January 7: Dodge reveals the Viper concept on this date in 1989

No car company could recreate today the shock Chrysler sparked when it unveiled the V-10-powered Dodge Viper concept on this date in 1989. The very idea — a modern-day update of the Shelby Cobra, with a minimum of electronic driver aids — has been made illegal in much of the developed world. The late Carroll Shelby himself consulted and blessed the idea, powered by Bob Lutz's command of the Chrysler parts bin (overcoming the hurdle that the original concept of using the V-10 developed for trucks died quickly for engineering reasons; the Viper's V-10 was a unique engine). Chrysler just so happened to have a chief engineer who had overseen Renault's Formula 1 team, and came up with the name. The Viper was a bombshell then, and its new iteration remains a singular kind of sports car. Hear it from the people who've been building it since the start: