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One of You Needs to Buy This Le Mans-Winning Viper GTS-R

Road & Track logo Road & Track 7/6/2020 Chris Perkins
a car driving on a race track: Viper GTS-R chassis C31 won its class in eight of the 11 races it entered in 2000. Buy it and hit the track. © LBI Limited Viper GTS-R chassis C31 won its class in eight of the 11 races it entered in 2000. Buy it and hit the track.

If you watched sports-car racing at the turn of the millennium, you know this car. This is a Chrysler Viper GTS-R, chassis number C31, one of the most successful of all Viper race cars. It's a modern road-racing icon, and it's up for sale.

Welcome to You Must Buy, our daily look at the cars you really should be buying instead of that boring commuter sedan.

And yes, this is technically a Chrysler Viper and not a Dodge. This Viper GTS-R was one of many assembled by ORECA in France, and when raced in Europe, it was campaigned as a Chrysler rather than a Dodge. Chassis C31 was built in February of 1999 and entered in the American Le Mans Series and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2000. The car took GTS class wins at seven of the 10 ALMS events it ran, including the 12 Hours of Sebring. And driven by Dominique Dupuy, Olivier Beretta, and Karl Wendlinger at Le Mans, C31 held off another Viper and the then-new Corvette C5-R for LMGTS class honors, too.

The factory-backed Viper race program ended after 2000, and C31 ended up in the hands of privateers, racing off and on until 2005. Afterwards, it was bought by a collector and restored to 2000 Le Mans-spec, apparently to the tune of $500,000 plus. It presents beautifully today, dripping with race-car cool, and apparently it's ready to race again.

This Viper was immortalized in the official Le Mans racing game and in the Gran Turismo series, wearing this exact livery. That's why this specific car is iconic to a generation of sports-car fans, your author included. The selling dealer, LBI Limited, says that this is likely the only Le Mans-winning Viper that'll ever come up for private sale. It's certainly one of the most important Vipers in existence, and one of the greatest American sports racing cars ever built.

We sincerely hope the next owner uses its 8.0-liter, 600-plus-hp V-10 in anger.

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