Why are 1997 RT-10's hard to find/none for sale??

SylvanSRT

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

"96 & '97 RT's were very low production numbers some of the rarest. '97 first yr RT w/ elect windows and for the 450 hp engine. 96 and 97 were the biggest yrs for coupe production so the Rt's were limited.
 

J DAWG

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

'97 RT/10 only 117 built.
 

Jay Herbert

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

Why so low? Historic/Trivia question answer is because the tool used to make the hoods was flat worn-out. A number of cars sat in the waiting area for literally months after the "official end of the production year" waiting for good "smoothie" hoods. The desire and plan was to keep the RT/10 disinctive from the GTS by keeping the smoothie hood and RT/10 fascia...

The tool had a different idea though. So in '98 the RT/10 received the vented GTS hood and chin spoilered fascia. Several '98's were assembled with the smoothie hood, but when it became apperant that the tool really had reached the end of its life, the hoods where replaced (except for one car that accidentally left with a smoothie hood).
 
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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

There are a few in the LA area. We sold about 50 of them in 1996-1997 (blue/wht). I sold 3 in the last 15 months, if you look you can find them.
 

Dead President

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

Mine will be for sale around March or April. Just got to get around to it. 17,000 miles. FYI. I tried to buy this car from a dealer in Dec '98, but he wanted $10K over sticker and wouldn't negotiate much. I tried almost a year later in Oct '99, and he was willing to part with it for a reasonable price. Patience and persistence paid off.
 

Jay Herbert

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

The Blue with White striped '97 RT/10's are one of my favorite Vipers .......
 

Jack

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

This is something I've been wondering about for quite a while. The spring 2002 issue of Viper listed state-by-state breakdown for where the Vipers were sold when new. It shows 52 of the 1997 RT/10s sold in Michegan. That's nearly half the production. Anyone have any idea why so many came out of Michigan? Also, is it just coincidence that 52 blue/white were produced and that was the number sold in Michigan?
The build date on my '97 RT/10 is 11-97 and the in-service date was March 98, so the hood problem helps explain the late production date.

Thanks,
Jack Janney
 

SylvanSRT

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

michigan also has the second highest number of Vipers registered with California being first. My guess is that per/capita that would give Michigan a higher per/capita. Also as to why so many in Mich. thats where they are made. thats where the company that makes them is from, just a couple of guesses. Michigan is also only second to New York for the number of collector cars, (this fact someone told me).
 

Jack

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

Let me ask this another way. Michigan share of total (US) Viper production, according to the Spring 2002 issue of Viper was: 92/19% 93/10% 94/7% 95/8% 96/8% 97/44% 98/14% 99/5% 00/5% 01/5%

Why would the percentage jump way up in '97 and fall back in later years?

Now - we all know certain dealers had promotions during the 60s where the factory filled a special order. For example the Baldwin motion, Yenko, and Nickie Chevrolets. Also special editions of the Mustang: Colorado special, California special, Kansas Twister, etc.
Was anyone around in '97 that remembers one or two Michigan dealers that were reserved 50 of the '97 RT/10s. Might be an interesting story there.

Jack
 

Gerald Levin

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

I agree, something isn't right? Dan Cragin says he sold about 50 in LA, so that leaves very very few 97 R/T's available for sale for the rest of the dealers. Good question. Nice to know the answer.
 

GR8_ASP

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

My guess. And it is only a guess. That is around the time when plant pick-ups started. It could be that when the plant pick-up program started that they all looked like Michigan sales. They still could be for all I know.

I can also state pretty clearly that there is no preponderance of blue and white RT/10's here. Red, yes. Blue, no.
 

STUGOTS

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

so the 97 R/T had 450 hp and 490 tq but had a smoothie hood?

No kidding i diden't know that, I always thought the 96 was the last year for the smoothie hood,and the 96 had 415 hp.

So the 96's air induction is not as good as lets say the 97 R/T.
 

Tomer

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

The sweeeeeeeeeet 96 RT was the last year for the Gen I engine, and it got an HP bump due to the free flowing rear exit exhaust...the 97 RT has the Gen II engine.

Tomer
 

Jay Herbert

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

so the 97 R/T had 450 hp and 490 tq but had a smoothie hood?

No kidding i diden't know that, I always thought the 96 was the last year for the smoothie hood,and the 96 had 415 hp.

So the 96's air induction is not as good as lets say the 97 R/T.

The reason is the '97's had the new 450HP Gen II engine that was introduced in the '96 GTS.

The '96 RT/10's were the last of the Gen I engine.
 

tmcalist

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

97 RT/10 is my favorite year for the Viper. Got to love the Blue and White.
 

Andy 98 RT/10

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

That's interesting that the 98-up RT/10s got the vented hoods originally due to a mistake. I am glad they did though, I think they look the best with the vented hoods.
 

Dead President

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

Maybe I shouldn't sell. But it just sits while I drive the SRT-10 or haul my 3 kids around in one of the other cars. I getting sentimental as people call about the car. It took so long to find and negotiate the sale.
 

carguy07

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

If it was me, it would take a lot to let it go. I think you have the best of both worlds. One to drive and one to look at. The SRT probably drives better and the RT looks better. IMO
 

MerlinsGarage

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Re: Why are 1997 RT-10\'s hard to find/none for sale??

Why so low? Historic/Trivia question answer is because the tool used to make the hoods was flat worn-out. A number of cars sat in the waiting area for literally months after the "official end of the production year" waiting for good "smoothie" hoods. The desire and plan was to keep the RT/10 disinctive from the GTS by keeping the smoothie hood and RT/10 fascia...

The tool had a different idea though. So in '98 the RT/10 received the vented GTS hood and chin spoilered fascia. Several '98's were assembled with the smoothie hood, but when it became apperant that the tool really had reached the end of its life, the hoods where replaced (except for one car that accidentally left with a smoothie hood).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So to add and clarify why the '97 RT/10 was so limited in production was mostly due to time constraints. In 1996 they closed the New Mack facility and moved production to the Conner Ave building for the '97MY. The move of course took time and they incorporated some important upgrades to manufacturing in the process. Along with the moving floor assembly line, "Rain Room", and high speed rolling dyno was the new state-of-the-art alignment machine. This giant structure dialed in the Viper's (and Prowler's) alignment to minute specs not possible with prior equipment. It was so top secret they wouldn't let me take video or pictures at the time. Ferrari was also looking into purchasing one. Their engineering staff was arriving later that afternoon to analyze the operation.
And yes the hoods created delay, but not necessarily because the blanks were out of spec, which some were, but because the pre-painted white stripes were not aligned properly with the nose section stripes. See the individual body panels were formed and painted separately then placed on racks and sent to the plant for assembly. In lesser cases the Viper Blue was not matched well enough so that had to be addressed. If you have one of these B/W Vipers you can immediately tell the car was not painted with the same paint batch.
Also consider they were making the Prowler in the same space so it was a really busy place.
The question as to why the majority of the '97 RT/10s were sold in Mich was the fact most cars went to Chrysler executives, their friends, family etc. Between leadership level and Team Viper Executive Engineer (and racer) John Fernandez selecting the candidates for the cars few if any were left to the general public. Most every order came with a personal concierge who kept the eventual owner up to date with production info on a weekly basis.
Plant tours were also set up by the concierge to coincide with their car in it's final stages of manufacturing.
IMHO the best job was the guys that drove bodyless vipers around for testing. 450 hp and +/- 2000 lbs had to be a blast.
Just before we left a Jeep Grand Cherokee rumbles in with a strange exhaust note.....Yep it had a V10. What a company!!
Anyway hope you found this interesting..............
Best, Bret.
 

MoparMap

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Wow, that's some very neat behind the scenes info! I'd love to hear more about other stuff you got to see "behind the veil".
 

BYAIC

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So to add and clarify why the '97 RT/10 was so limited in production was mostly due to time constraints. In 1996 they closed the New Mack facility and moved production to the Conner Ave building for the '97MY. The move of course took time and they incorporated some important upgrades to manufacturing in the process. Along with the moving floor assembly line, "Rain Room", and high speed rolling dyno was the new state-of-the-art alignment machine. This giant structure dialed in the Viper's (and Prowler's) alignment to minute specs not possible with prior equipment. It was so top secret they wouldn't let me take video or pictures at the time. Ferrari was also looking into purchasing one. Their engineering staff was arriving later that afternoon to analyze the operation.
And yes the hoods created delay, but not necessarily because the blanks were out of spec, which some were, but because the pre-painted white stripes were not aligned properly with the nose section stripes. See the individual body panels were formed and painted separately then placed on racks and sent to the plant for assembly. In lesser cases the Viper Blue was not matched well enough so that had to be addressed. If you have one of these B/W Vipers you can immediately tell the car was not painted with the same paint batch.
Also consider they were making the Prowler in the same space so it was a really busy place.
The question as to why the majority of the '97 RT/10s were sold in Mich was the fact most cars went to Chrysler executives, their friends, family etc. Between leadership level and Team Viper Executive Engineer (and racer) John Fernandez selecting the candidates for the cars few if any were left to the general public. Most every order came with a personal concierge who kept the eventual owner up to date with production info on a weekly basis.
Plant tours were also set up by the concierge to coincide with their car in it's final stages of manufacturing.
IMHO the best job was the guys that drove bodyless vipers around for testing. 450 hp and +/- 2000 lbs had to be a blast.
Just before we left a Jeep Grand Cherokee rumbles in with a strange exhaust note.....Yep it had a V10. What a company!!
Anyway hope you found this interesting..............
Best, Bret.
That was a great read, thank you!

A fellow in another thread is going through a bit of drama with his B/W ‘96 GTS. Among other things he believes the car was disassembled and repainted by a previous owner. Could your observations about paint / stripe issues at the factory actually be the case with his car?

That thread is here:

https://www.viperclub.org/vca/threads/question-of-viper-value-1996.676585/#post-3299586
 

MerlinsGarage

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When i get a chance I'll scan some pics for you. One of the coolest pics was of the completed storage bay called the "Toy Box". There were always Reliable car haulers just outside the huge doors waiting to be loaded.
 

MerlinsGarage

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BYAIC,
I read most of the thread..........poor chap. Quite possibly the case, color wise. The trunk was the biggest offender when it came to being a shade off. The body pieces came from different vendors hence the discrepancies in QC.
Best, Bret.
 

steel snake

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The dynamics of the Viper market are changing. That's another reason the B/W's are disappearing. People are stashing them. Even just a year ago you could find a nice one for $60k+. Not no more. Carney's Viper book doesn't feature a B&W on the cover by accident. One of the greatest Viper shots around is featured in that book---18 B&W Vipers coming down the Champs Elysees, Paris in formation. What a rush that must have been, being a part of that event. If you don't own that book, you should.
 

MerlinsGarage

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MerlinsGarage

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Sorry for the poor quality scans but I think you can get the idea what's going on in the pictures.
Top to bottom:
* Rolling dyno - notice the fixed yellow stop post in the foreground. There is also one in the front of the car and is hydraulically operated. Speeds were in excess of 100mph.
* Racks of body panels waiting to be installed.
* The "Toy Box" completed cars waiting to be loaded into Reliable vans for customer and dealer delivery.
* Moving floor assembly line.
* Final prep and holding area
 

MerlinsGarage

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