When the original Dodge Viper came onto the scene in the early 1990s, Chrysler wasn’t shy about their inspiration for the car. Designed as a modern take on the legendary Shelby Cobra, the V10-powered sports car was deemed the icon’s true successor by none other than Carroll Shelby himself. And while his own health troubles kept him from playing a role in the Viper’s development, Carroll would eventually get his chance to make the sports car his own. This particular Dodge Shelby Viper GTS/CS prototype is one of the few cars that Shelby modified in the late 1990s, and is the only Shelby Dodge Viper coupe in existence. Now thanks to the folks at Mecum, you have a chance to make it yours.
This 1997 Shelby Dodge Viper GTS/CS prototype is part of a planned run of 50 cars, split between 25 roadsters and 25 coupes. Dodge and Shelby reportedly made it through 18 roadsters before Carroll was hospitalized due to his declining health, and production ceased there. This coupe is the only hardtop example that the automotive titan finished before that time, making it a genuine 1-of-1 vehicle. The car has only had one owner during its life, who hopes to part with it at Mecum’s Kissimmee Auction from January 7th-16th.
Modifications to this Dodge Viper include an upgraded intake, exhaust system, and engine remapping, which bumps power up to an even 500 horsepower. The rear end has also been geared differently, now featuring a 3.73:1 ratio. Visual tweaks include custom fender vents, unique wheels, and a gold badging and stripe package. Inside you’ll find a set of racing harnesses, as well as Carroll Shelby’s signature throughout.
Even though the Dodge Viper left production long ago, fans of the sports car are among the most hardcore out there. This example is particularly special, and will give its next owner some cars and coffee bragging rights. Mecum expects this 1997 Shelby Dodge Viper GTS/CS to sell for between $200,000 and $225,000, which isn’t terrible for a piece of American automotive history.