The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Viper-bodied Corvette claims it to be a great winter project. That seller also says the car underneath is a ’96 when its dash is clearly a half-decade older than that. Could its price be low enough to mask those misrepresentations?
The recent 1995 Porsche 968 Cabriolet may have represented the end of the line for the marque’s long-legged front-engined four-pot cars (for the moment) but few of you considered it the lineage’s ultimate expression. Add to that a $US20,000 ($31,766) price that many of you felt was a few grand too grand and we ended up with a 55 per cent Crack Pipe loss.
That Porsche may have been too much for the majority of you, but are we to do with those who think that too much is never enough?
Chevy’s Corvette has long held the mantle as “America’s Sports Car.” Even when emissions controls, fuel economy needs, and GM’s general apathy gilded the ‘Vette’s lily so to speak, there wasn’t really a viable usurper to take advantage.
Then, in 1989 Chrysler debuted the Dodge Viper show car, a 10-cylinder beast that the Mopar-ians described as a modern-day Cobra. Now, it’s the epitome of hutzpah to lay claim to being the spiritual successor to a venerated model from an entirely different make—two in this case—but the Viper lived up to the comparison.
Consider this, though; Chrysler was comparing the Viper—which would enter production in 1991—to a long-dead car, mainlining the feel and force of an entirely different era into the new car, and ignored the contemporary Corvette as a rival entirely. Ouch.
That insult may have hurt the feelings of many a Corvette owner, especially those who craved the raw brutality offered the Viper. I can’t say that this Vipervette represents a salve to those wounds, but it will piss off pretty much everybody on both brands’ benches. That, I think, is what makes it so intriguing.
First off, the car is offered on Facebook Marketplace which is honestly the crack-alley Kmart of the Classifieds world. It’s a venue for people who think using Craigslist is “putting on airs” or is some sort of socialist plot. As a display case for cars and trucks, it’s terrible. That choice of venue just adds to the lurid fascination this car offers.
Another is the car’s brief description in which the seller describes the car as a Viper body kit on top of a 1996 Corvette C4 chassis. Um, yeah, that’s not a 1996 Corvette interior, friends. That’s a mid-Eighties dash with its digital IP and the weird-arse passenger-side “bread box” removed.
OK, so, this actually being a mid-Eighties donor, that means that under the now Viper-licious hood resides a 5.7-litre V8 with probably somewhere in the neighbourhood of about 205 to 240 horsepower. Mated to that is a pedestrian four-speed automatic. That’s a whole lot less power than the 400 ponies the real-deal Viper’s 8-litre V10 offered but the automatic does expand the experience to those who can’t drive stick since the OG Viper never offered a slushbox. I mean, why would it?
The seller’s description is a brief two sentences:
It’s a 96 vet with a viper body (kit car) with small-block V-8 engine. Good project for winter & fun to drive!!!
In addition to the terse tech-talk, we can glean that the underlying Corvette sports 66K on the clock and that the seller considers it to be in “fair condition.” I was thinking more “circus condition” but “fair” is fair.
The bodywork does in fact look like a Viper and even features the real car’s comically poor panel gaps. Beneath those gaping chasms lies what appears to be real Viper wheels. There’s no word on whether the Corvette’s door glass or roof has made the transition. As you will no doubt recall, the original Viper was a side-curtain and toupee top sort of car.
This is obviously a project and the main point of that project is no doubt to piss off both Viper and Corvette crowds so It’s a two-for-one offer. The seller doesn’t note the title status of the car, which might be a deal killer for many should it have been rebuilt along with the re-bodying.
For many others, the whole thing might just be too objectively whack to even be worth considering. For those remaining hearty souls, let’s now consider this odd-bodkin of a car and its $US8,000 ($12,706) asking.
What do you think, could this mad mash-up of Corvette and Viper be worth that much to take on? Or, is this Corviper’s price as crazy as the car?
H/T to Jared Finney for the hookup!
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