Chrysler has heard your pleas to save the Vipers, but their orders are final: Several pre-production snakes are headed to the junkyard anyway because the automaker says they're pretty much worthless.
It's likely that Viper #4, currently housed at South Puget Sound Community College, and 90 or so other early Dodge Vipers will have to be destroyed without the chance of moving them to a museum. Here's why, according to Chrysler themselves.
First off, Chrysler re-iterates that the Vipers were donated to various schools and programs for educational purposes only. What they do clarify is that the Vipers were donated 10 years ago — not anytime during the 1990s when concepts were unveiled or when production began.
As part of the donation process, it is routine, 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. With advancements in automotive technology over the past decade, it is unlikely that these vehicles offer any educational value to students.
Next, Chrysler believes that the Vipers "have no significant historical value." Several of you commented in the previous post that even a pre-production car isn't really "a car," something Chrysler agrees with, pointing to actual production cars being more valuable.
We definitely understand and appreciate the historical significance of the Viper. And, we are sure to maintain any of the legendary models and designs for historic purposes. It's our heritage so of course we take great pride in preserving it. However, none of the vehicles at the schools fit into this category.
There's one more unanswered question, and that's the two accidents the Washington students said prompted Chrysler to issue the calls for crushing. I asked Chrysler and got this response: "We have no record of any accidents." I don't doubt Chrysler, I don't doubt the students, but where the hell did the information about the lawsuits come from?
Either way it goes, there's no hope for saving the Vipers. I still find it strange that even though Chrysler considers them worthless, there's still interest from collectors. Can't there be some kind of transfer of ownership?