Chrysler to Schools: Destroy Donated Dodge Vipers


Students at a community college in Washington are fighting to save a rare Dodge Viper given to them by the Chrysler Corporation. The company now says it must be destroyed for legal reasons. (March 6) ( image courtesy NDN via AP)

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Chrysler is ordering that aging Dodge Vipers, currently used by schools to train future car mechanics, be destroyed.

“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.”

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The equipment on the cars is now out of date, Chrysler said, so the cars are no longer worthwhile teaching tools. Also, none of the cars are particularly significant, according to the automaker, so their destruction would represent no great loss to automotive history.

“Chrysler Group fully understands and appreciates the historical significance of the Viper and is very active in preserving many of its legendary models and designs for historic purposes. However, none of these vehicles fit into this category,” the automaker said.

First produced in 1992, the original Viper was an extreme performance car with a long hood to hold its 400 horsepower 8.0-liter V10 engine. The model has since gone through four complete redesigns. The current version is known as the SRT Viper, not the Dodge Viper, and has a 8.4-liter 600 horsepower V10.

Media reports have said that 93 cars are being ordered crushed, but a Chrysler spokesperson told CNNMoney the actual number is much lower.


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