The Dodge Viper really needs no introduction. Over-the-top since day one, Americas most dramatic sports car has always been about excess and performance above all else. Always special, a handful of limited edition models have been introduced, creating a sub-species of Viper that distills all that is great about these cars into something unique. In 2004, Dodge introduced the Viper Mamba edition, a limited run of just 200 specially built Vipers that stand apart from the rest by virtue of a unique paint and interior combination unavailable anywhere else. Documented and identified by a special plaque on the console, these cars represent late model investment-grade performance that may never be duplicated again.
Showing just 7724 original miles, Mamba #182 is a rare, virtually new car that has been driven about 1100 miles a year. The white paint is unique to the Mamba, and while it isn't as flashy as red, the unique look of an all-white Viper has its own appeal kind of like the white Bengal tigers. Somehow it's much cooler than what you usually see. The finish is, of course, virtually unblemished thanks to expert care since it was new and there's not much chance this one has ever seen the rain. Like most Vipers, this one has been a carefully tended toy rather than a daily driver or even a track weapon, and as a result, it has led a very easy life. Fit and finish are exceptionally good, as the Vipers were definitely halo products and Chrysler felt they had something to prove to the rest of the world, so these are very well built cars. The convertible top is easy to use, folding neatly behind the seats and stowing under a hard boot that creates a seamless appearance. And I don't care who you are, when you see this car roaring down the street, you know you're in the presence of something special.
Even more outrageous than the swoopy bodywork is the 8.3 liter V10 under the hood, which cranks out 505 horsepower and 525 pounds of torque, making the Viper the undisputed king of the hill. Modified with only a K&N air filter, this V10 cranks to life easily and runs like it should. Notoriously over-engineered, it's virtually impossible to hurt a Viper engine, and guys have put insane levels of boost through engines with stock bottom-ends and report no difficulties, so you know they're built for combat. They're also built for show, because Viper engineers knew people would want to see the world's biggest production car engine. With red valve covers and brushed aluminum Viper graphics, a gorgeous and exotic-looking intake manifold, and a massive air intake, it looks like it would be right at home under the hood of a half-million-dollar exotic from Italy instead of a heavyweight brawler from Detroit. All the original systems are intact, the original hoses and wires remain, and there's no sign of dirt, neglect, or leakage. And why would there be? These engines were designed and built to the same standards as any other production car engine, and suffer from none of the temperamental idiosyncrasies of some imported exotics with which it competes.
The only transmission you could get in the Viper is a 6-speed manual, and in first or second gear, the big V10 makes so much torque that even half throttle will turn the big 19-inch tires to smoke. In back, a limited slip differential valiantly tries to plant the power, but with this much torque on tap, it's a losing battle. The suspension is, of course, fully independent at all four corners, with sophisticated double wishbones that help the Viper generate some truly astounding skidpad numbers. Brakes are massive discs all around, and the second generation Vipers now sport full ABS that makes the most of the cars impressive grip. Pound on the brakes, hammer the car around the track, they're more than up to the task of reeling in the engines 505 horses lap after lap. No longer is the Viper a mindless brute, but instead a highly capable sports car that merely needs a driver with a lot of courage to find its limits. Helping to create those insanely high limits are beautiful chrome forged alloy wheels, 18s up front and 19s in back wearing 275/35/18 and 345/30/19 Michelin Pilots, respectively.
The big difference in the Mamba edition, aside from the dazzling white paint, is the two-tone black and red interior. The seats are a combination of leather and suede, surely designed to keep you in place during the most spirited driving, and are probably even suitable for track duty. The steering wheel is wrapped in black and red leather, and features a racy airbag cover with the Viper logo in red. The industrial style of the Viper continues on the console, where a bright red shifter ball lives atop the 6-speed and a beautiful aluminum trim ring surrounds the shifter boot. You'll also find the Mamba serial number plaque and an emergency brake handle wrapped in more red leather. White-faced gauges keep an eye on the engine, and the 220 MPH shown on the speedometer is perhaps optimistic, but surely not by much. The vertical row of auxiliary gauges are the coolest arrangement since the 69 Camaro and its console-mounted units, and everything works properly. A/C is standard equipment, of course, and the original AM/FM/CD stereo system is entertaining enough if you can keep your foot off the accelerator long enough to enjoy it. Overhead, the black convertible top fits snugly and seals up tightly, but there's really nothing like the open-air experience in a Viper.
Documents include all the original manuals, service booklets, and warranty information.
The Mamba Edition Viper is unique primarily in its paint and interior, but do you really need to improve a car with 505 horsepower? If you haven't driven a Viper, prepare for a mind-altering experience, because this car accelerates like the experimental rocket sleds they used to strap Air Force pilots to in the 40s. Yet despite its brute power, the car is easy to drive, comfortable, and relatively docile if you can manage to keep your foot out of it. The distinctive Mamba Edition includes all that is great about the Viper, and takes it to the next level with its cool color combination and limited production status. Nobody can say what cars will be collectable in the future, but safe bets are limited production models like this one. Call today!
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