This is an original Dodge Viper RT/10 V10 crate engine that’s never been run. It was produced in 1996 and has apparently remained on its pallet ever since, stored indoors, and waiting patiently for the day it’ll finally be installed in a vehicle to make some trouble.
The V10 used in the Viper was famously co-developed with Lamborghini, this was back when the Italian supercar maker was owned by Chrysler, and their experience with V12s made them ideal for the project.
Unlike Lamborghini’s famous Giotto Bizzarrini-designed double overhead cam (per bank) V12, the Viper V10 used a more traditional pushrod architecture to actuate two-valves per cylinder. This is said to have been because the V10 design was based on the pre-existing Chrysler LA V8 engine in order to accelerate development time.
The idea that would evolve into the Dodge Viper originated in 1988 at Chrysler’s Advanced Design Studios. It had been Chrysler president Bob Lutz who opined to Tom Gale at the Chrysler Design Center that they needed to build a modern-day equivalent to the Shelby Cobra.
The budget was set at $70 million however there were significant delays, as Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca was unsure whether the car would be successful enough to recoup the development costs. He needn’t have worried. The Viper was introduced in 1991 as the pace car for the Indianapolis 500, with none other than Carroll Shelby behind the wheel.
The public reception was overwhelmingly positive, the car generated headlines across the United States and around the world, with Dodge dealerships inundated with people wanting to place an order. The production version of the car debuted a year later in 1992 and it became one of the most desirable sports cars in the country.
The Dodge Viper RT/10 V10 Crate Engine
It’s not widely known that the V10 from the Dodge Viper was offered as a crate engine back in the 1990s, it’s not publicly known exactly how many were sold but it’s likely not many, as we only very rarely see them come up for sale. Though of course that could be because they were all installed in cars and not left in their crates.
The engine you see here is said to be one of these original V10 crate engines, according to the listing it’s never been run and remains in original zero-hour condition. It was mistakenly ordered by a Chrysler dealership in 1996 and has never been installed in a vehicle or run.
Interestingly it does have a number of ancillaries already fitted including an alternator, a power-steering pump, an air-conditioning compressor, an oil-filter housing, a starter motor, a clutch assembly, exhaust manifolds, and engine mounts.
The overwhelming likelihood is that his engine will be bought by a Viper owner who wants a spare engine, just in case, or by a collector who wants to display it as-is. There is the chance that it’ll be bought by someone who wants to do something a little more interesting with it, like shoehorn it into a Miata or turn it into the world’s first V10 powered barstool.
If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here. It’s being offered for sale on Bring a Trailer out of Monarch Beach, California.
Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer – First seen on The Drive
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