
Halstead Frost(@roknzj)
6 years ago

Funny, I could have written this exact article. I just spent a few months searching and found a clean red ’94 RT/10 of my own. Bought it and, last week, drove it 2000 miles home for the perfect way to get to know it. Hope you enjoy yours, I know I’l enjoy mine!

Scott Conger
Scott Conger(@heisenberg)
6 years ago

Viper eh…Very nice Sir…very nice. Red – the only color suitable for that car. Some cars are born to be red and some are born to be black. 🙂

6 years ago
Reply to  Scott Conger

Scott what’s up man!!! Long time no talk, your comment made me laugh, I miss the Grand National too! I need your email address again.

David Corcio
David Corcio(@dmc_twelve)
6 years ago

Congratulations on your awesome car! I too was star struck by this car the first time I saw it as a kid; it was my first dream car too. I would go with my parents to the Cerritos Dodge dealership to take the family Caravan for its regular services, and one day, there it was: a beautiful and fascinating Blue car with whites stripes going down the middle of it. It looked so good! I would love going to the dealership after that, simply to see that car. I was sad when it was sold off. Your car looks extra special too with those nice rims and the cool roof. Congrats once again, and don’t get your leg burned on those exhaust pipes! :p