In soul crushing news for any auto enthusiast, Chrysler demanded last week that a donated Viper at the South Puget Sound Community College be crushed within the month. This vehicle runs great, has less than 500 miles on the odometer, but Chrysler wants it gone! What’s going on here, and is there any hope that Chrysler will come to their senses?
Death Order Aimed at Historically Significant Car
Last week, the automotive department of the school in Olympia, Washington got the call from a Chrysler rep that their donated Viper needs be destroyed, and they had 2 weeks to do it. The donated Viper is a 1992 supercar used in classes at the institute.
This particular car is not certified for street use as it is a pre-production model. It’s also the 4th Viper ever made, so it has a good bit of historical significance; it was also made with a hardtop 4 years prior to the production hardtop -- making the move even more heartbreaking for enthusiasts.
In 2007, the SPSCC took it in, although it was originally given to a nearby school, the Shoreline Community College. The 1992 Viper has 394 miles on the clock and is routinely used for dynometer instruction.
Why is Chrysler Killing Off Their Own Cars?
Automakers routinely donate cars like these to educational programs so pupils can learn about the car’s engineering and how to do repairs -- the makers will still actually own the car, so they can legally make calls like these if they choose.
The order to destroy the ’92 is only the first, 92 other Vipers that reside at similar institutions have had their death warrant’s signed by Chrysler.
Chrysler didn’t offer an explanation to the South Puget Sound Community College, but it’s rumored that two of these cars were involved in wrecks on public roads, prompting millions of dollars worth of claims against the automaker -- so basically, shutting down the program is Chrysler’s way of protecting themselves from further incidents and liability.
Although Chrysler hasn’t owned up to the rumor, saying that the Vipers are being destroyed because the cars are essentially irrelevant to education due to the advancement of technology in the past two decades. While this sentiment is accurate, it seems like these vehicles deserve a more dignified end than this.
Petitions are in circulation to save the Vipers, but Chrysler has yet to budge. If they don’t pardon the 1992 within the given timeframe, it will be the first of nearly a hundred historically significant supercars to meet the same fate as thousands of rusted, abandoned project cars.