Evernham's Dodge Viper Highlights Tribute to Iconic Sports Car at Pennzoil AutoFair, Sept. 21-24
A colorful, high-powered salute to the Dodge Viper's final year of production takes center stage during the Sept. 21-24 Pennzoil AutoFair Presented by Advance Auto Parts at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fans visiting the world's largest collector car show and swap meet will get to see iconic Viper models like NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Ray Evernham's blue-and-white 1996 Viper GTS - which he received as a bonus when Evernham served as crew chief for Jeff Gordon's first NASCAR Cup Series championship in 1995. Several other amazing Dodge Vipers will fill out the exhibit, including John Jancic's 2010 convertible that is one of seven produced in snakeskin green with black stripes. Its odometer shows only seven miles. The Viper exhibit will be joined by collections of classic DeSoto automobiles and cars with supercharged engines. ABOUT THE VIPER: In 1992, Dodge introduced its primitive, purpose-built Viper two-seater. In an age when performance cars were becoming more luxurious and computer-assisted, the new Dodge was a brutal throwback to the days when sports cars were raw, tire-shredding beasts. The Viper had little in common with the contemporary Corvette and everything in common with another snake: the Cobra 427 roadster of the 1960s. The early Viper was powered by a 400-horsepower, 8.0-liter, aluminum V-10 engine designed by Italy's Lamborghini, which was at the time owned by Dodge's parent company, Chrysler Corp. Shifting was handled by a Borg-Warner six-speed manual transmission. Fiberglass body panels helped keep the car's curb weight to a modest 3,284 pounds, resulting in an amazingly fast 4.6-second zero-to-60 time and blistering 12.0-second quarter-mile. Top speed was 160 miles per hour. As the years went by, the Viper steadfastly remained an unforgiving performance machine, although some additions to comfort and technology such as optional air conditioning, roll-up windows, solid roof panels, and anti-lock brakes were made. The iconic side exhausts were fitted with protective covers. The V-10 engine grew larger in displacement and more powerful in output, ending its run with a monstrous, 645-horsepower rating from 8.4 liters. After a quarter-century and five generations of world-class performance, the final limited-production Dodge Viper - a red coupe with chromed wheels - slithered off the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Conner Avenue Assembly line in Detroit on Aug. 16. It will be preserved in FCA's heritage collection. ABOUT THE AUTOFAIR: The Pennzoil AutoFair Presented by Advance Auto Parts features more than 50 car club displays and more than 10,000 vendor spaces offering an array of automotive parts and memorabilia. More than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral that rings the 1.5-mile superspeedway. In addition, kids can enjoy face-painting, bounce houses, and other games and entertainment in the Play Zone. Hours for the Sept. 21-24 Pennzoil AutoFair Presented by Advance Auto Parts are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. TICKETS: Single-day tickets are $11 each day for adults. Admission is FREE for children 13 and under with an adult. A 4-Day Weekend Pass is available for just $32. To buy tickets, AutoFair attendees can call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267), shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com, or buy them at the gate. KEEP TRACK: Keep track of Pennzoil AutoFair Presented by Advance Auto Parts attractions and events by following on Twitter and Instagram or become a Facebook fan. Keep up with all the latest news and information with the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.