Dodge Viper Price: 8 Steps to Value Your Viper
Dodge Vipers are probably the most iconic out of all the American supercars. Known for being rugged, muscular, beautiful, and—above all—fast, this muscle car has long enjoyed the attention of mainstream media as well as the carefully-curated gaze of car nuts everywhere.
But how should you go about figuring out how much any given Dodge Viper for sale is worth? Are there peculiarities particular to the Viper which you need to keep in mind?
Here at American Supercars, we know that the information available in the automobile scene can be a little overwhelming. No matter where you go, everybody has a different opinion, and they all seem to have various facts and studies to back up their conclusions.
That’s why we’ve decided to come up with a definitive list of things you need to keep in mind when you’re trying to work out the Dodge Viper price. Every item on this list is worthy of consideration, and they all play a part in determining the overall value of a Dodge Viper.
Without further ado, let’s get right into it. Here’s our 8-step process to determine the price of a Dodge Viper.
1. Figure Out Which Generation You’re Dealing With
As is typical with many popular makes of car, the Dodge Viper has undergone a series of changes throughout the course of its life. Over 25 years the Viper has enjoyed a variety of metamorphoses, each of which was subtly different from its predecessor. These changes involved aesthetic tweaks, such as to the bodywork, wheel rims, and spoiler design, as well as mechanical adjustments, which affected the motor, transmission, suspension, and so forth.
As you’re trying to come up with a figure for your Dodge Viper price, it’s of vital importance to be aware of these changes from generation to generation, as well as knowing which generation your Viper belongs to.
Here’s the history of the Dodge Viper generations:
- 1992-1995 Gen 1
- 1996-2002 Gen 2
- 2003-2006 Gen 3
- 2008-2012 Gen 4
- 2013-2017 Gen 5
When it comes to valuing the different generations, the year of manufacture is an important factor, and accordingly, the total value of the Dodge Viper price ascends through the generations, with the Gen 1 being the lowest-valued model and the Gen 5 being the version that can fetch the highest price.
2. Mileage Matters
Mileage is one of the first things any prospective car buyer is going to ask about, it’s mainly through mileage that wear and tear is gauged.
The difference that mileage can make with regards to the final valuation figure slapped on the car can be stark indeed. Take as an example a 1996 Viper GTS. If it’s got 1000 miles on it, you could expect to reasonably ask between $70,000 and $80,000 for it. In comparison, the very same car in a similar condition (we’ll get to how determining the condition affects the Dodge Viper price in the next step) would be lucky to fetch more than $50,000.
3. Condition Is Crucial
Even though we all instinctively understand what it means for a car to be in good condition, fewer of us are probably able to come up with the criteria that determine the condition of a car off the top of our heads. After all, there are so many things to take into account. From chips in the instrument gauges to a sub-par suspension system, every single aspect of the car contributes to its overall condition, which in turn is itself an important factor that goes into evaluating the monetary worth of the vehicle.
Of primary importance to the overall figure of the Dodge Viper price sale is the state of the tires. Did you know that every single set of tires has a date code? Just like milk, tires have an expiry date, and if the set of tires on the Dodge Viper in question is beyond its date code, the safety of the vehicle might be compromised. Anything older than five years old is a risky proposition, and will lower the price of the car. A new set of tires will cost upwards of $2,000, and wheel damage is risked if the tire shop can’t handle the 10 inch (front) and 13 inch (rear) wheels.
It’s also a good idea to ensure that the front chin spoiler—so characteristic of the Viper series—isn’t overly damaged. The front spoiler, in particular, is definitely something to look at and consider improving if it’s particularly scratched up. In general, try to make sure that the car looks as good as it possibly can.
Color, is a very important aspect of the overall Dodge Viper price. Just as the aesthetic changes undergone by various generations of the Viper have an impact on its value, so too does the color of any given model. But why is this the case?
The answer to that question lies in the fact that some colors are rarer than others. And, according to the ‘Scarcity Principle,’ the rarer something is, the more money it’ll be able to fetch at a market. But which colors are the most highly sought-after?
Standard-issue color schemes like red, black, blue, and white—while relatively basic in comparison with some of the more garish shades we’ve become accustomed to seeing in supercars—are safe bets when it comes to increasing Dodge Viper prices, and are reliably desirable. However, Vipers with stripes built into the color scheme tend to bring in more money than their non-striped equivalents, which is a good point to keep in mind as you work towards determining the value of the car.
5. Production Numbers
It won’t come as any surprise to learn that Dodge Vipers are pretty exclusive within the automobile industry. With around 30,000 having been built over 25 years of production, it’s fair to say that buyers are paying for the exclusivity of the car, as well as for the mechanical features of the vehicle itself. To drive this point home, were you aware that some limited editions of the Viper sold out in 40 minutes?
The amount of cars produced plays a massive part in determining the value of any given model. But it’s important to consider this factor within the context of other factors. Take the Gen 2, for example. Even though it’s not the rarest kind out there, it’s got that iconic look we’ve come to associate with the Dodge Viper, and as such can command a higher price, even though it’s not one of the most exclusive when it comes to scarcity.
6. The Importance Of The Mechanics
No matter which car we’re talking about, the functionality of the mechanical structures in place are crucial. After all, if we’re considering cars at the most basic of levels, they need to be able to get from A to B without coughing up smoke every 300 yards. Automobiles are essentially machines—incredibly complicated, sophisticated machines, no doubt, but machines nonetheless. And a machine that doesn’t work properly isn’t much use to anybody.
As far as supercars go, Dodge Vipers are known for being well-constructed, and don’t come with too many issues with regards to the mechanical side of things. But that doesn’t mean that you can take for granted that the Dodge Viper price will be improved by the vehicle’s mechanics.
Just as it’s important for the car to have been maintained properly (as we touched on in point 3, the condition of the vehicle), it’s important for the car to have been driven enough. As it happens, that’s one of the only disadvantages with lower-mileage models. Cars are made to be driven, and if they don’t enjoy enough time out on the open road, the complicated mechanisms that are in place to keep them running are likely to get stiff and old, and their overall performance may drop significantly—which may just cost you when it comes to the overall value of the vehicle.
7. Owner History
As much as we might like to care for our vehicles, at the end of the day they’re items that we own. And when we sell them on, somebody else owns them, and so on. This will no doubt seem obvious, but the importance of this point will become clear in a moment.
It’s incredibly important to take into account the history of a Dodge Viper when you go about evaluating its total price. Cars which have only had one owner are able to fetch a premium which cars with multiple owners in their history simply can’t compete with.
The reasoning behind this conclusion is straightforward. If a car has only had one owner, you can reliably assume that it has been maintained well. At the very least, you’ll be able to give the vehicle a thorough once-over and attribute any faults you come across to just one person. After all, only one human has been in possession of the automobile since it left the factory. Who else is there to blame?
The issue arises when cars have multiple owners in their history. The more people who’ve driven the car, the more likely there are to be flaws somewhere in the vehicle. This has to do with the fact that each of us has our own unique driving style, and some are bound to be more conducive to a car’s long-term health than others. It can be much more difficult to assess the damage done to a vehicle with more owner history than a one owner car, and for that reason more owners in a car’s history will incur a price reduction to some degree.
Part of the fun in owning your own vehicle is the ability to put your own stamp on it. Who doesn’t get a kick out of dreaming up ways to modify their car? Not only is it personally satisfying, it can also be an excellent way to improve a car’s performance; and with the wide variety of after-market enhancements available to today’s buyer, the possibilities are endless.
Vipers especially are known to be regularly modified, particularly because they’re high-performance cars as is, and so there’s more to be gained from a few modifications than with a beat-up Corolla, for example. But modifications made to the Viper in question are likely to affect the price; and not always positively.
For one thing, the on-going trend towards more smog regulation throughout North America will render some modifications completely obsolete—they’ll need to be removed to even make the thing road legal. For another, car modifications aren’t always properly performed, and if they’re not done right you’ll probably need to take them off completely.
This isn’t to say that a modified Viper should be avoided like the plague: far from it. All it means is that a little bit more due diligence should be exercised with a vehicle that has undergone after-market enhancements, compared to a stock model that looks exactly like it did when it was first bought. Any modifications will affect the Dodge Viper price one way or another, so make sure you know of each modification that was made to the car.
So there you have it: 8 things to keep in mind when you’re going about trying to come up with a figure that represents your Dodge Viper’s price. Some of these have more impact on the price than others, just like some are easier to perform than others, but they all have one thing in common: each of these factors will affect the price of the vehicle, so it’s best to be aware of them.
If you’re looking to buy or sell a Dodge Viper, contact me: [email protected]