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What Made the Original Dodge Viper the Most Dangerous Modern Sports Car

The Dodge Viper was the last truly scary sports car. The original RT/10 roadster made 400 hp—with no airbags, ABS, or other safety nets. Hell, it didn’t even have exterior door handles. Legend has it that 30 percent of RT/10s were crashed on the way home from the dealer. Unbelievable, but rooted in truth: In 2000, the IIHS’s Highway Loss Data Institute revealed that the 1997-99 Viper, which stickered close to $70,000, cost insurance companies more per incident than any other vehicle, averaging seven times the payout of a typical collision claim. We spoke with two experts about what made the RT/10 such a handful: Bob Lutz, the father of the Viper, and Bob Woodhouse, whose Omaha dealership was No. 1 in Viper sales numerous times. The Viper’s thorny reputation paid off. Lutz credits it with reviving Chrysler’s image when the automaker was gasping to survive. “The bigger risk would have been to do nothing,” he says. For the full story, check out this article from Road & Track.

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