Tag: 1990

A Viper Defender From The 1990s TV Series “Viper” – Ben Branch @Silodrome

A Viper Defender From The 1990s TV Series “Viper” – Ben Branch @Silodrome


This is one of an estimated 14 Viper Defenders that were built for the 1990s TV Series “Viper” starring James McCaffrey, Dorian Harewood, and Joe Nipote. It’s now being offered for sale out of Henderson, Nevada and it’s built on a Dodge Viper platform.

Unlike many prop cars built for Hollywood, the Viper Defender was actually designed at Chrysler by stylist Steve Ferrerio in 1993. It’s styling was clearly influenced by the Dodge Viper which had debuted just two years earlier in 1991.

Fast Facts – The Viper Defender

  • The Viper Defender was designed at Chrysler as a futuristic version of the the Dodge Viper production car. It was described as an urban assault vehicle and it featured many built in functions, not dissimilar to KITT from Knight Rider.
  • The TV series “Viper” initially aired on NBC for a single season in 1994, it was then picked up for a further three seasons, and it’s now often shown in reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel and the USA Network.
  • The car was designed by Chrysler stylist Steve Ferrerio and then built by Unique Movie Cars in Las Vegas, Nevada for use in the show. It’s believed that 14 were built.
  • The example you see here is built on a stretched 1993 Dodge Viper RT/10 chassis, it has a fiberglass body, and it’s powered by a 360 cubic inch Chrysler small-block V8 sending power back through a 727 automatic transmission and from there to the rear wheels.

The “Viper” TV Series

“Viper” is an action-packed crime and science fiction television series from the 1990s that follows the story of the Viper Team, an elite crime-fighting unit. The show is set in the fictional Metro City, California where crime is rampant and law enforcement struggles to maintain any semblance of control.

The series centers around the high-tech, armored vehicle known as the “Viper Defender,” which is a Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster modified with advanced weaponry and sophisticated defense mechanisms. The Viper is utilized by the Viper Team to combat crime and bring justice to the city.

Together, the Viper Team faces numerous criminals, corrupt corporations, and other threats to the city. Throughout its four-season run, the show blended car chases, explosive action, and engaging character development, making “Viper” a cult classic for fans of the genre.

The Viper Defender

It’s clear that the Viper Defender was influenced by the earlier KITT from the 1980s TV series Knight Rider. Both cars were based on period production sports cars, KITT on the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am and the Viper Defender on the Dodge Viper RT/10.

Interestingly the Defender was built on a production Viper chassis but the original V10 engine was removed and replaced with a 360 cubic inch Chrysler small-block V8 sending power back through a 727 automatic transmission to the rear wheels.

Of the 14 cars built for the series some were more complete than others, as some cars were used for interior shots and some for exterior driving shots. The example you see here appears to have been one of the few built to serve both purposes, with a fully detailed interior and exterior.

The interior of the car has seating for two, it’s all finished in blue/gray upholstery and black carpeting, and the center console/dashboard section includes the three color monitors that were used in the show to depict satellite navigation, onboard diagnostics, weapon systems, radar, etc.

The interior of the car is completely fitted out, with blue/gray upholstery throughout, black carpeting, and that triple color monitor set up in the center of the dashboard that was used to display things like satellite navigation, onboard diagnostics, and weapons systems during the show.

Although this car is fully equipped and drivable it’s not legal for road use, this is something that may be worth researching for any potential bidders as it may be possible to get the car registered in some regions as a kit car or low volume production vehicle – though this would require further research.

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1990 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe With 65K Miles For Sale In Michigan – Brett Hatfield @FordAuthority


Bowing for the 1955 model year, the Ford Thunderbird was the personal luxury car answer to the Chevrolet Corvette. The Thunderbird, or T-Bird, was produced continuously from 1955 through the 1997 model year, and again from 2002 to 2005, and through 11 different generations.

Luxury and performance were not mutually exclusive in the Ford Thunderbird. The 1957 Thunderbird’s 312 cubic-inch Y-Block V8 could be optioned with twin four-barrel carbs or a McCullough supercharger. The second generation T-Bird would offer a 430 cube, 350 horsepower V8 for the now four-passenger car. The fourth gen Thunderbird would offer 428 horsepower as an option.

As the Ford Thunderbird entered the 1990s with its tenth generation, another performance package was offered in the guise of the Thunderbird Super Coupe. The SC was powered by a supercharged 3.8-liter V6 that produced 210 horsepower (remember, this was the end of the Malaise Era, and 210 ponies was a pretty big deal).

The Thunderbird Super Coupe was well equipped with standard electronically-controlled speed-sensitive power steering, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, Traction-Lok differential, and 16 x 7-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle tires, and an Adjustable Ride Control System.

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The 1990 Micro, a two-seat, two-stroke roadster, had a chance to be GM’s Miata – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings


The Miata, everybody seems to agree, caught lightning in a bottle when it first came out. The nimble and zippy roadster segment had all but been abandoned at the time, and if Mazda hadn’t gotten the MX-5 right, there’s no saying it would have inevitably risen to success. After all, take a look at the 1990 Micro, GM’s ostensible attempt to shoulder into that market.

Pontiac had just put a headstone on the Fiero – GM’s only two-seat automobile other than the Corvette at the time – so it seemed strange that the General would pursue another diminutive two-seater so soon after in the late Eighties. Longtime GM designer Elia Russinoff, who typically worked on more advanced concepts, apparently knew only that GM’s design staff heads wanted such a vehicle, so he got to drawing.

At the same time, however, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Subaru, and others had made some inroads into modernizing the two-stroke engine for use in small cars. The second fuel crisis, after all, was only a decade in the rearview, small front-wheel-drive cars were becoming the norm, and Detroit continued to plow dollars into alternative engine designs well into the Eighties. According to a July 1990 Popular Sciencearticle on the two-stroke trend of the time, automakers had hoped to put the technology on the road as early as the mid-1990s.

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Former GM Heritage Center Corvette Donated to Museum

In the late 80s, Chevrolet was not-so-secretly developing what some dubbed a ‘Super Vette.’ But at the 1989 New York Auto Show, it was the debut of the Dodge Viper RT/10, complete with a 488-cid V-10 engine that sent GM engineers on a new path to develop a ‘Viper-Killer.’ Dodge credited the ’65 Shelby 427 Cobra as the inspiration for the Viper, but the model wouldn’t be available until 1992.

By 1990, then Corvette Development Manager, John Heinricy, had three projects for his engineering team to tackle, which would affect future Corvettes:

1) Response to the Viper: The newest Corvette adversary would soon arrive, a car that was light weight, utilized simple technology, but wielded brutal power. Heinricy wanted to study ways to lighten their ZR-1, should Chevrolet need to “skin the snake.”

2) Drop the Pounds: New safety regulations added more weight to the Corvette, which in turn decreased fuel economy. With the gas-guzzler tax looming, GM faced reduced performance to make up the difference, and they couldn’t afford that either. Lightning the weight of the car would improve the speed and efficiency.

3) Ideas and Innovation: A new product would bring the team together and inspire new ideas from the development engineers.

With a common theme flowing between these ideas, it made sense to use the same car for development. A white non-saleable 1989 ZR-1, which had been used in Chevrolet’s 1990 model year media preview, was hand-picked (VIN 00081). It was one of only 84 production ZR-1s built in Bowling Green for evaluation, testing, media preview and photography. No 1989 ZR-1s were released for public sale initially, but several have since found their way into private hands.

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Classic Chevrolets burn to the ground on an HBO film set – Jonathon Ramsey @Autoblog


Classic Chevrolets burn to the ground on an HBO film set

As car enthusiasts, we feel a special kind of horror watching other enthusiasts’ cars burn to the ground. That’s what happened last week to about a dozen 1990-model Chevrolets assembled for an HBO miniseries. The cable channel has adapted Wally Lamb’s book This Much I Know is True, part of which takes place in 1990. The production built a period-correct Chevrolet/Pontiac/Oldsmobile/Isuzu dealership in Elmersville, New York with the cars, trucks, and paperwork you’d have found at the time. After a three-alarm fire caught around 12:45 a.m. Thursday morning, nothing was left of the dealership and cars but burnt metal and wood, ashes, and smoke

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Related – Haunting images of cars caught in the California wildfires

General Motors’ EV1 was far ahead of its time Bill Vance @TimesColonist


General Motors knew the electric automotive age was coming when it showed its Impact electric concept car in 1990. It was another step in the history of trying to promote a successful electric car, a quest going back to the infancy of the automobile.

While electrics and steam did enjoy brief popularity early in the 20th century, gasoline soon took over. The electric’s short driving range limited it largely to urban driving, and range is still an electric’s limitation.

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