Chrysler's Dodge Viper began as a concept car at the Detroit Auto Show, with no plans for mass production. But a show-stealing debut convinced the company it had a potential best-seller on its hands.
It is a car that never should have been born. It wasn't strategically rational. It wasn't financially plausible. It wasn't even corporately approved. And yet, a team of designers, engineers, and craftsmen secretly built it anyway. The stealth project's name: the Dodge SRT Viper, the fifth generation of the model, built at the height of the 2008 economic collapse and during one of the company's darkest hours. Witness the long trek and massive challenges involved in reinventing and bulking up one of the most powerful American supercars ever made.
Now, you can watch Smithsonian Channel's incredible documentaries and shows anytime you want by purchasing from any of these distributors:
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel on air.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.