For two and a half decades, the Dodge Viper served as America’s V10 supercar, evolving as this exotic segment grew. These days, though, the snake is no more, having been retired back in 2017. And with Dodge having disbanded its SRT performance division last year, a comeback doesn’t seem likely, at least not until EVs take over. If there’s any silver lining here, it involves the greater appreciation people have for the Viper. And what better way to show this to a 1994 example that’s been neglected for many years than to give it a thorough detailing?
Having rolled out the factory gates in 1994, this RT/10 Roadster is part of the Gen I models. As such, we’re dealing with a bare-bones approach involving a manual canvas roof with zipper-attached vinyl windows and zero airbags.
Also, the 8.0-liter V10, with its 400 hp (406 PS) and its 465 lb-ft (630 Nm) doesn’t like anything stepping in as it talks to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual. So there’s no traction control, but who can think of that when this beast doesn’t have ABS?
So, when its current owner Matthew tells the R.J. over at the WD Detailing YouTube channel, who recently gave the car some TLC, that he didn’t take the thing past 155 mph (250 km/h), we know why.
This Viper spent a few years in less-than-ideal conditions
Matthew’s brother, who was the original owner, sadly passed away back in 2015 and left him the vehicle. Alas, the man suffered a heart attack in 2019 and while the car’s condition had already become a little rough at the time and Matthew was working on it, the health issue put an end to that.
Now, the enthusiast has reached out to the said social media label and, having acquired a few parts, such as new cushions for the leather seats and tires, decided it was time for this Viper to get back to the road.
With the Dodge having spent a few years in poor storage conditions and without a rear window—this flew off back in the day and was never replaced—leaves and dirt had gotten inside.
Still, the channel’s R.J. and Brent had seen worse cabins (as this flooded STI can testify) and while they can’t fix everything, installing the said seat bits and giving the interior a good wash, steaming and all, did quite a lot for the V10 animal.
Given the fact that the black Dodge Viper spent some 17 years in Florida, the sun and the salt in the air took their toll on the clear coat. So, the guys’ polishing efforts were limited on the doors and the rear deck, where the coat had been seriously affected.
The result is a joy
Nevertheless, now that the job has been completed, the 1994 Viper once again looks like a massively desirable machine.
For the record, when an early Viper like this is in good shape (we’re not sure this example qualifies, since there’s no tech assessment), it can easily grab $50,000 and above.
And, in the final part of the video below (26:23 timestamp), you can see Matthew’s and his family’s reaction, which is on the emotional side. The man came to pick up the car together with his wife and two daughters, and it looks like one of the youngsters is getting this Viper, which sounds like one bold adventure.