Being Mopar fans, of course, we are huge fans of the Dodge Viper. Although the iconic American sports car ended production five years ago, the nameplate is still making news with various models of the car going to auction over the past several weeks and posting some surprising numbers. Despite having a production run over 25 years, only an estimated 31,500 units were produced of the hand-built Detroit muscle car.
Now, we have seen a number of special editions and rare versions of the Viper come up for sale, including a 2009 Dodge Viper SRT-10 ACR Hurst 50th Anniversary Edition. But one special edition has come up for sale on the online automotive auction site, “Bring A Trailer” that caught our eye.
This particular 1996 Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster, is 1 of 19 Carroll Shelby Edition cars ever produced by Fitzgerald Motorsports. Known as the “CS Edition”, the cars were built to pay homage to Carroll Shelby (who happened to be one of the consultants on Team Viper) and his iconic Shelby Cobra which the Viper was designed after.
Fitzgerald Motorsports out of Laconia, New Hampshire rose to be the pre-imminent Viper dealership in the country. Carroll Shelby and Dan Fitzgerald were friends for over 35 years at that point. Fitzgerald Motorsports was the only dealership in the United States allowed to sell the CS Edition. Originally, a production run of 50 units was planned, however, the production of the cars stopped at 19 units (1 being a 1995 model used a prototype).
To help set the cars apart from the standard Viper RT/10 Roadster, Fitzgerald Motorsports gave the CS Edition Vipers a unique Cobra-style front grille, a rear contour spoiler, a striped composite hard-top, and front and rear Carroll Shelby “CS” badges. Of the 19 cars built, 16 of the CS Editions featured Shelby’s iconic Wimbledon White exterior color with dual Guardsman Blue dual stripes, there was also 1 Blue car with White stripes and 1 all-Black car featuring gold decals.
The Fitzgerald Motorsports team also added a custom windshield banner, a set of custom OZ Racing wheels with the “CS” logo on the center cap, 4-point street-legal Schroth racing harnesses for both occupants, an upgraded Alarm system, blue leather shift knob and emergency brake coverings, and a “CS” center capped leather-wrapped steering wheel. All CS Edition cars came with a black interior with Carroll’s actually signature found on the glove box door with a handwritten serial number. An engraved data plate is located under the hood.
Each car came with a letter of authenticity and a photo log of the car’s conversion signed by Fitzgerald Motorsports and Shelby.
But looks weren’t the only thing that set the CS Edition apart from the standard RT/10 models. It wouldn’t be a true Shelby vehicle if it didn’t feature a few performance upgrades. The CS Edition featured free-flow air cleaners, performance exhaust, an improved rear axle gear ratio, and upgraded heavy-duty suspension. The upgrades were good enough to add 35 horsepower to RT/10’s 8.0-liter VIPER V10 and push it to 435 horsepower in total.
Now, while you might think that this limited edition model was supported by Chrysler Corporation, it was not. These cars were not considered part of the Dodge/Shelby options like turbocharged Shelby cars of the 1980s. Instead, Fitzgerald Motorsports was the only dealer authorized to produce and sell the cars.
This particular car features serial number 16 of the 19 that were produced and currently has 11,465 miles on the odometer since it left Fitzgerald. The is being sold with a certificate of authenticity, two sets of keys, removable side windows, manufacturer’s literature, a clean Carfax report, and a clean Florida title in the seller’s name. According to Carfax, the car has spent time in both Texas and California before being bought by the current owner in 2010.
With the RT/10 Roadster being the first and most raw version of the Viper, this car is sure to be a true “driver’s car”. The car as of this writing has a current bid of $86,500, showing that Vipers are continuing to take in good money.
For more information and to see more pictures of this 1996 Dodge Viper RT/10 CS Edition, you can visit the Bring A Trailer website.
1996 Dodge Viper RT10 CS Roadster No. 16 Image Gallery: