You always knew this was coming. The Dodge Viper was America’s last gasp of true sports car goodness. It was impractical, lacked finesse, and was unforgiving. And just like a real viper, it could bite you if you weren’t careful. But it was also fun, looked fantastic, and marched to the tune of the unlikely V10. It was all-American and proudly so. With all of that, it was built in limited numbers yet didn’t break the bank. So who would have thought that at almost 30 years of age it would see prices start to sharply rise?
How about everyone. Our friends at Hagerty are seeing numerous trend lines showing that if you ever wanted a Viper at the low end of its value now is the time to scoop one up. First-gen Dodge Viper sales have seen prices ratchet up in just the last three months.
Whether these prices have to do with the pandemic is unclear
Whether this has anything to do with the pandemic is unclear. But you can’t catch COVID-19 with the wind in your face blasting down the highway. And honestly, without much in the way of sports events, public gatherings, concerts, and the like, why not blast your face with a Viper V10?
There have been a number of public Viper sales that have Hagerty seeing the price spike. An early Viper with only 950 miles on the ticker sold for $115,000. Before that, you could buy first-gens all day long for $50,000. In January, Lee Iacocca’s Viper, the first one made, sold at a Bonham’s auction for $285,500.
Of course, Hagerty sells collector-car insurance. They’re seeing policy values in the $75,000 to $100,000 range as new policies are being sold. And as parts availability becomes more scarce and specialty shops raise their rates why wouldn’t it take some serious cha-cha to fix or replace your Viper?
For some reason, collectors have mostly taken a pass on Vipers
For some reason, collectors have mostly taken a pass on Vipers. With all of the things we mentioned plus its racing pedigree, it seemed like only a matter of time the Dodge Viper would catch their attention and prices would increase. It snagged class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998, 1999, and 2000. It also had multiple wins at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, Spa, and 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000. And five FIA GT championships is yet another set of wins.
You need to look no further than the rapidly escalating price of this one single 1992 Viper. Never titled, and with only 72 miles on the odometer, it sold on eBay for $80,101 in October. Then it popped up in a BJ Motors ad for $94,995 in November. And then in December, it was for sale again at over $100,000.
Many Vipers have remained low mileage as owners acknowledge their future collector status
When it comes to Vipers there seem to be quite a few with very low miles. These will always be more expensive as they pop up for sale. Many have stayed low mileage as an owner acknowledges its future collector car status. Just like 1953 Cadillac Eldorados, Boss 302 and 429 Mustangs, and most any recent V12 Ferrari, everyone knows it was only a matter of time before values jumped. And in all of these cases and more the prices have never fallen.
Now you can add the Dodge Viper to that rare gang of limited edition, unique, and compelling American cars collectors want in their collections. If you want one you need to snap it up now or pay dearly in a few years.