18.01.2021

First Dodge Viper presented

Photo: Car Throttle

On January 7, 1989, at the North American International Auto Show, Dodge introduced the Viper, which then existed only as a concept car. Work on the model began back in 1988, when Chrysler President Bob Lutz asked Tom Gale from Design Center to create a «modernized Shelby Cobra», and in February Gale presented Lutz with a clay model, which he approved. In fact, only the Viper body was taken to the auto show, hastily assembled from metal sheets by Metalcrafters, and only after an enthusiastic reaction from the public, it was decided to start work on the model at full power.

Roy Sjoberg, the head of the design bureau, gathered a team of 85 specialists, but Lee Iacocca did not immediately dare to invest the necessary $ 70 million into the project. The idea of the Dodge Viper was brought to life only in 1991, when the final version received material embodiment, and the first copy rolled off the assembly line. In 2017, after 5 generations, the Dodge Viper was discontinued due to the closure of the Conner Assembly Line in Detroit, Michigan.

Cover: Petrolicious