How big was the Dodge Viper in the 1990s? Big enough to inspire its own eponymous TV series. And now one of the prop cars used to film the show can be yours.
One of the “Defender” prop cars used for principal photography on Viper is currently up for grabs over at Bring a Trailer (via Motor1.com). The Chrysler-designed curio may not be street-legal, but it’s easily one of the strangest big- or small-screen cars that will hit the market this year.
Unless you’re a connoisseur of 1990s action television, you’d be forgiven for not remembering Viper. The show—which ran from 1994 to 1999, first on NBC and then in syndication—focused on a federal task force that used a red Viper RT/10 to fight crime. While a sports car wouldn’t normally be much help in combating criminals, the Viper in the show could transform into an armored assault vehicle called the Defender at the touch of a button.
The Defender may not be as fondly remembered as the car it’s based on, but it’s still a very striking vehicle. The armored speed machine, which was designed by Chrysler and not the show’s production team, was supposedly built on a stretched 1993 Viper RT/10 chassis and features an even more serpentine front fascia, fastback-style roofline and a giant rear wing. It’s finished in silver and rides on a pair of color-matching three-spoke wheels wrapped in Michelin XGT 2 tires. The futuristic interior has a stripped-down look and includes multiple infotainment screens (installed decades before that was a thing) and two gray leather bucket seats.
And while the Defender may look more intimidating than the Viper, it’s nowhere near as powerful. The prop car is powered by a Chrysler small-block V-8, instead of the 8.0-liter V-10 found in the production sports car. Other features include a four-wheel independent suspension with coilover shock absorbers, disc brakes with Viper-branded calipers and power-assisted steering.
The car is one of 14 that were used during the filming of the series, according to the listing. Unfortunately, it’s not titled or registered for street use. The Defender was used for publicity purposes, though, so it will at least look good on display.
The Defender prop car will be up for auction until Tuesday afternoon for those looking for something unusual for their collection. Bidding sat just shy of $80,000 as of press time, but don’t be surprised if that climbs during the auction’s final 24 hours.
Click here to see more photos of the Dodge Viper-based Defender.