The rebirth of the American muscle car was about as ill-timed as it could be given the industry's global meltdown, but Hurst Performance Vehicles is forging ahead with a limited edition run of 50 specially built Dodge Vipers to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The supercars started production in late December, and orders have been open for a month, but today marks the release of the first official photos of the car.

Each car will offer a wide options list to the buyer, but all will be decked out in as much classic Hurst gear as possible, from the HARD-DRIVE gold pistol-grip shifter to Hurst forged aluminum wheels and an array of classic Hurst color combos.

"We are extremely proud to offer another milestone Hurst vehicle," states Nate Shelton, Chairman of Hurst Performance Vehicles. "The 50 year legacy of Hurst is matched by very few companies; it is truly something to celebrate. We are looking forward to 50 more years of delivering Hurst performance and value to our fans and enthusiasts."

Knowing Hurst, it's unlikely that the cars will simply be left with stock power, but given the Viper's already impressive V10 output, upgrading the suspension with Moton Club Sport adjustable coil-overs, fitting a charcoal Katzkin leather interior and boosting grip with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires may be enough. To make the car sound every bit the supercar it is, the Hurst Viper will also get an upgraded Corsa exhaust.

All of the cars will be available exclusively in either black with gold stripes or white with gold stripes, much like the recently officially unveiled Hurst Challengers.

The very first vehicle to be built, serial number 01, was build in cooperation with the Woodhouse Auto Family of Blair, Nebraska, and features a flat finish gold exterior paint with black stripes and black chrome wheels. The unique car will be auctioned for charity at the Barrett-Jackson Auction on January 17, 2009.