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RIP Viper... dead at 25!

Hurry! Now is the time to buy one of the last ones built. It could become collectible. Aren’t those (AC) Shelby Cobras worth something, now?

AC (Shelby) Cobras were only built for 5 years in much lower numbers than Vipers. Vipers are collectible but likely won’t command the prices of a real 427 Shelby Cobra in 25 more years.

well, it is predicted to be one of “20 Late-Model Cars Destined to Become Classics”

Vipers never became all that popular. I suspect because they’re extremely expensive and anyone looking at a Viper will also be looking at a Ferrari etc. While a Viper will perform eye-to-eye with a Ferrari for less money, people shopping in that price range are not prone to compromise. They’d rather pay more for the Ferrari. Besides, Vipers can do only one thing… go stupid fast. Only young limber people can get in and out of them, and that’s only if they’re contortionists and willing to be very uncomfortable. Besides which visibility is horrendous and cost of ownership is appalling. In short, Vipers have no positive attributes at all, and a whole lot of compromises.

Cobras are still, all these decades later, just about the most fun you can have with your pants on. Except for keeping rain out (they don’t have roofs) they do everything with maximum fun quotient. And you’re unlikely to lose money on one, even if you buy one of the new ones (they’re making them again). Granted, they’re one of the most copied cars ever made, but that’s because they’re so great. When Carroll Shelby put a smallblock in an AC Cobra chassis to make a race car, he built the perfect roadster.

I was watching an Pawn Stars episode years ago and a guy brought in a Cobra Shell. Just the body shell - nothing else.

Before they gave the guy an offer they had it appraised to ensure it was the real-deal. It was…and just the shell was appraised at $50,000. DAMN.

I’ve never driven a real Cobra, but did drive a replica. That was fun…I bet the real Cobra would be more so. Never drove a Viper either…not sure I want to.

Yes, they do have roofs, but rarely do you see either the hardtop or the soft top fitted. Here is a MK1 model. They were also on MK2 and 3 cars, too. There are removable hard tops as well.

And there were a few Daytona Coupes made to improve aerodynamics.

I saw that episode. The frame must have been a “continuation” frame. I.e., one built in the 60’s, numbered but never used for one of the 348 MK3 cars built. It was worth 50K for that reason alone. A real frame but the end result was not a real Cobra and not worth what a real Cobra is worth.

An actual MK3 Cobra is worth about $1.5 Million these days.

There were a bit more than 1000 Shelby Cobras made over 3 versions of the car from 1962 to 1967.

There were about 31,000 Vipers made over 5 versions of the car from 1992 to 2017.

Which one do you think will be worth more in 10 years?

velocity channel had a rod shop put a viper motor in a 1960? chrysler 300. they went to another shop that parts out vipers. said they had chopped about 400 vipers. so, thats a few less on the market.

No, they don’t. That ragtop is an aftermarket retrofit. Carroll Shelby never made them with roofs. They were made for the racetrack, not the road.

The one in your photo may even be a knockoff. That car was one of the most copied designs ever made.

Here is a picture of the very first Shelby Cobra. This is CSX2000 that recently went up for auction… Look closely at the rear deck behind the seats. There are some sort of fixing points. Is that for a top or is that for a tonneau or both?

I can’t find a definitive reference to tops but this site describes a top design to replace original AC Cobra soft tops.

And there were road cars and race cars depending on how the car was ordered. MK3 race cars had the 427 engine and road cars the 428.

Consider me corrected.

I gotta admit of all the Cobras I’ve seen, mostly replicas, they have no tops nor a provision for one. They are replicas of the MK3 race models with sidepipes and roll hoops.

Speaking of Vipers [?]…
Back in the 60’s (1960’s) a high school buddy (now residing in Clearwater, I visit him, lucky guy!) took me to his cousin’s home in a very nice neighborhood and we walked into his garage where my friend, Bill, pulled a bed sheet off of an open cockpit Cobra, (I think it was a 67) the same “electric blue” color as shown. However, I seem to recall some side exhaust pipes hanging out!

I hadn’t seen one before that and listened while he explained the details, including the 427 engine, etcetera. The cousin would use it to hot-rod around on week-ends.

I recall that he eventually sold it, advertising in Road & Track or Car & Driver, or some such magazine.

My friend related to me a story about the inquires that Ron received regarding the Cobra…
Two or three of them weren’t about purchasing the car. They were sight-unseen marriage proposals from female opportunists!

Thought ok, maybe I can squeeze my golf clubs in, $90K, can’t go on.

Anything that costs north of $90K better have wings.

The Viper will be worth a lot in 20 years because it is unique. Certainly there were higher production numbers than the AC Cobra, but still low compared to many other sought after cars. They will probably go down in value for a few years until really good examples are rare, then the value will increase. We have to wait for the majority to be worn out.

Actually, there were AC Cobra coupes built for Le Mans racing. They weren’t exactly street cars, but the big block cars were essentially built for racing anyway. These Le Mans variants were customized Mark IIs.

The Viper kind of reminds me of the Honda CBX motorcycle, which came out in 1979 and was a sales flop that now is a collectible motorcycle, with shops that specialize in restoring and bringing old ones back to life.
It was over the top in a tail-wagging-the-dog way.

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We have a huge street rod/muscle car show this weekend. Got passed by a Ferrari 355 covert and 63 vette split on way to work yesterday. Don’t see those very often. I just assume none with a super pricey car is going to work at 7am. They are home sleeping. I did see a viper rim at swap meet though a few yrs ago. $25

A little 6 cylinder…

… has a “backbone frame,” I see, like the old 305 Super Hawk I had when I first got my driver’s license. It was a 64, I believe.