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Which Sports Car Should Be Revived?

Which Sports Car Should Be Revived?

Between 2016 and 2020 the list of supercars will include the Ford GT, the Mercedes-AMG Project One, the Aston Man Valkyrie, and at least one new car from Ferrari. But what are sports cars fans with smaller wallets supposed to do? We have some great cars like the Miata and BMW is bringing a Z4 replacement soon, but so many great cars don’t exist anymore. Especially in the “affordable” range.

So we started talking in the office about what sports cars we want to see revived, and we settled on a pair of classic sports cars and one car that is officially dead, but not out of showrooms yet. The Porsche 944, Honda S2000, and the Dodge Viper are all in our dream garage of dead cars we want to return. Keep reading to find out why!

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An Ode To The Dodge Viper - Episode 1: Video

An Ode To The Dodge Viper - Episode 1: Video

Maybe you’re a fan and maybe you aren’t, but it’s hard to deny that there is something special about the Dodge Viper. Designed with help from Carroll Shelby to be a modern take on the same philosophy that underpinned the original 1963 Shelby Cobra, the car was a serious departure from what was going on in the American automotive industry when it first appeared as a concept in 1989. The changes to the car have been evolutionary, and as minimal as possible over the years, a fact that makes fans of the car incredibly happy.

The Viper has been rewarded with some seriously loyal fans, and the video here has been made for them. This is just an intro though; it teases a whole series of videos that get far more in depth about the history of the Viper and the people involved in all sorts of aspects of it. It does have a bit of an unfortunate corporate training video kind of a feel to it, and to say that at times the sound mixing doesn’t do the exhaust note justice would be a massive understatement. But the subject matter is interesting, and these things presumably won’t be as noticeable in the finished product.

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Dodge Slashes the Viper's Sticker Price by $15,000

Dodge Slashes the Viper’s Sticker Price by $15,000

Although the current-generation Dodge Viper is anything but slow, Chrysler has been struggling to sell its halo car ever since it launched it in late 2012. Viper sales have been so low throughout 2013 and 2014 that Dodge even had to halt production for two months and lay off 91 employees. The Viper’s struggle continues through 2014, with some 600 unsold units on dealer lots, which is why Dodge has decided to knock $15,000 off the sticker price in order to spur sales.

The discount is available for all unsold 2014 model year Vipers and incoming 2015 Vipers, putting their MSRP at $84,995. But the good news doesn’t stop here. In addition to this discount, Dodge is also offering $15,000 coupons to recent gen-five — 2013 to 2014 model year — Viper buyers who want to trade their model in on a 2014 or 2015 Viper. All told, if you own either a 2013 or 2014 Viper, you can essentially purchase a brand-new, updated model for $69,995 after the price cut and trade-in incentive. Quite the bargain, huh?

Cutting $15,000 off the sticker is just one step toward improving Viper sales. The company is also planning to open Viper sales to all Dodge dealers and market the sports car with the rest of the lineup and not as a stand-alone SRT vehicle. More than 2,300 Dodge dealers will be able to sell the 2015 Viper.

Click past the jump to read more about Dodge Viper.

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2015 Dodge Viper SRT

2015 Dodge Viper SRT

The Dodge Viper saga began in 1991, when Chrysler introduced the semi-supercar commonly known as the modern-day Cobra. The production model was based on a concept car showcased in 1989 and carried an 8.0-liter, V-10 engine under its long hood. Sold as a roadster at first, the Viper gained a coupe version in 1996, when the second-gen car was unveiled. Numerous upgrades were implemented until 2010, including a displacement increase to 8.3 liters and an output update to more than 500 horsepower, when the Viper was discontinued after four generations only to return as the SRT Viper in 2013. Heading into 2015, the SRT and Dodge brands have again become one, allowing the Dodge Viper SRT to return.

When the Viper returned under the SRT brand, it arrived with a redesigned body and a slightly larger engine. Enlarged to displace 8.4 liters, the V-10 powerplant delivered 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, a figure that remained unchanged until 2014. Going into 2015, the iconic Viper remains pretty much the same, save for the name change, a five-pony power bump, and various, but minor interior and exterior upgrades.

Updated 07/28/2014: New details on the 2015 Dodge Viper report that the sports car will deliver an additional five horsepower over the 2014 SRT version. The only question is if the 645 horsepower will help boost the very poor sales of the sports car. (Road And Track)

Updated 09/08/2014: Dodge announced that the 2015 Viper will go on sale at a price of $84,995 - which represents a reduction of $15k over the previous year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Viper SRT.

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2014 SRT Viper GTS by Inspired Autosport

2014 SRT Viper GTS by Inspired Autosport

With a whopping 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque at its disposal, and fearsome, American-made looks, the 2014 SRT Viper is one mean and powerful machine. To most, the "Snake" is perfect. To others, albeit not that many, the Viper could still use some improvements. It’s not often we see the near-supercar receive an aftermarket makeover, but companies such as Inspired Autosport are always up for the challenge.

Known for adding a touch of uniqueness to an array of vehicles, ranging from Mercedes-Benz SUVs to Lamborghini supercars, IA added the 2014 SRT Viper to its portfolio. The request came from a customers who did not want to take delivery of the 640-horsepower beast without a few extras inside and out, and thus "Project #Merica" was born.

The base car was none other than the GTS, the top-of-the-line Viper that costs no less than $124,985 before options. Did IA succeed in their mission to enhance a one of America’s coolest sports cars? Read on to find out.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper GTS by Inspired Autosport.

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Chrysler Resumes SRT Viper Production

Chrysler Resumes SRT Viper Production

The Chrysler Group has resumed production of the SRT Viper following a two-month shutdown period due to slow sales. Production at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant was idled on April 14th, with 91 UAW-represented employees being laid off. As of March 1, Chrysler had delivered only 100 Vipers for the year in the United States and Canada and had 756 unsold Vipers in its inventory.

Since then, SRT sold 324 examples of its halo sports car in North America, AutoGuide reports. April was the Viper’s most successful month this year, with 97 units delivered in the United States and 15 sold in Canada. Surprisingly enough, Canadian sales have climbed from 4 vehicles in January to 21 in June, while U.S. sales took a nose dive from 97 units in April to just 36 in June.

There’s no word as to how many SRT Viper will be built per day for the remainder of the year. Last year, production peaked at nine vehicles per day before SRT decided to slow things down and assemble only six units per day.

The 2014 SRT Viper is priced from $102,485 and can fetch more than $124,985 when selected in the range-topping GTS trim. The Viper costs twice as much as the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and will likely be more expensive than the brutal 2015 Corvette Z06.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper.

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Three-Way Shootout: Viper, Vette, and Z/28

Three-Way Shootout: Viper, Vette, and Z/28

Forget what they say, these are the glory days of muscle. Sure, carburetors and glass packs are out, but direct fuel injection, variable-flow exhaust pipes, and computers have revolutionized the way modern street and track fighters do battle. We’ve pitted three of the most purpose-built machines together to see not only which car would win on the track, but which car would be the easiest to live with on a daily basis.

The competitors all hail from the U.S. of A. and sport snarling engines making huge amounts of power, all sent to the rear wheels though a manual transmission. They’re brash and unapologetic, unforgivably fast, and diabolically cool. Though they’ve all got the performance creds, do they have what it takes to impress the missus enough for a purchase to occur?

Our three contenders are the SRT (now back to Dodge) Viper, the Chevrolet Corvette, and the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.

In order for this to be a fair fight, we’ve got to price these cars correctly. Starting with the Viper, its base MSRP is comes in at $102,485 — well over that of the Vette and Z/28 — but considering the hard time Dodge has had selling the sultry snake, there are dealer incentives to be had. According to a few price-checking websites, a 2014 base Viper can be had in the mid $90,000 range.

The Camaro Z/28, on the other hand, starts out at $73,300 — but that’s bare-bones stock without air conditioning. Another $1,150 makes the car livable in the summertime. Its total cost comes to $76,150 after destination and the gas-guzzler tax.

The Vette represents the bargain of the bunch, coming in at $70,985 in its top-line, 3LT trim fitted with the Z51 Performance Package, Magnetic Ride, Performance exhaust, and Competition Sport seats. It may be the highest equipped here, but will its least-powerful engine be able to keep up?

Click past the jump to find out.

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SRT brand dead; All Models Will Be Sold Under Dodge Logo

SRT brand dead; All Models Will Be Sold Under Dodge Logo

There are chunks of big news coming from the Chrysler Group today, as the Detroit giants has outlined a five-year plan that includes major changes across all brands. However, the most important piece of information has SRT in the spotlight, with the performance marque scheduled to die as a standalone brand and become part of Dodge.

Naturally, the first question that surfaces is what will happen with the Viper. Well, Chrysler says we don’t need to worry about it, as its halo sports car will live on under Dodge, with a refresh planned for 2015. So basically the Viper is regaining the badge it was launched with back in 1992. A bit ironic, eh?

As far as the SRT-prepped Challenger muscle car and Charger muscle sedan are concerned, they will be reintegrated into the Dodge lineup as range-topping, performance iterations. And with the new product plan revealed, Dodge has finally confirmed that the two will be redesigned for the 2018 model year.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also announced that former SRT CEO Ralph Gilles will continue to serve as Senior Vice President of Product Design and President and CEO of Motorsports within Dodge.

But that’s not all that’s bound to change at Auburn Hills. The Dart, for instance, will be revised in 2016, followed by the launch of the Dart SRT. Surprisingly enough, the latter will sport a turbocharged engine under the hood and all-wheel drive. The same year will also see the introduction of a brand-new Dodge Journey with a beefed-up SRT version to arrive the next year. What’s more, all-new B-segment sedan and hatchback models, of which we know nothing about, will be unveiled in 2018.

Lastly, Dodge is getting ready to unload two vehicles from its lineup. As expected, the Avenger will get the axed by the end of this year. However, we were surprised to find out that the company will stop producing the Grand Caravan as well. The vehicle that started the whole minivan craze 30 years ago will be phased out in 2016, when the next-generation Chrysler Town and Country rolls off the assembly line.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper.

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2014 SRT Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition Time Attack

2014 SRT Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition Time Attack

Now that Viper production is on temporary halt due to poor sales, it seems that the folks over at Street and Racing Technology (SRT) are spending time developing a new, special edition version of its V-10-powered sports car.

The brand’s newest iteration, which is on display at the New York Auto Show as we speak, brings together two of the meanest SRT Vipers launched throughout the last 12 months. We’re talking about the Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition and the Corvette ZR1-killing Viper TA (short for Time Attack).

Suggestively named Anodized Carbon Special Edition TA, the new model takes the coolest features from the aforementioned versions: a unique-looking body and a track-prepped chassis.

As you might already know, the 2014 SRT Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition features an exclusive grey-like, metallic matte exterior color, satin black exhaust bezels, gloss black badges and a carbon-fiber rear applique. Moving over to the Viper TA, it’s main highlights are a Bilstein Damptronic suspension system tuned for track use, racing stabilizer bars, a carbon-fiber X-brace and high-performance Brembo brakes.

So what happens when you take these machines and build them into one?

Click past the jump to find out more about the SRT Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition TA.

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SRT Viper's Production on Hold for Two Months Due to Poor Sales

SRT Viper’s Production on Hold for Two Months Due to Poor Sales

The SRT Viper’s well-chronicled sales struggles have been well documented in the media these days. While company boss Ralph Giles continues to put on a brave — and maybe even defiant — face, today’s news involving Chrysler’s decision to shut down production of the Viper because of lagging sales is something even Giles doesn’t have any excuse for.

The company made the announcement in a statement, essentially confirming rumors that it was shutting down its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant from April 14th to to June 23rd. That’s two months of the Viper’s production remaining idle, but given how much supply it still has in its inventory — 756 unsold on March 1 — there was no need for the company to keep building more Vipers.

The Viper’s struggles in sales are a little surprising, considering the hype and fanfare the sports car received when it made its return a few years ago. Some people might point to the season as a reason for lagging sales, but even that doesn’t fully explain how the Viper hasn’t been universally lauded the same way as the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

Even with its limited production, wouldn’t consumers be tripping over themselves to get a Viper if it were in such a high demand? The truth its, demand for the sports car isn’t as high as SRT would’ve hoped.

We are starting to wonder if this lack of interest may result in a very short lifespan for the new SRT Viper... Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper.

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Fans Want a Subaru BRZ Competitor; But Will SRT Actually Build It?

Fans Want a Subaru BRZ Competitor; But Will SRT Actually Build It?

2007dodge demon

Note: Dodge Demon Concept Pictured Here.

Chrysler’s SRT is an undeniably hot division within the Pentastar, but it seems the loyal fans are wanting more. Ralph Gilles, the brand’s CEO, let loose of some interesting information during a recent interview with AutoGuide. Gilles says SRT is receiving tremendous feedback about the brand’s need to build a competitor to the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S twins.

“I’m happy to see that a lot of our fans want that,” Gilles says. “They ask us about that a lot.” Whether or not SRT will move forward with such plans is still unknown — and Ralph wasn’t saying much past acknowledging the hole in the vehicle lineup and the roaring customer demand.

Chrysler’s last major stab at building a small, affordable sport car was in 2007 with the Demon concept (pictured above). It was powered by a 2.4-liter in-line-four that made around 170 horsepower. The car never made production due partially to the “Great Recession” and Chrysler’s need for public assistance. However, times have changed and the possibilities for a new SRT-exclusive product are greater than ever.

Even if SRT wasn’t able to materialize a small, front-engine, rear-drive car of its own, it still has a few options with modifying existing cars in Chrysler’s portfolio; namely the Dodge Dart. Rumors have swirled about the Dart getting its own SRT4 makeover since its launch in 2012, with some suggesting it will sport as much as 300 horsepower.

“The community goes deep,” Gilles says about owners of past SRT4 models. “[They] still care about what we’re up to.” We suspect the SRT team may have something fun up their high-performance sleeves.

Click past the jump to read more about Subaru BRZ.

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No Entry-Level or Automatic SRT Viper in the Pipeline

No Entry-Level or Automatic SRT Viper in the Pipeline

While every other automaker on the planet is embracing change, SRT looks as if it is resisting the modernization of its Viper lineup. In an interview with Edmunds, Ralph Giles said that the SRT Viper will remain with only a six-speed manual transmission, while nearly every other sports car and supercar is heading toward offering at least an optional paddle-shift transmission.

Gilles had this to say about Viper buyers in relation to the paddle-shifted auto: "The people who buy (the Viper) relish the manual, they relish the driver’s car, the raw connections to the vehicle. That is what it is about. So we are not chasing rainbows here." We see your claim, Mr. Gilles, and raise you the fact that SRT had to slash the production of the Viper because they are growing roots in dealerships. Maybe you need to recheck the pulse of the American sports car buyer, sir... Just sayin’...

Edmunds then queried Mr. Gilles about the possibility of dropping a HEMI V-8 into the Viper, and releasing a less-powerful "entry-level" Viper to help boost sales. To that, Gilles answered, taking a jab at the Stingray in the process: "We have no interest in becoming a Corvette." Well, considering the Corvette is one of the hottest items available and the Viper is little more than dealership eye candy, he may want to rethink his position.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Viper, but the market has apparently spoken...

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper.

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2014 SRT Viper Grand Touring

2014 SRT Viper Grand Touring

It’s true that the SRT Viper is not enjoying the same success as main competitor — the 2014 Corvette Stingray — but it looks like SRT is doing all its can to make people notice its new model.

At the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, SRT added two new features to the Viper lineup: a new Stryker Green color and a new Grand Touring (GT) package.

The new Stryker Green features special green and yellow pigments and a "liquid mercury" appearance, making it the perfect color for customers looking for a unique color that helps highlight the incredible lines of the Viper.

The new GT package will add standard Nappa leather seats, five-mode Electronic Stability Control and two-mode Bilstein DampTronic Select suspension. The GT package come coated only in either this new Stryker Green hue or with the previous Venom Black. Mopar will also update the Viper GT with an exposed carbon-fiber performance X-Brace, which is about 50-percent lighter than the standard X-brace.

The new package and the new color will be available from dealers in February.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 SRT Viper.

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SRT CEO denies poor Viper demand

SRT CEO denies poor Viper demand

Back in October we reported that SRT needed to slow production of the new generation Viper, due to poor demand. However, it looks like now Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of Chrysler’s SRT Brand and Motorsports, says that the car has indeed a bright future and that the company has "several hundred units outstanding we still have to build."

Gilles said that the Viper indeed had some problems at launch and this is why the company had to postpone initial deliver, but now the interest in the new Viper is very strong.

It looks like the problem was not the car, but the dealers whom had no idea how to promote the car. The new Viper has a base price of $97,395 - a lot more than the previous car, so it was to be expected to hear that customers will ask more for the money. SRT wants to allow its customers to choose "their color, their stripe, their package, their interior," but the dealers wanted to "anticipate the market and ended up creating a car that may not be the right car."

To fix the problem SRT launched a fourth-quarter training program called "All Access Tour" that brings together dealers, current owners and potential customers. Basically thanks to this new program, the potential buyers will have the chance to test the car and see what they will get for the money.

Gilles confirmed that all the Anodized Carbon were spoken for and that the new Time Attack edition sold out in just three days.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper.

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2014 SRT Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition

2014 SRT Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition

It looks like SRT is doing all it can to get more people to stand up and take notice of the new Viper, and somehow boost the very poor sales of the new sports coupe. At the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, SRT unveiled a sleekl Anodized Carbon Special Edition package offered exclusively for the Viper GTS model.

As its name suggests, the new limited edition is all about using a new, metallic matte exterior color — a first for the SRT Viper. The new Anodized Carbon is applied by hand and gives the Viper a unique look. Along with the new hue, SRT is adding in gloss-black GTS badges, satin-black exhaust bezels and an Anodized Carbon fuel filler door. Rounding out the exterior mods are carbon-fiber brake ducts and rear applique.

The interior also receives a host of upgrades, including some high-end Nappa leather, Alcantara and orange accents to make you feel special while whipping this rig around.

This special edition retains the stock 8.4-liter, V-10 powerplant with 640 horses and 600 pound-feet of twist punishing the concrete through the rear wheels. This is enough to get the Viper to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds.

The SRT Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition will be limited to only 50 units and will be put into production in January 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition.

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Fans Vote to Name the SRT Viper's New Color "Competition Blue"

Fans Vote to Name the SRT Viper’s New Color "Competition Blue"

Back in October, SRT requested some help from fans of the new Viper to come up with a name for its newly developed blue paint. After 11,000 entries, the winner was finally announced today. The new paint will be called "Competition Blue," which was contributed by Patryk Skarzynski from Chicago.

For his winning contribution, Patryk gets a trip to the 2014 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona at the Daytona International Speedway where he will experience the race with the SRT Viper design team.

An SRT Viper coated in this new Competition Blue was displayed at SRT’s booth at the 2013 SEMA Show. Along with this cool, new hue, the Viper at SEMA also featured a Mopar carbon-fiber X-brace in the engine compartment and a silver Stryker logo on the X-brace. On the inside, this Viper had a Mopar stainless-steel pedal kit with rubber grip inserts and a Mopar carbon-fiber satchel between the driver and passenger seat.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper and to see the SEMA-stationed Competition Blue Viper up close.

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Help SRT to name this new Viper color

Help SRT to name this new Viper color

When picking the color of your car there is a very long list of options to choose from: each color has numerous variations and shades, so for sure your dream color will be somewhere on that list. Now SRT developed a new shade of blue, specially for its new Viper sports car and it needs your help to name it.

In return of a cool name, the winner will win a trip to the 2014 Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona at Daytona International Speedway in January 2014 as a VIP guest of SRT Motorsports. Also, the winner will get the chance to spend time with the Viper Design team throughout the race weekend.

All you need is to be original and creative and came with a cool name for this new shade of blue. If you have the name, all you have to do is go to www.driveSRT.com/colorcontest and enter your choice. You can submit your color until October 24th and public voting will take place on Monday, November 4 through Monday, November 11.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper.

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SRT Slashes Viper's Production Volume Due to Low Sales

SRT Slashes Viper’s Production Volume Due to Low Sales

When SRT decided to bring back the Viper, the hope was that the sports car would usher in a new era for the famed model.

But so far, all the expectations have turned into nothing more than disappointment because the Viper isn’t selling as fast as SRT and Chrysler would have wanted.

According to Automotive News, Chrysler has taken the surprising step of cutting back on production of the sports car because of sputtering sales. The original plan was to produce 2,000 units annually, but after eight months in dealerships, the company has only sold 426 units, leaving 565 unsold units in stock, representing a 289-day supply.

Despite the car’s sales struggles, SRT CEO, Ralph Giles, is still confident that the Viper’s sales will eventually pick up early next year, but it certainly goes without saying that this development is a huge blow to the stature of the Viper.

It shouldn’t come down to this for one of America’s greatest sports cars, but the fact that it has should give the company cause to pause on why consumers just aren’t as bullish on the sports car as they once were.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 SRT Viper

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Video: This Is How You Collect Vipers

Video: This Is How You Collect Vipers

Collections come in various shapes, forms and sizes, with some even being more expensive than others. That’s nothing in the auto industry where you have people with the financial resources to collect some of the expensive vehicles in the world.

But when it comes to Dodge Vipers, this couple from Texas trumps all of them — by a lot.

Apparently, they’re every bit the passionate Viper fans they make themselves out to be. In the past seven years, they’ve taken a significant chunk of their wealth and used them to buy Vipers. Not just one, two, or even 10 models.

65 models, in fact.

D’Ann and Wayne Rauh are the proud owners of 65 Dodge and SRT Vipers, a collection that could arguably be the largest Viper collection in the world. Now, there might some Middle Eastern man that has an equally huge — maybe even larger — collection out there, but for what it’s worth, the Rauh’s collection of Vipers is pretty incredible.

What makes their collection all the more impressive is that it only started its Viper collection in 2006 when they brought their first model. Soon thereafter, one model turned into two and two turned into four. Seven years later, their garage has just about every Viper you can think of, including the 2010 SRT10 ACR-X which isn’t even street legal.

Now that’s how you turn a fascination into downright obsession.

Click past the jump to read about the latest Viper of the lot, the 2013 SRT Viper

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2013 SRT Viper GTS Sons of Italy Foundation

2013 SRT Viper GTS Sons of Italy Foundation

The SRT Viper has become quite the popular sports car and true to form, it’s been very popular in the auction block too.

Recently, the design team at SRT unveiled a one-off Viper GTS that will eventually be auctioned off for the Sons of Italy Foundation. Not all surprising considering that the sports car has already gained quite a following in the short time that it’s been around.

The car is called the Viper GTS Sons of Italy Foundation Edition and it’s been specifically built for the occasion. It’s been finished in a tri-coat pearl white body called "Avorio Perla" and complemented by a new set of one-off multi-spoke black vapor chrome wheels serving the perfect contrast to the Viper GTS’ white body.

Inside, the customized one-off Viper GTS comes dressed to the party in full sepia Laguna leather with the unmistakable colors of the Italian flag running down the center of the seats. A red Styker logo can also be found on the steering wheel with red bezel accents while the GTS badge on the glove box also bears the colors of the green, white, and red.

The Sons of Italy Foundation (SIF) is the charitable division of the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA), the country’s largest and longest established organization representing men and women of Italian heritage.

Click past the jump to read about the 2013 SRT Viper

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