None other than Lee Iacocca was its original owner.
The man who saved Chrysler from bankruptcy rightly deserved to own a car this special. He even brought in his old friend Carrol Shelby as a consultant during its development. When the first 1992 Dodge Viper SRT-10 rolled off the production, it was bought by the late, great Lee Iacocca. And now it has just been sold at the Bonhams auction event in Scottsdale, Arizona. Iacocca's estate made the decision to sell Dodge Viper SRT-10 VIN 001, which came directly from his personal car collection and has less than 6,500 original miles on it. It was owned by Iacocca since new.
Like all Vipers, the original SRT-10 came powered by a naturally aspirated V10 engine paired to a six-speed manual transmission. This one has a total of 400 horsepower and also features a 4-wheel independent suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes. It ultimately sold for $285,000, more than doubling its pre-sale estimated price.
The auction house press materials further state that when Iacocca was presenting the original Viper to gathered media, he pointed to it and stated: "This one right here is mine." Prior to that, the Viper initially appeared as a concept car in 1989. The following year, Iacocca was holding a press conference and invited Bob Lutz, another now-legendary automotive industry executive, on to the stage and told him in front of everyone to "build the damn thing." Lutz followed that order with great enthusiasm.
Iacocca, who passed away last year, was also responsible for another American automotive icon, the Ford Mustang, during his days at the Blue Oval. Years later as CEO of Chrysler, not only did he launch the successful K cars, but also brought to market the first minivan, the Dodge Caravan.
The Viper was an instant success and helped to revive Chrysler's image. The fifth-generation Dodge Viper, sadly, ceased production in 2017 and there is currently no successor planned. However, there are some unsold examples remaining on dealership lots. Earlier this month we reported a total of four Dodge Viper coupes were sold in the final quarter of last year, bringing 2019's total to five cars.
None of them, however, are as special or anywhere near as expensive as VIN 001.