The Dodge Viper is no longer after the 2017 model year, which has incited a frenzy among Viper fans as they try to get their hands on the final examples of the V10 sportscar. But while everyone’s eyes are on the 2017 model year Viper, there’s a significant piece of Viper history sitting in Europe that is in dire need of saving.
The Dodge Viper’s competitiveness in motorsport was first realized by French journalist and racing team owner Gilles Gaignault, who converted two 1994 Viper RT10s into racecars and entered them in the 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans. The No. 40 Viper was painted bright orange, while the second entry, bearing No. 41, was painted in an even brighter highlighter yellow shade.
Gaignault’s Vipers were the first Vipers ever entered in a professional motorsports series. The No. 40 car, driven by René Arnoux, Justin Bell and Bertrand Balas, finished an impressive 12th overall, while François Migault, Denis Morin and Philippe Gache drove the No. 40 machine to a 19th place result. It was an impressive enough showing to convince Dodge of the Viper’s potential and two years later, it arrived at Le Mans with an official factory-backed Viper program.
RM Sotheby’s is auctioning off one of Gaignault’s Vipers at its upcoming Duemila Ruote sale in Italy. A spokesperson for RM Sotheby’s told us in an email that due to the number of lots at its Duemila Ruote, it won’t be providing a full history of the car, but the company assumes this is the sister car to the assembled example that was sold by Artcurial in the summer. We were also told it will be reassembled before the auction in late November, so you can put your tools away, bargain hunters.
Check out the listing at this link for additional photos of this deconstructed piece of Viper history.