Look, everyone always knew the Dodge Viper was totally, accurately, definitely, completely wicked awesome, and mostly everyone always liked it. Usually. But now, apparently, the hair-raising Dodge Viper has become the cure for 2020.
According to Hagerty, a succession of record-setting first-gen Dodge Viper sales in the last three months have set new benchmark values for the American supercar after a long period of quizzical suppression. Perhaps it’s all being driven by online outlets that have naturally grown in popularity since the pandemic pulled the plug on most non-essential activities.
The latest of the three sales is this (pictured) early-build Viper with just 950-miles, sold on Bring a Trailer earlier this month for $115,000, which leaped the previous record by some 50 percent. Truthfully, the expectation had been building ever since Lee Iacocca’s Dodge Viper—the first-ever produced—hauled in $285,500 at Bonhams’ Scottsdale back in January.
Hagerty says its own insurance data backs the bulging valuations, as more and more of these cars are being valued between $75,000 and $100,000. Perhaps an old Dodge Viper is a safer investment than Bitcoin, all things considered.
Excluding the legendary connection to Iaccoca, old Vipers have always been suspiciously cheap, with minimal regard being paid to them by most collectors, even though they’re fast, hot, and low-production. Moreover, the Viper boasts an absurdly successful racing pedigree that for some reason always gets forgotten; it took home class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998, 1999, and in 2000, while also taking home the ALMS championship in both 1999 and in 2000. Perhaps more impressively, the Viper would win overall at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in 1999, 2001 and 2002, the 24 Hours of Spa in 2001 and 2002, and the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000. The Dodge Viper also had five FIA GT championships to its name between 1997-2002.
Plus, Caroll Shelby was an advisor during the Viper’s development. Which was overseen by Bob Lutz.
Yet, until 2020, values for first-year Vipers range from less than $25K for a fixer-upper to $75K for a Concours-ready example. The car’s sold new in 1992 for about $55,000, or roughly $100K in today’s dollars.
In October, a never-titled ‘92 Viper still on MSO with 72 miles clocked was sold for $80,101 on eBay. Then, in November, BJ Motors listed an 83-mile car on eBay for $94,995, and the sale allegedly closed at quite close to asking. Then came December, in which the car crested the magic six-figure mark for the second time in 2020.
There is a clear trend that threads through this recent rise in valuations, and it’s the relative newness and low-mile status of the cars up for grabs. Modern classics like the Dodge Viper are popular with younger, online-affirmative collectors, and will only continue to rise in value. Especially since a Viper comeback appears unlikely anytime soon.
So, get one now if you want one…
– Michael Accardi