Getting the chance to own a racing icon is not something that comes up very often, and it’s what most of us dreamed of as kids glued to TV sets watching our hero’s belt around in dream machines.
Now, one of the most recognisable and accomplished sports cars from the Chrysler stable is up for grabs, the white-striped Chrysler Viper GTS-R built by ORECA, and made famous by the Gran Turismo game series.
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This particular car is one of the most successful Viper racing chassis in history. Built by factory-backed ORECA in France in early 1999, chassis number #C31 had a swag of success racing in the American Le Mans Series in 2000, taking GTS class wins in seven of the 10 races; which included the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Its biggest achievement though was at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the same year, taking out the LMGTS class in the hands of Dominique Dupuy, Olivier Beretta, and Karl Wendlinger, fending off a charge from another Viper and a freshly debuted Corvette C5-R.
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While the on-track success is part of this cars legacy, one key thing to its memorable status is its poster boy roles in both the Le Mans racing game and cameos in the Gran Turismo franchise. If you wanted to make a car memorable during the early 2000s, that was one way to do it. Think of the BMW E46 M3 GTR from Need for Speed: Most Wanted as another example.
The biggest difference here is that this car actually exists, complete with its 8.0-litre, 447kW+ naturally aspirated V10 engine. After being sold to private hands at the end of 2000, chassis C31 raced on and off until 2005. It eventually underwent a full restoration to its original 2000 Le Mans winning spec, allegedly to the tune of US$500,000 (A$718,000).
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LBI Limited are the lucky ducks tasked with selling the car, speculating this is probably the only chance anyone will have to privately acquire a Le Mans winning Viper. It also comes with a few spares and Wendlinger’s Le Mans race suit for the man cave.
We’re crossing our fingers that such an iconic car isn’t wasted away in a museum for the rest of its life, and hope we see it at events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the future.