In terms of sheer audaciousness, there's still nothing on the road that compares to a Dodge Viper. No car developed in the last 40 years has bested its purpose-built goal of being the fastest, most extreme and scariest thing on four wheels. And seeing one on the road, even two decades after their debut, is still a special occasion. This pristine 2002 Final Edition Viper GTS is the car we all wish we had purchased and socked away when it was new. With just 5,605 original miles, it is a literal time capsule that has been garage kept and fanatically maintained by a single owner for the last 10 years. If you're looking for an affordable way to get your hands on a top-notch performance car that will handily dispatch pretty much anything on the road, this Viper is your ticket!
According to the shipping order included with this sale, Viper Final Edition number 88 (of 360) was delivered to Kaiser Brothers Dodge in Muncy, Pennsylvania with the following options:
GNA – Day/night rearview mirror
GRK – Power driver's side mirror
GSK – Power passenger's side mirror
GTK – Power mirrors
GXR - Loose keyless entry
LNJ – Fog lamps
MXA – Front air dam
RBH – Premium Alpine stereo/radio/CD player
TBC – Compact spare tire
WPD – 18 inch polished aluminum wheels
YGE – Five additional gallons of gas
Despite its similar outward appearance to the first generation Viper the Phase II, introduced in 1996, was distinct enough to be considered a whole new model. Extensive modifications included a reworked engine with higher power and less weight, an almost completely redesigned chassis that is 60 pounds lighter and 25% stiffer, a thoroughly redesigned suspension, reduced braking distances and government mandated dual front airbags. This Final Edition Phase II is virtually new and features bright Viper Red paint and Stone White decals which pay tribute to the Oreca cars that dominated Le Mans. Like most Vipers, it has been a carefully tended toy rather than a daily driver or even a track weapon; and as a result, has led a very easy life which included sunny day only driving at mostly interstate level quickness. Fit and finish are exceptionally good with plastic body panels that show no signs of age-related stress, and a glossy, flat finish which does a great job of turning passing reflections into vivid blurs.
Inspired by Pete Brocks classic Shelby Cobra Daytona coupe and sporting one of the most unique shapes ever put on American roads, this 2002 Final Edition Viper looks fantastic from every angle. At the front of the car, a menacing Dodge crosshair grille is centered between a smooth chin spoiler, clear HID headlights and optional halogen fog lights. At the top of that grille, a red snake skin textured Viper emblem leads your eye to the cars functional ram air hood which features heat extractors, a centered air intake for the motor and a passenger's side air intake for the climate control system. Behind the hood, factory glass is bordered by body-matched mirrors, unique B-pillar mounted door handles and a machined fuel filler cap, and topped by a classic 'double bubble' roof. At the sides of the car, aggressively sculpted doors and chip-free fiberglass rockers sit between super wide rear fenders and body-matched “Viper GTS” emblems. And at the back of the car, a curved body-matched rear spoiler is propped above showroom fresh tail lights which include a cool Viper emblem CHMSL, a stylized rear bumper and stainless center exit factory exhaust tips.
The engine under this cars massive clamshell hood needs no introduction. Displacing 8 liters and making a dyno proven 381 horsepower and 410 lb./ft. of torque, this 488 cubic inch beast is one of the most outrageous powerplants ever bolted between the fenders of a production car. Dodge designers knew the big mill would be the cars focal point, so they went out of their way to dress it up with a bright red intake manifold, cast aluminum valve covers with Viper logos and dual throttle bodies. In fact, it's such an impressive piece that I'm really surprised the Mopar guys didn't put a Lexan window in the hood like Team Corvette did for their new ZR1. The engine bay is absolutely immaculate, and aside from aftermarket intake tubes (the originals are included with the car as well) and regularly refreshed fluids, everything is as it was when the car rolled out of the 'snake pit' in Detroit. Have those throttle cables ever stretched to the wide-open position? Has the fan ever had to kick on to cool the engine after a 150 MPH blast? Has the air cleaner ever attempted to swallow a squirrel as the engine inhales almost 1000 cubic feet of air every minute? Unlikely. Rather, this car has probably done some idling, a few passes down the street on the day it came home, but otherwise has abstained from the joy for which it was designed and built. And while that's a shame, nobody can argue that preserving this car for the future was a mistake.
Underneath the car, you'll find a spotless chassis, that's complete with a Borg Warner T56 6-speed manual transmission and an upgraded Dana 44 limited slip differential which was a central part of the 1996 improvements. The frame has been reinforced to improve precision and address concerns about cowl shake, and the cast unequal length double A-arm suspension features revised geometry, updated coil overs and factory sway bars to make the Phase II Viper a little more user-friendly. This new revised suspension, when combined with the stiffer chassis and aerodynamic body, raises this cars lateral grip to 0.98 and allows slalom runs which exceed 70 MPH! At the center of the car, the rear-exit exhaust system I mentioned earlier has been upfitted with high-flow aftermarket cats to provide a much improved roar. And at the corners of the car, four wheel disc brakes, which come standard with a much needed anti-lock system, hang “Viper” branded calipers behind handsome 18 inch chrome wheels and 275/35 front and 335/30 rear Michelin Pilot Sport radials.
Like the cars which inspired it, this Viper features a fresh black interior that places an emphasis on simplicity and performance above all else. The perforated leather bucket seats are so comfortable that Dodge actually licensed their design as an office chair; and the door panels, while simple, feature both a satin finished door handles and trick emergency releases. In front of the seats, a large dash holds clear white-face gauges above an optional Alpine CD player; and between the seats, a satin finished shifter holds Final Edition exclusive red stitched shift knob above a satin finished emergency brake handle and sequentially numbered plaque. Below the seats, Viper logo floor mats protect like-new carpet, and behind the seats, built in storage bins lock to secure small valuables. Connecting the driver to the road is a nice set of factory aluminum foot pedals which hang below a Final Edition exclusive leather wrapped and red-stitched steering wheel. Behind the cockpit, the fully finished trunk is all business with a space-saver spare tire and jack, two large speakers and a factory amplifier.
Documentation included with the sale of this Viper consists of the vehicle shipping order outlined above, the cars original owner's manual, warranty information and sealed VHS tape, chassis dyno sheets from GodSpeed, a Dodge Viper hat, an embroidered duffel bag and a second set of carpeted floor mats.
There can't be many low mileage Final Edition Vipers left in the market. But with the realities of depreciation, no matter how immaculately maintained these cars are, they're selling for extremely reasonable prices. So, this Viper presents two distinct opportunities: You can be a savvy investor, buy low and wait for the market to catch up. Or, you can just seize the opportunity to ink an excellent deal on a car that, even ten years off the showroom floor, is one of the fastest and most exclusive machines on the road.
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