Why the Dodge Viper RT/10 Callaway was a legendary American sports car

The 1993 Dodge Viper RT/10 is an icon in itself. If we think about American sports carsthe Viper is always at the top of the list, regardless of the model year – and what makes it so attractive are its manly proportions.


The Ford Mustang may have a stronger heritage, but the Cleverness Viper was nothing short of a hero car among kids and Hollywood stars who could afford to own one.

You could say that the Mercedes SL55 AMG is also a man’s car. Of course it is, but it’s more for the family man. Not the guy who wants to show how ridiculously loud the bike is; the Viper RT/10 fits into that category. The bumpy hood and that 8.0-liter V10 engine scream a different kind of American brawn. A car that doesn’t care if bystanders have to wear noise-canceling headphones as they pass by.

Related: Here’s Why the Dodge Viper RT/10 Is Now an Insane $50,000 Sports Car


The Dodge RT/10 Callaway was a viper like no other

Red 1993 Dodge Viper RT/10 Callaway 440 Pace Car
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Aside from its aluminum 8.0-liter V10 engine, it featured a Callaway 440 Performance package, which saw a 40 horsepower increase over the standard 400 horsepower the standard RT/10 produced.

Callaway also worked on improving exhaust system flow and intake system flow. The three Callaway Dodge Viper cars were built in New London Connecticut. You may be wondering why it has Speedway lights on top – well, that’s because it was used as an Official Pace Car at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville Connecticut in 1993, ’94 and ’95.

Red 1993 Dodge Viper RT/10 Callaway 440 Pace car side view
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The Dodge Viper Callaway had a removable soft top and side curtains, plus a few dealer-installed accessories, including custom Viper GTS stripes, removable Speedway lights, and a custom Viper car cover.

This particular Callaway Viper car has only covered 7,918 miles since new. It even features signatures from Bill ‘Maverick’ Golden, Harry Gant, and Tommy Johnson Jr.

Callaway makes fast cars go even faster

Red 1993 Dodge Viper RT/10 Callaway 440 Pace Car V10 Engine
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Callaway has devoted itself largely to improving engines. For Callaway, the engine is the heart of a car, its performance and sound – and we couldn’t agree more. These guys have a state of the art facility built exclusively to improve and push a car’s power, fuel economy and emissions to the limit.

Whether designing and developing DOHC 4V cylinder heads for an Aston Martin, or twin turbo conversions for General Motors and Alfa Romeo, the guys at Callaway have it all covered.

Red 1993 Dodge Viper RT/10 Callaway 440 Pace car dashboard
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Even when it comes to the efficiency and optimization of a Range Rover powertrain, customers can be assured that they will do a great job. In fact, Land Rover even introduced the Callaway Special Edition.

Callaway also produced turbochargers for the Mazda Speed ​​Protegé range, which just goes to show that these engineers are willing to take on any high-end engine work for the OE.

Related: A Detailed Look Back at the 1964 Dodge Dart GT

Dodge RT/10 Viper Car was a ticking bomb

Red 1993 Dodge Viper RT/10 Callaway 440 Pace car rear view
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The Dodge Viper RT/10 is very different in nature from all other American muscle cars and sports cars. While most muscle cars of the era were made to rake in the numbers, the Viper, on the other hand, didn’t seem to care, especially the first-generation RT/10.

The Viper screams power that will intimidate any V8 engined car. Dodge’s development strategy was to make the body out of fiberglass, with the exhaust of the booming V10 emerging from the side pipes.

Red 1993 Dodge Viper RT/10 Callaway 440 Pace Car 6 Speed ​​Manual Transmission
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Being a handful, its intimidating nature meant buyers were skeptical. The sales plan was clear: to attract buyers who were in it, drove it and understood what was different about it. If you didn’t like it, well there was always the Ford dealer a few blocks away.

What was worse than the unsophisticated chassis design and rather terrifying engine was the lack of safety features or even driver aids. Which meant you invested in the fastest chest money can buy. The first-generation Viper was a car that didn’t seem to care much, and with Callaway throwing in its faster bits, it was more of a ticking bomb.

Red 1993 Dodge Viper RT/10 Callaway 440 Pace Car Front View
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It had no ABS, traction control, no airbags (good god!), no stability control, wait for it – and it had no side windows or exterior grab handles. But what you did get in the RT/10 Callaway was 440 horsepower sent to the rear wheels and 465 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed T56 transmission. The Viper was not a car for the faint hearted. It was never intended as a car for freshmen to get to prom. The Viper was the most unfiltered pure American hairy-chested sports car, and Callaway just added more protein powder to the mix.

Source: Dodge, Mecum Auctions

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