SRT CEO Ralph Gilles Builds His Viper


Chrysler's performance chief doesn't just push pencils around while others build the cars - he helped build one himself.

There are a few automotive execs whose jobs we can really covet. Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann and Aston Martin chief Ulrich Bez all have great jobs building great cars. But really, how many of them know how to actually build their sportscars with their own two hands? That's what SRT chief Ralph Gilles found out last week. Though Gilles trusts in his assembly-line workers to produce the Viper, Gilles headed down to the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, rolled up his sleeves and grabbed a wrench.

After getting a little briefing from team leader Tony Banks, Ralph helped his subordinates tighten some bolts, quality-checked the specifications and installed the doors on the Viper GTS that is set to become his own. The experience undoubtedly helped the head of Chrysler's performance brand to better understand how the cars offered by the company over which he presides are built. "Ralph is passionate about all things SRT, especially the Viper," said Banks. "He earned the title 'craftsman' today and we appreciate his work ethic."

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