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The Creation of the Viper

Viper Early Development Once the initial idea of Viper had been accepted, it was decided that a platform team would develop the car. This team would exist independently inside Chrysler Corporation, make its own rules, and create its own supplier base. The team leader sifted through scores of engineers, designers and mavericks to assemble a team of true believers, the car fanatics who would do whatever it took to create an ultra-high-performance two-seater. Then Team Viper began three years of work -- often around-the-clock. Their activities spanned the world ... from Italy, where the aluminum engine block was created, to the race tracks of Nelson Ledges and Road Atlanta, where they fine-tuned Viper's high-performance chassis and power train. Team members worked with major automotive suppliers to develop components that could withstand the stresses of high-performance driving. Chassis prototypes, called "mules," were developed to study vehicle dynamics. Within a year of Viper RT/10's auto show appearance, a V8-powered mule was being tested. A few months later, a cast iron V10 was being tested. In May 1990, after months of exhaustive work, Chrysler Corporation announced that the Viper, now powered by the aluminum V10, was a "go." One year later, the Viper RT/10 led the field at the 1991 Indianapolis 500 as the Official Pace Car. Then, in January 1992, the first Vipers were scheduled for delivery -- exactly three years after the concept car's 1989 auto show triumph.