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Chrysler: Rare Dodge Viper Used for Educational Purposes Must Be Destroyed

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – It’s not often a piece of automotive history is purposefully crushed into a cube.

However, a rare, pristine Dodge Viper is slated for destruction at South Puget Sound Community College in Washington.

The school owns the $250,000 car for educational purposes, and recently got a letter from Chrysler saying the car must be destroyed.

Photo courtesy of Twitter user @IamPrinceKenzie

Photo courtesy of Twitter user @IamPrinceKenzie

Norm Chapman, an Automotive Technology Professor, said he’s not sure why Chrysler said it had to be destroyed, but said two other educational Vipers were involved in crashes while operating illegally outside the classroom, and he thinks the company may be responding to possible litigation.

Chrysler says there is no such litigation, in a statement posted Thursday.  However, it remained clear in its posting that the car, and other Vipers like it, have served their educational purpose and are no longer needed.  Read the statement.

The car is the fourth off the line. It can go zero to 60 in four seconds and only has 304 miles on it.  Comedian and car collector Jay Leno even tried to buy it a while back, but Chrysler refused to sell it, saying it was for educational purposes.

Read more from in Seattle.


  • Thomas Baltrusaitis

    Sounds to me like some schools are violating the agreements that came with the car. Then, when someone gets hurt, they want to sue. Only in America can such stupidity be entertained. I would say render it inoperable and keep it around for continued education though. Drill a couple holes in the block in the right places and let them keep it.

      • Church

        It wouldn’t sell for millions. It was appraised at $250,000 by a person that wasn’t told it had been worked on by practicing college students. There are plenty enough around to not make it a rare collector’s item, and newer models out-perform it.

    • Church

      They aren’t children, they’re young adults in college, and they used this car in a mechanics class.

  • HansJurgen

    Awe, it’s just a Chrysler. Just crush the company and get it over with. Would never by another Chrysler after my last Plymouth Voyager years ago – biggest piece of crap.

    • Church

      The article is clearly wrong. Only a tiny bit of research would lead you to: “Like other major automakers, Chrysler routinely lends cars to technical schools for educational purposes and continues to do so, a Chrysler spokesman said. In every case, agreements stipulate that Chrysler maintains ownership of the cars and that the cars will be destroyed when their useful life has ended.”

      The article posted here also says, if you read the rest of the sentence, that the school owns it for “educational purposes.” this means they can work on it without asking Chrysler permission.

      Furthermore, the article also states that Jay Leno tried to buy it from Chrysler. Why would he try to buy it from Chrysler if the school owned it?

      Please read entire articles before commenting with such things as “End of discussion.” lol

  • chrysler employee

    I work for chrysler and this is truly painful to see! NEVER DESTROY AMERICAN MADE BEAUTY!!!!

  • happymother79

    it says “So, let’s set the record straight.

    About 10 years ago, Chrysler Group donated a number of Dodge Viper vehicles to various trade schools for educational purposes. 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.

    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.

    Also, Chrysler Group has no record of any legal proceedings involving Dodge Viper vehicles donated to educational institutions being involved in accidents and product liability lawsuits.

    To recap, the Vipers in question have no significant historical value, have not been involved in any accidents and serve no educational purpose – which is what they were designed to do at first.” TIS IS UNDERSTANDABLE SO QUIT JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS PEOPLE! IF IT WERE REALLY WORTH SOMETHING THEN TRUST ME CHRYSTLER WOULD BE PUTTING IT IN THEIR MUSEUM AND NOT DESTROYING IT.

  • Jeffman454ss

    Mother79 has it right in this one. The car has served it’s purpose. I used to work at an automotive test lab in Ann Arbor,Michigan. When the testing and data Aquisition is complete for further development the vehicle is crushed. It’s common. Maybe if they abide by the guidelines another vehicle can be donated. You have to stay with the times if you want to teach and learn automotive and it’s technologies.

  • SlyRobber (@slyrobber)

    I am of the opinion that this car must have monitory worth to someone and Chrysler is misguided in its attempt to rid itself of liability. Surely out of the army of lawyers this corporate behemoth employs there is one who could draw up a contract of transferred responsibility from themselves to the school then to an eventual buyer stipulating that this care is sold AS-IS and is as it stands not road worthy due to its educational former life and must be verified by the proper authorities before regaining such road worthiness giving the school a surely much needed injection of funds for this or other educational functions. Come on Chrysler.

  • Ron White

    Well, let me see….the story never came out and said it, but I remember GM doing this with several different cars a few years ago. Those vehicles COULD NOT be titled or driven on the road. However, GM did allow them to be auctioned off and gave the proceeds to charity. They were never issued Department of Transportation VIN numbers either…..take Leno’s money Chrysler and donate it to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and improve your PR status at the same time! Sounds like a Win-Win situation to me!

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