Two Le Mans-hardened Viper GTS-Rs that you can buy right now

Share Leave comment

 

By the late-1990s, the Viper’s widowmaker status had already become known, and its brash V-10 and Hot Wheels-wild styling made it a favorite poster on the walls of garages and bedrooms. It’s not too hard to imagine yourself near the end of summer 2001, grinding through lower class races and license tests on a brand-new copy of Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec. The game was stingy with credits, meaning that stacking up the 1 million required for a Viper GTS demanded a fair bit of time investment; often, your ambitions were defeated by the game system itself. The ORECA-built Vipers had graced the Real Driving Simulator’s car list before, but few stood out like the red-and-white 2000 GTS-Rs found in the winner’s circles of race tracks and PlayStation consoles.

It’s now 20 years later, and you’re not sure you know where that original copy of GT3 is—or if it’s readable by the laser of a similarly old PS2, even if you could dig it out of the depths of the past. However, maybe the time is right to buy the very Viper you once idolized in a tube television, because it’s finally for sale at LBI Limited.

LBI Limited

Chassis s/n 31 is up for sale, and it the kind of hero you really should meet. This masterpiece of international speed is that poster car, the 1-million-credit Viper GTS—and more importantly, the 2000 Le Mans class-winning Viper that cemented the French-built snake’s place in history after three years of owning the GTS class at the famed 24-hour race. It took the ALMS GTS Championship by winning seven out of the 10 races, smacking back the likes of Porsche for the third year as well.

The ORECA Vipers were particularly special beasts; they were constructed in France after receiving a rolling chassis from Roush and bodywork from Reynard Motorsport. In total, 57 GTS-Rs rolled out of the legendary speed shop. Chrysler knew that to make the Viper dominate worldwide racing, it would need to outsource to the experts, and the Viper couldn’t have been in better hands with ORECA, who had just came off the high of building and operating the Mazda 787B to its ground-breaking Le Mans win in 1991.

Under this GTS-R’s massive clamshell hood is the 620-hp race-prepped V-10 that sat just below the 8.0-liter displacement cap, though it shares most of its foundation with the street-going Vipers. An H-pattern T-56 is responsible for splitting torque ahead of the massive slicks mounted to center-lock BBS wheels. Massive six-pot/four-pot brakes clamp down on steel rotors to harness all that power.

Chrysler Viper GTS R
Art and Cars

OK, so, maybe you want a GTS-R, but the notion of paying the provenance tax on s/n 31 isn’t your game. This updated GTS-R was campaigned by Paul Belmondo Racing and, though its track record isn’t as famous as that of s/n 31, s/n 25 still offers a lot of hardware thanks to its lengthier stay in competition. To match contemporary GT1 specs, s/n 25 gained a new Swiss-built Mader V-10 matched to a rapid-firing Holinger sequential gearbox. Updates also include a unique front fascia, which replaced the classic crosshair grille for a cleaner profile with the newer GT1-spec aero package. It raced prolifically between 2000 and 2003 before returning for its final pass through the Le Mans series in 2005; but without the pedigree of the ORECA-campaigned GTS-R, it’s possible to grab this machine at a relative song.

Freed from the chains of legacy, this GTS-R could become a rowdy vintage racer or weekend warrior thanks to its original modernization and the recent restoration performed in the last year.

So what are they worth?

2003-Dodge-Viper-GTS-R
RM Sotheby's

Digging through our records, we were able to pull two price points to serve as a baseline here. This GTS-R sold at RM Sotheby’s back in 2016 for just over $270,000, and the most valuable Production Viper is this 2017 Concierge-built version at $280,000, a 1:1 special-ordered ACR which took advantage of Dodge’s custom-ordered send-offs in the Viper’s final years of production. Sure, the ACR isn’t exactly the full-race GTS-R, but the street-legal ACRs carried the Le Mans lineage to the average human—at least, before they became out-of-production collectibles.

Both s/n 31 and 25 are listed for “if you have to ask, then you can’t afford it.”

  • 1
  • /
  • 3

Comments

Share Leave comment
Read next Up next: Digging up buried Bronco treasure in Ford’s private archives