The Very First Dodge Viper Ever Built Is Headed to Auction

It was formerly owned by automotive industry icon Lee Iacocca.

byChris Tsui|
Dodge News photo

Heading to Bonhams auction in Scottsdale, Arizona later today, is quite the special piece of automotive history: the very first Dodge Viper ever to roll off an assembly line. Not only does this 1992 Dodge Viper RT/10 bear the unique distinction of wearing VIN 001 but it also got to enjoy life under the care and ownership of the late Lee Iacocca, the auto industry icon famous for bringing the Ford Mustang into the world, saving Chrysler from the brink of bankruptcy, and, most recently, being portrayed by Jon Bernthal in Ford v Ferrari

Iacocca also happened to be the man who introduced the world to the Dodge Viper back at the 1990 Detroit Auto Show—with cameos by Carroll Shelby and Bob Lutz—sharing an anecdote about him letting Shelby snag the very first Cobra built back in the '60s, a mistake he vowed to never make again.

Turns out, Iacocca really did get first dibs on the Viper and going to auction is that very car. With less than 6,500 miles on the odometer and being offered without reserve, Bonhams is expecting it to sell for somewhere between $100,000 and $125,000. Built as a modern interpretation of the aforementioned Shelby Cobra, the Viper RT/10 is powered by an 8.0-liter V-10 making 400 horsepower and connected to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. In Lee's own words: "If this doesn't excite you then check your pulse because you aren't feeling too damn well this morning."


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