If you’re looking for maximum thrills on a minimal budget, the Dodge Viper would like a word with you. That especially applies to the first-gen Viper RT/10, which didn’t even have ABS at first. This week on Bring a Trailer, though, there’s a chance to buy something even more exciting than a first-gen Viper: a modified first-gen Viper. More specifically, a 1993 Dodge Hennessey Venom 600 RT/10 Aero.
The Hennessey Venom 600 is a first-gen Dodge Viper RT/10 with a 600-plus-horsepower bite
What the original Dodge Viper RT/10 lacks in safety features it makes up for in raw performance. Conceived as a modern follow-up to the Shelby Cobra, the 1992 Viper RT/10 has an 8.0-liter V10 rated 400 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. That power goes to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual and a limited-slip differential. And because the Dodge Viper RT/10 only weighs about 3500 lbs, it goes 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds, Car and Driver says.
However, one Viper RT/10 owner wanted to take their car racing and wanted a speed boost. So, they went to Texas tuner Hennessey Performance, then called Hennessey Motorsports. And after the tuned Viper won multiple events, orders came in from other potential customers. Hennessey responded with a series of increasingly extreme modification packages. And in 1996, the most extreme was the Hennessey Venom 600 RT/10.
The biggest differences between a Hennessey Venom 600 RT/10 and a standard Dodge Viper RT/10 are in the engine bay. Hennessey enlarged the V10 to 8.5 liters and installed a performance intake and exhaust as well as multiple strengthened components, Bonhams reports. As a result, the Venom 600 has 602 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque.
Besides the power upgrades, the Hennessey Venom 600 RT/10 also has a competition clutch and a lightweight aluminum flywheel, Bring a Trailer says. Combined with a Positronic rear axle, that’s enough for a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. And with a 194-mph top speed, that made it the fastest production car MotorTrend had ever tested. The later GTS version went even faster, topping out at 203 mph, MT says. Luckily, Hennessey gave the car five-point safety harnesses to keep the occupants firmly in place.
The very first RT/10 Aero is up for sale on Bring a Trailer
As of this writing, there’s a 1993 Dodge Viper RT/10 with the Venom 600 package listed on Bring a Trailer. But it’s not just ‘any’ Venom 600 RT/10: it’s an RT/10 Aero. And it’s Serial Number 001—the very first Hennessey Venom 600 RT/10 Aero.
The ‘Aero’ part of that name refers to the front and rear bumper covers, custom hardtop with side glass, and the side-exit exhaust covers. Oh, and the large rear wing. This Venom 600 RT/10 also has slotted and drilled Baer front brakes, a short-throw shifter, and 18” Kinesis wheels. Plus, the interior features leather upholstery, a carbon-fiber shift knob, and a cassette stereo.
Despite its age, this modified 1993 Dodge Viper RT/10 only has 1900 miles on the clock. And it’s in fairly good condition, with only a few scattered blemishes and scrapes. Plus, some paint cracking around the hood pins. However, it has a zero-accident history; also, the seller changed the oil and coolant in preparation for the sale.
This 1993 Dodge Hennessey Venom 600 Viper RT/10 makes an excellent maxi-minimalist sports car bargain
As of this writing, this 1993 Dodge Hennessey Venom 600 RT/10 Aero is listed on BaT for $30,000 with three days left in the auction. That’s a low price even for a modified first-gen Viper. A good-to-excellent condition 1993 Viper RT/10 usually costs $35K-$55K, Hagerty says.
Admittedly, this Venom 600’s low mileage might result in some necessary gasket replacement. As such, a pre-purchase inspection is strongly recommended. However, Hennessey’s modifications likely took care of the few mechanical gremlins that some early Viper RT/10s suffer. And those 18” wheels make it easier to find replacement tires.
It won’t be surprising, then, if some bidder lets this Venom sink its fangs into them.
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