At $26,777, Would You Give This 1995 Dodge Viper RT/10 The Credit It Deserves?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The dealer selling today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Viper claims that not even your bad credit could keep you from driving it home today! Let’s figure out what all that might really cost you.

There will come a day, not too far in the future mind you when the only people still driving diesel-engine cars will be seen as outliers and oddballs. Until that day comes, there are still cars like yesterday’s 2014 VW Golf TDI which, when it comes to fuel-efficient and reasonably comfortable getting around, would likely be hard to beat. Unfortunately for the dealer proffering it, an ambitious $15,999 asking price was eminently beatable, in fact dropping in our all-important voting in a 78 percent loss.

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I’d like you to think for a minute about that Golf’s postural opposite—Peary to its Amundsen as it were. I’d imagine that for every aspect of that VW’s space efficiency, economy, modernity, and guarantee of repairs there’s a car lacking each and every one of those elements. I’d imagine that such a car would have its own unique perquisites; aspects such as style, power, and a sense of use that’s more visceral than computer-generated. In fact, I’d imagine that you were thinking about something along the lines of this 1995 Dodge Viper RT/10.

The first-generation Viper is entering a phase of its life where fewer and fewer people are willing to live with its inherent vices and demands. Much like the fortunes faced by the de Tomaso Pantera twenty years back, that lack of a mass-market cheering section has been driving down prices.

This orange over biscuit edition is priced for the masses—even being offered with no credit/bad credit financing just like an old Kia Rio. We’ll get to that price tag in a minute, but first a little more about the car.

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On paper, the Viper may not seem like all that much car for whatever money is being asked for it. There’s only two seats, no roll-up windows, no airbags or ABS, and the thing gets like 8 miles to the gallon should you be unfortunate enough to get stuck in traffic. On the flip side, these are also a hoot and a half to drive and will kill you should your talent not keep up with its capabilities.

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Much of the Viper’s fun-factor is derived from the 400 horsepower 8-litre V10 menacing from under the long clamshell hood. That all-aluminum mill also cranks out 465 ft-lbs of torque and those can be had at a mere toe’s depth of the throttle. A five-speed Tremec T56 backs that up and is operated through a fairly heavy clutch pedal making everyday leg day in a Viper. This is all wrapped up in a 3,490-pound package.

This package is dressed in a non-factory orange, a hue that looks like it may have come from the Dodge Stealth catalog of colors. According to the VIN, it was originally black. The paint seems to be a good fit for the car and does appear to have been decently applied. All badging and nameplates are present and accounted for as well.

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The wheels are another aftermarket addition and in this case, look a little less successful in my eye. Two-piece five-spoke alloys, they are wrapped in extremely short cross-section tires that look like they might still have some life left in them despite the Viper’s penchant for rubber erasure.

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The interior is stock with the singular exception of a later store-bought stereo. That looks to have a removable faceplate, which may be a safe choice if you park your wide-open Viper in bad neighborhoods. Everything else here is in decent shape, with some notable crazing in the leather on the driver’s seat and an askew Viper logo on the steering wheel center as the only call-outs. Hard side curtains seem to come with the car, however, the presence of a top goes unmentioned in the ad.

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If you’ve never opened or closed the hood on a first-gen Viper then I suggest looking up a YouTube tutorial before you do so. There’s a particular process to manipulating the oddly fragile hunk of plastic and should you miss-handle it you can face a very expensive repair bill. Once you get the hang of it on this one, however, you’ll discover a reasonably clean engine bay notable only by the aftermarket cone filters on the dual air intakes.

The dealer describes the 57,000-mile Viper’s condition as excellent, and as you might expect is selling it with a clear title. There’s no other info in the ad about the car itself, although should you be interested in what kind of buyers the dealer is willing to work with, they’ve got you covered.

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Okay, we’ve seen the car, we know we can get it financed no matter how many bankruptcies we’ve had—what exactly would we be financing? The asking price on this Viper is $26,777. That’s a chunk of change below what decent editions of these cars went for just a couple of years back and is good evidence of the overall softening of the used exotic and classic car markets.

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As I noted, these early Vipers demand special treatment, and not that many people are interested in dealing with a drama queen living in their garage. That makes it all the more affordable for those who do. The question for you is whether or not this Viper can claim $26,777 worth of drama.

You decide!

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San Francisco Bay Area Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.