This is a hot rod project car powered by a Dodge Viper-sourced 8.3 liter V10 that’s had a Roe Racing twin-screw supercharger fitted. The vehicle is based on an Art Morrison chassis and it comes with a partially-completed aluminum body.

The 8.3 liter V10 Viper engine was good for 500 bhp from the factory, so this one with the supercharger bolted to the top should be capable of considerably more. This version of the engine appeared in the second generation Viper appearing in 2003, and it was both lighter and stiffer than the earlier V10.

Fast Facts – A Viper 10-Powered Hot Rod Project

  • This hot rod project car is powered by a second-generation Dodge Viper 8.3-liter V10 engine, originally producing 500 bhp and 525 lb-ft of torque. This engine has been upgraded with a Roe Racing twin-screw supercharger, significantly increasing its potential power output.
  • The car is built on a custom Art Morrison chassis, utilizing mandrel-bent 2×4″ steel tubing with a tubular steel passenger cage. This frame supports the partially completed aluminum body. A body buck has been constructed to aid in shaping the remaining body panels, some of which are already formed and included with the sale.
  • The Dodge Viper’s creation is deeply rooted in automotive history, with connections to notable figures like Bob Lutz, Tom Gale, Lee Iacocca, and Carroll Shelby. The Viper was conceived as a modern reinterpretation of the Shelby Cobra, spearheaded by Chrysler’s collaboration with Shelby, who was instrumental in earlier Ford performance projects with Iacocca.
  • The project car is available for purchase in Thousand Oaks, California. The sale includes additional parts, literature, a bill of sale, and a California title for a 1965 Dodge. This offers a unique opportunity for the buyer to complete a distinctive and eye-catching vehicle, likely to draw significant attention wherever it goes.

The Viper And The Iacocca-Shelby Connection

The Dodge Viper was always intended to be a hot rod of sorts. The project was said to have begun after Chrysler president Bob Lutz told Tom Gale. of the Chrysler Design Center, that the company should look into producing a modern Cobra.

Dodge Viper Ad – Need We Say More

Image DescriptionDodge Viper ads were always eye-catching, though this one may be the most memorable due to the comedy aspect. Image courtesy of Dodge.

This was perhaps an odd request, as the original Cobra had been a Carroll Shelby project built using an AC Ace roadster with a Ford V8 bolted into the engine bay – it had nothing to do with Chrysler or Dodge at all.

The reason this was all perhaps a little less odd that it appeared on the face of it, was that Carroll Shelby was working with Chrysler at the time, having been brought onboard by Lee Iacocca. Iacocca had been vice-president and general manager of Ford back in the early 1960s, he had been the one who originally gave the green light for Shelby to have Ford V8s for his Cobra.

He had also approved the Shelby Mustang program which had rapidly resulted in SCCA championship-wins for the Shelby Mustang GT350, establishing the then-new Mustang as a bonafide sports car in the eyes of 1960s America.

This Iacocca-Shelby connection is often overlooked when looking back at the history of the Dodge Viper and it really should be front and center, it’s arguably the sole reason the car was put into development by Lutz back in the late 1980s.

The Viper And Diablo Connection

After Bob Lutz’s request, Tom Gale had set to work on designing a modern version of the Shelby Cobra that would enter production in the 1990s. It was decided early on that the car would be fitted with a V10 to differentiate it from its overwhelmingly V8-powered US competition.

Dodge Viper Hot Rod 6

Image DescriptionHere you see the engine in place, the sound of this V10 with the Roe Racing twin-screw supercharger on top will be biblical, once it’s completed and running of course.

Interestingly, the engine block and heads would be designed and cast in alloy by Lamborghini in Italy, Lamborghini belonged to Chrysler at the time. While working on the design of the Viper, Tom Gale would also be penning the final design of the Lamborghini Diablo based on the original design work done by Marcello Gandini.

This would be one of very few times in history than an American automotive designer would style the halo car for both an American and European marque at the same time, and have both vehicles in production simultaneously.

In 1991, just a year before the Viper entered full scale production, Carroll Shelby drove a pre-production example as the pace car in the Indianapolis 500 – showing the car to millions of Americans, and forever cementing his own link with the vehicle.

The Viper V10-Powered Hot Rod Project Shown Here

The project car you see here is a major undertaking, but once finished it’ll be the sort of vehicle that has a crowd around it whenever it stops for fuel. It’s a hot rod that’s been built on a custom Art Morrison chassis made from mandrel bent 2×4″ steel tubing, with a tubular steel passenger cage welded into place.

A body buck has already been built to assist with shaping the aluminum body panels, some of which have been shaped already, and there are bare alloy panels included to complete the job.

Dodge Viper Hot Rod 15

Image DescriptionAll the major mechanical parts for this car are present and accounted for, but it’s clear that it’ll be a major undertaking to get it finished and on the road. Whoever does complete the job will likely be featured on websites and magazines across the country.

As mentioned in the introduction, the vehicle is powered by a second generation Dodge Viper V10, an 8.3 liter engine good for 500 bhp and 525 lb ft of torque in stock tune – that’s before you get the supercharger running and dialed in.

The project is now being offered for sale out of Thousand Oaks, California with parts and literature, a bill of sale, and a California title for a 1965 Dodge. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.

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Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer

Published by Ben Branch -