Viper – 2021 Spotlight

The Dodge Viper was initially conceived in late 1988 at Chrysler’s Advanced Design Studios. The following February, Chrysler President Bob Lutz suggested to Tom Gale that the company should consider producing a modern Cobra, and a clay model was presented to Lutz a few months later. Produced in sheet metal by Metalcrafters, the car appeared as a concept at the 1989 North American International Auto Show. Public reaction was so enthusiastic that chief engineer Roy Sjöberg was directed to develop it as a standard production vehicle.

Sjöberg selected 85 engineers to be “Team Viper”, with development beginning in March 1989. The team asked the then-Chrysler subsidiary Lamborghini to cast a prototype aluminum block for the sports car to use in May. The production body was completed in fall 1989, with a chassis prototype running in December. Though a V8 engine was first used in the test mule, the V10 engine, which the production car was meant to use, was ready in February 1990. Official approval from Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca came in May 1990. One year later, Carroll Shelby piloted a pre-production car as the pace car at the 1991 Indianapolis 500.

In November, the Viper was released with the first retail shipments beginning in January 1992. The Viper was a sports car manufactured by Dodge (SRT for 2013 and 2014), a division of American car manufacturer FCA US LLC from 1991 through 2017, having taken a brief hiatus in 2007 and from 2010–2013.

The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand is shining the Spotlight on the Dodge Viper this summer. Below is a list of planned events and how Viper owners and fans can get involved.

Viper Spotlight During the 2021 PVGP Race Week

July 16-18 – Pitt Race Complex
– All qualified Vipers will race in the “Modern Historic” Group. See Race Schedule and Register to race here.
– Single session Vette vs. Viper Race on Sunday afternoon.
– Display area for Viper Car Show to watch the races from Spectator Hill with the Western Reserve Viper Club.
– Historic cars racing on track all day the  with winners recognized in the Hofbrauhaus Winners Circle.
– Admission is $20 per day, children 12 and under are free. Hours are 9 AM – 5 PM.
– Catch a ride for a lap of the track in a vintage car at lunchtime on the weekend.
Event Details.

Friday, July 16 – Blacktie & Tailpipes Gala
– Formal party at Valley Brook Country Club in Canonsburg – about 50 minutes from the track
– Tickets are $295 per person. Any Vipers that show up will be displayed.
Event Details

Monday, July 19 – Walnut Street Invitational Car Show
– 125 vehicle Car Show in Shadyside – just two miles from Schenley Park. Cars by invitation only.
– Space is reserved for 2 special Vipers to be displayed.
– Show is free to attend and runs from 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM.
Event Details.

Tuesday, July 20 – Waterfront Car Cruise
– All Vipers attending will be parked in a feature area.
– Open to the public car cruise at Waterfront Shopping Center in Homestead.
– Show runs from 4:00 PM until 9:00 PM.
– $5 donation to be in the show that features 750 cars of all types.
Event Details.

Wednesday, July 21 – Downtown Parade and Car Display
– Cars meet at Station Square and parade into downtown Pittsburgh at 11:00 AM.
– PVGP will host car displays until 2:00 PM at PPG Place, Market Square and USX Plaza.
– $10 donation to be in the parade and show.
– A special display of Vipers in Market Square with Viper chief engineer Roy Sjöberg appearing.
Event Details.

Wednesday, July 21 – Tune-Up
– Car Show & Party from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM. New location announced in February.
Event Details.

Thursday, July 22 – Passport to Elegance Jet Center Party
– This is an exclusive party at the County Airport in West Mifflin.
– Concours cars and vintage airplanes and an exclusive party setting in the hangar.
– $375 donation per person includes food and an open bar.
– Vipers owned by attendees will be put in a special display.
Event Details.

Friday, July 23
– Gimmick Rally – details to follow. $40 per car. Starts at Doubletree Hotel and finishes in Moraine State Park.
– Viper Dinner Party at Pittsburgh Golf Club – details to follow in April.

Schenley Park Race Weekend

Saturday, July 24 – Spotlight Exhibit
– Be a part of the International Car Show on the Bob O’Connor Golf course.
– Morning Presentation at Viper Tent by Viper Team.
– Special area for Viper owners to display on 18th fairway.
– Cost is $100 for the weekend and includes lunch for 2 in the Pittsburgh Golf Club.
– Afternoon Presentation at Viper Tent by Viper Team.
– Participants receive commemorative PVGP Race Program, decal and special weekend parking.
– Watch vintage races through the streets of Schenley Park.
Event Details.

Sunday, July 25 – Spotlight Exhibit
– Be a part of the International Car Show on the Bob O’Connor Golf course.
– Afternoon Presentation at Viper Tent by Viper Team.
– Wine Tasting at Turn 9 on the Schenley Park track.
– Self Guided Paddock Tour.
– Participants receive commemorative PVGP Race Program, decal and special parking for the weekend.
– Watch vintage races through the streets of Schenley Park.
Event Details.

A block of rooms are available at the Doubletree Hilton in Cranberry – Click Here

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