Vipers to Be Crushed: Chrysler Sports Cars Meant for Educational Use

Friday, 07 Mar 2014 09:30 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Chrysler wants 93 of its early edition Dodge Vipers that were donated for educational purposes crushed, even though some of the models are worth an estimated $250,000.

It's common practice for car companies to donate pre-production, damaged, or not-street-legal vehicles to community colleges and other automotive technical school programs for students to work on, according to Yahoo Autos. But there's generally a clause in the contract that says the manufacturer has the right to have the cars destroyed if need be.

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And that's exactly what Chrysler is doing, though there's some question as to the reason why.

The fourth Dodge Viper ever made in 1992 was donated to South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, Wash., and the automotive instructors there were crushed this week to hear that their prized car must be destroyed.

Norm Chapman, automotive technology professor at SPSCC, said he received a notice in the mail that said the Viper SRT must be sent to the crusher within two weeks.

"It’s like the day Kennedy was shot," Chapman told The Olympian. "No one will forget where they were when they heard the news."

Chapman said a Chrysler official told him the company ordered the 93 cars be destroyed after two educational Vipers "got loose" and caused accidents costing parent company Fiat millions of dollars.

But the car maker denied that report with a statement to Yahoo Autos Thursday.

"Approximately 10 years ago, Chrysler Group donated a number of Dodge Viper vehicles to various trade schools for educational purposes," the statement said. "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. With advancements in automotive technology over the past decade, it is unlikely that these vehicles offer any educational value to students."

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