It’s been a crazy year. With car events canceled and automotive based television programs put on hold, famed car collector and comedian Jay Leno is still active on his “Jay Leno’s Garage” YouTube channel showing the world his vast collection of amazing rides. One of his latest videos showcases his 1996 Dodge Viper GTS Coupe.
Making its debut as a 1996 model, the second-generation Dodge Viper kicked off production of the Viper at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant (now Conner Center). More than 90% of the GTS Coupe was new compared to its R/T10 Roadster counterpart, despite the two cars looking similar in appearance. The GTS Coupe based on the design of the Shelby Daytona (the original R/T10 Roadster was based on the Shelby Cobra), the car featured the unique double-bubble roof design that accommodates the usage of racing helmets.
Although it came with the same 8.0-liter Viper V10 engine as the roadster, the engine received a hefty power gain in the coupe with 450 horsepower and 490 lb.-ft. of torque. The second-generation coupe also introduced airbags, air conditioning, power windows, and power door locks as standard equipment, something that the R/T10 Roadster did not offer until the 1997 model year.
The 1996 Dodge Viper GTS Coupe has been regarded by many Viper diehard fans, as the best looking version of the iconic sports car. So much so, that a lot of its design was incorporated into the fifth-generation of the car, which made its debut in 2012 as a 2013 model.
In the video, Jay explains what it has been like owning the Viper since he bought it in 1996. He also explains why he loves the car so much and explains the impact the Viper community has had on him. It has to be one of Jay’s more kicked back videos on the channel, but you can genuinely understand that the Viper GTS Coupe means something special to him.