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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.

By James_Tate Mar 6, 2014 12:41PM

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.


[Sources:, The Seattle Times; Photo: King]

Mar 6, 2014 5:39PM
Mar 6, 2014 5:40PM
You'd think Chrysler would be smart enough to auction quite a bit if not all of them off.  Even though they are not street legal there will be plenty of Viper collectors that would pay big money to own a piece of muscle car history.
Mar 7, 2014 4:45AM

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.

Mar 6, 2014 5:41PM
Having been to a tech school I can assure that part of accepting a car like this comes with a stipulation that they are never to be licensed or driven on public roads. Even the parts are not to be put on other vehicles. With that what makes anybody out there think a car company would just give these cars away with no strings attached. 
Mar 7, 2014 4:29AM
This is what happens when people are "Given' something..
Mar 6, 2014 3:38PM
What A Waste !!!!   They should have Donated  Minivans or  Neons,  but not this.  At the least ,  Chrysler should take it back and the other 92 and put them into a Museum, or sell them to the Public
Mar 7, 2014 4:10AM
Just don't allow it to be registered for road use. Kind of like how race cars are handled today.
Mar 6, 2014 6:54PM

Hide the car ................................

Mar 6, 2014 1:24PM

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.


Mar 7, 2014 4:53AM
If these cars were donated, don't they now belong to the schools? Did Chrysler maintain ownership and these were "on loan" to the schools? If actual ownership was transferred to the schools, then can't Chrysler just go pound salt?
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