488ci OHV V10 Engine
Electronic Fuel Injection
400bhp at 4,600rpm
6-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*From the personal collection of Lee Iacocca
*The first Dodge viper produced, 001
*Fewer than 6,500 original miles
*Retained by lee Iacocca from new
*The world's most desirable Dodge Viper
THE DODGE VIPER
Iacocca introduced the viper during a press conference in 1990, proclaiming that it was already a huge success before production had even begun. He invites legendary auto executive Bob Lutz on stage telling him to "build the damn thing" in front of an audience of reporters and photographers.
It's hard to overstate how radical a car the Viper was for Chrysler in the 1990s: Here was a company best known for minivans and front-drive compacts producing an all-out sports car in the classic sense. Iacocca and the team were able to get Cobra mastermind Carroll Shelby on board to help out with the project. The Viper was a true halo car for the brand, leading Chrysler into the 1990s and in a new direction. Bearing a powerful engine, a minimalist, straightforward design, muscular and aggressive styling, and high performance, the Viper was conceived as a historical take on the classic American sports car. The Viper debuted as a concept in January of 1989 and soon found its way onto the production line, with the first customer cars getting delivered in early 1992. From the start, the car was a raw beast, powered by a massive V-10 engine heavily modified by Lamborghini, which at the time was owned by Chrysler. Still as aggressive as ever, the Viper soldiers on today as an unabashed example of how supercars are built in America.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
Bonhams is honored to offer this very special piece of automotive history. This 1992 Dodge Viper is the first example off of the production line, carrying number 001. In addition to being the first examples of Dodge's radical supercar, this car has been under the care of one individual since its birth – the legend himself, Lee Iacocca. At the press conference where Iacocca introduced the car to the world with the help of Carroll Shelby and Bob Lutz, Iacocca stated "back in the 60s old Shelby there and I did something called the Cobra. Shelby took the first one we built, he took it off the line and he told me you get number two and I argued with him and said, I think it's a lousy car – so I passed" He goes on to say "I am not making the same mistake twice!, this one, this one right here is mine!" As he points to the car on stage with Carroll Shelby beside it.
After it's press tour and a short stint in Colorado, the original Viper would spend the next 25 years in California. All services were carried out by Crystal Chrysler of Cathedral City, California. Today, having covered less than 6,500 miles, the car is virtually indistinguishable from when it was on stage being introduced to the world all those years ago. The Dodge Viper is a car that will undoubtedly go down in history as one of Dodges greatest creations. This particular Dodge Viper, 001, Lee Iacoaca's personal car from new, is without a doubt the finest and most desirable Dodge Viper in the world.