Chrysler to colleges: Crush 93 Viper prototypes
One community college in Washington state speaks out about Chrysler's legal order to destroy its rare Dodge Viper within two weeks.
Chrysler has ordered students of a small community college in Olympia, Wash., to destroy a Dodge Viper GTS Coupe. And it’s not just any Viper GTS coupe, either — it’s the fourth Viper model off the production line that's been sitting for the past seven years at South Puget Sound Community College.
The pre-production car was donated, along with 92 other Vipers, by Chrysler to technical schools nationwide that offer automotive programs. The problem is, according to professor Norm Chapman, that despite the fact that these Vipers were educational tools that were never meant to see the open road, a couple of them "got loose." And predictably enough for a car with a 8.0-liter V10 underhood and no traction control or ABS to speak of, they were involved in accidents. So now, to mitigate lawsuits, the mint condition example you see before you with VIN number four is going bye-bye.
This particular Viper, while appearing to be a stock GTS coupe, is a prototype from 1992. It has a 600-horsepower V10 engine, a 2,200-pound fiberglass body with a "makeshift hard-top," according to the Tacoma News Tribune. When the GTS debuted in 1996, it came with a 450-horsepower V10 and more conventional body construction with a heavier curb weight.
The thing is with pre-production cars — particularly ones dating from the early ‘90’s — is that whether or not they were donated to schools or given to race teams, they were never built to see public highways. The industry slang for such cars, often released before they are able to meet safety or emissions standards, is “crusher,” because their fate was sealed even before they were born. So maybe it’s not that sad that this supercar, fatally injured-by-law, is meeting its inevitable demise. Wait, what are we talking about? Of course it’s that sad! Stop it Chrysler!
Never fear, though — students are trying to throw a wrench in Chrysler’s plans. Cierra Thomas, along with former student Stormy Hudson-Renstrom, have started a petition online to keep the Vipers out of the crusher.
Let’s hope they can get Chrysler to shift gears on its decision. If not, don't be surprised if you start reading stories like "Rare Dodge Viper disappears from community college garage" or "Third Viper disappearance in three days baffles authorities." This could get serious.
I went to Motorcycle Mechanics Institute and the bikes donated by the manufacturers were to never be sold or allowed on the street. Students would take them apart and put them back together until they were junk then they were stripped for parts to use on other bikes and for other training uses. The real rare stuff was mostly just for display. I never got to work on whole bikes when it came to Panheads, Knuckleheads and Flatheads. If Mopar had not sent them to schools they would have gone to the crusher long ago. Still it seams like a waste. Blame this on the blood sucking lawyers that sue over everything. Only a complete moron would think a 600 HP fiberglass car would not be dangerous.
I would never let this car be destroyed, I would fix any and all problems and sign any papers to let Chrysler off the hook for anything, I would do almost anything to have this car. I am in Love.
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