Chrysler orders schools to crush educational Vipers, saying the cars are out of date and no longer valid teaching tools. Although the Viper is an extremely popular enthusiast car, the 1992 speed demon is unlikely to show up in a shop students work at in the future. On top of this, the particular Viper ordered destroyed is a one-off, with a hard-top design that wasn’t mass produced until the 1996 model, and it is devoid of emissions controls and speed limiters allowing a 0-60 time of just four seconds and unfortunately negating its street legal status.
The car has been popular among the community college students and staff, drawing several potential mechanics to the auto course and becoming a fixture of the school. It is believed that the destruction order was issued by Chrysler partly because of an incident in which similar cars owned by other schools were used on the street illegally, breaking the agreement laid out by the automaker and costing Fiat, their parent company, millions of dollars in litigations and damages.
Chrysler said in the letter that it bears no ill will towards the school and is happy to help educate students, but stands by the fact that the car is out-dated and too unique to be educational value. They went on to remind the school that the terms of their agreement are that once the car has outlived its usefulness it must be destroyed. There have been attempts to save the car from an automotive history museum that was very interested in adding the unique Viper to their collection, and even Jay Leno offered to buy the car to add to his private super car garage. The Viper is believed to be worth upwards of $250,000, adding to its desirability and the desire collectors have for the car. Despite this Chrysler orders school to crush the educational Viper, saying that it was only intended to ever be used as an instructional tool.
Although many enthusiasts would disagree, Chrysler has said that the Viper is not worth saving because despite being a one-off it is not a particularly revolutionary of outstanding vehicle. Indeed, despite turning heads and raising heartbeats back in 1992, the old Viper is smartly outclassed by the latest iterations. Originally powered by an 8 litre V10 engine lurking beneath the distinctively stretched front hood, the newest version has been developed by the Special Vehicles Team at Dodge and is endowed with a tire shredding 600 horsepower V10.
Whether or not the Viper can be saved remains up for debate, but it looks like Chrysler is prepared to stick to the rules set out by their contract almost 25 years ago. Despite the age of the vehicle, it still has only 304 miles on the clock and is in pristine condition, making those that hearing Chysler order the school to crush the educational Viper all the more devastated. Everyone involved is waiting to see what the fate of the go-to dream car of a generation will be.
By Daniel O’Brien