The Dodge Viper nameplate has claimed multiple sportscar championships and major event wins – including three consecutive class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998 and 1999 and 2000. But before Dodge began a factory backed racing program for the Viper, privateer teams were campaigning the V10 sportscar.
One of the first people to realize the potential the Viper had was French Motorsport journalist and race team owner Gilles Gaignault, who fielded two privately prepared Viper RT10s at the 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans. Gaignault had the task of converting the roadster into a competitive hardtop racecar in just six months and finished the two ‘Rent-A-Car’ sponsored entries just in time for the race.
The two vipers were painted orange and yellow, with the yellow example, dubbed ‘La Canarie’ finishing 19th at Le Mans in the hands of Francois Migault, Denis Morin and Philippe Gache. After the race, the car was slightly altered to race in the now defunct BPR series, competing in China, Brazil, Nogaro and Brands Hatch before being retired in 1996.
Now, Artcurial is auctioning off ‘La Canarie’ at its upcoming Le Mans Classic sale. The current owner bought the car from a collection in 2003 and has kept it in good working order with the help of the original builder himself, with the engine in good working order and the air jack and other systems fully operational.
Check out Artucrial’s listing for the Viper at this link for additional information and photos.