The Dodge Viper returned to Indianapolis to pace the Indy 500 just five years after the
first Viper chosen to lead the pack in 1991. 1996 featured a new GTS coupe model,
adding some noticable features that the RT/10 roadster lacked (such as a solid roof and
glass side windows).
As with its
predecessor, the 1996 Viper needed only to add mandatory safety features to handle pace
car duties. The car was powered by a 450-HP, 8.0L V-10 engine, and was driven by
Chrysler president Robert Lutz.
Only four Vipers were provided for speedway use. Dodge also provided the offical truck
Indy 500, the Dodge Ram, given the same blue-and-white paint treatment and Indy
500 decals as the Viper. This truck was made available as a limited edition replica
and was an instant hit. The blue-and-white paint scheme was also a standard color
for production GTS coupes.
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