Chrysler apologizes for the words of its outspoken chief executive with a special-edition Viper donated for charity.
If you didn’t know one car from another, you might mistake a Viper for an Italian sportscar. But in reality it’s about as all-American as it gets, reviving the spirit of a car that was designed to stick it to Ferrari on their home turf. But these days Chrysler is owned by Fiat, and its chief executive is Italian. In fact just the other day Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne made an unfortunate remark about Italian-Americans, one that offended that community and prompted Marchionne to apologize.
Now Chrysler has released this one-off Viper, and given the timing, we can’t help but assume it's Marchionne's way of apologizing to the community of which he is essentially now part. The special SRT Viper GTS has been decked out in pearl white paint with black-chrome wheels, brown leather interior and special badges and details featuring the red, white and green of the Italian flag. It’s been donated for the Sons of Italy Foundation – the charitable arm of a century-old Italian-American fraternal order – who will auction it off to raise money for the order’s philanthropic ventures, which principally center around academic scholarships.
Seems like a nice way of saying “sorry” to Italians in America. Now if we could just get Marchionne to say something disparaging about, say, automotive journalists whose name starts with an “N” and ends in an “oah Joseph” we’ll be all set.