I checked my phone after the familiar buzz in my pocket. With the swipe of my thumb, the sexy rear end of an SRT Viper popped up in my text messages.
My lovely girlfriend, on her way home from work, sent the text along with a brief message asking about the car. That quick text led to a lengthy conversation about the Viper, why it’s no longer called a Dodge, and the history of the devastatingly powerful car.
Being a Porsche purist, she was only mildly impressed, but left our talk with a healthy dose of respect for the brute. Enough respect, anyway, to shed a tiny tear when we read last night that Chrysler has ordered the destruction of up to 93 vintage Vipers.
CNN Money says:
“Approximately 10 years ago, Chrysler Group donated a number of Dodge Viper vehicles to various trade schools for educational purposes,” Chrysler said in a statement. “As part of the donation process, it is standard procedure — and stipulated in our agreements — that whenever vehicles are donated to institutions for education purposes that they are to be destroyed when they are no longer needed for their intended educational purposes.”
One of those cars is just down the interstate from me at South Puget Sound Community College. That car is a prototype hardtop built in 1992, a car that one appraiser valued at about a quarter of a million dollars. Granted, I don’t see how a car tinkered on for a decade by mechanic students could be worth that much, but the point is that it’s a car that a collector would love to own.
How does the car benefit anyone if it’s destroyed? A better solution would be for Chrysler to ask that the cars be sold and the proceeds donated back to the school or to a charity of choice. I don’t know about you, but it seems like a Viper that’s been well cared for and has limited miles would be an ideal candidate to sell for a decent amount of money.
Do you agree with the destruction of these old Vipers?