The Viper GTS Coupe is one of the most iconic American vehicles of the 1990s. The second-generation (GEN II) Viper coupe was more than a coupe version of the Viper R/T10 roadster. It featured an updated chassis, revised A-arm, coil-spring suspension, dual airbags, a new steering wheel, power windows, a unique wheel design, and an updated 8.0-liter VIPER V-10 engine producing 450 horsepower and 490 lb.-ft. of torque (up 50 horsepower and 25 lb.-ft. of torque over its roadster sibling for the 1996 model year).
To help enhance the presence of Dodge’s hand-built American super sports car, the Viper GTS Coupe was selected to pace the Indianapolis 500 with Chrysler President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Bob Lutz behind the wheel. Soon after, posters of the GTS Blue and white striped Dodge became a hot seller and it was hard not to find them plastered alongside posters of Ferrari F50s and Lamborgini Diablos on young boy’s bedroom walls.
While the GTS Coupe continued to live on until 2002, that first year’s run of that legendary GTS Blue paint with white stripes car would be the image that would come to mind when people heard the name “Viper” or “GTS Coupe”. The paint scheme became so iconic to the Viper GTS Coupe, that when Dodge decided to launch a coupe version of its new GEN III Viper SRT-10 it when back to the same paint scheme to help promote it and then again in 2015 with the GEN V SRT Viper GTS launch.
With the Viper nameplate being discontinued after the 2017 model year, the “venomous snake” lived a solid 25-year production run. Being hand-built in Detroit, the car was never mass-produced like that of the Corvette, so seeing a Viper on street is still something special to this day. But as time has gone on, Vipers have become a collectible item once again and the GTS Coupe is becoming one of those vehicles that seem to be a wise investment once again for car collectors.
Once such Viper GTS Coupe crossed the auction block at Mecum this week, showing that the iconic GTS Coupe is still in demand. With 5,084 miles on its odometer, the one-owner Viper was just 1 of 1,166 produced in 1996. It was a clean, low-mile example of the iconic Dodge Viper that we all loved during the 1990s. Nothing special or unique about it. Yet, it sold for $135,000 USD ($148,000 after fees) after the gavel hit the podium yesterday and all was said and done. That is a far cry from Mecum’s estimate of $65,000 to $80,000 and a lot more than the car’s original base Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $66,000 in 1996.
Needless to say, the Viper GTS Coupe’s showing at Mecum shocked much of those in the Viper world. But it also shows that love for the Viper nameplate remains strong.
1996 Dodge Viper GTS Coupe Image Gallery: