Supercar

Students Save Dodge Viper Prototype from the Crusher

And it happened to be the #4 1992 prototype.

Back in 2007, Chrysler loaned an original Dodge Viper coupe prototype to South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, Washington. The prototype was actually the fourth one built during the Viper’s development days back in 1992. It’s not street legal but the prototype was used for classes and as a promotional tool for the school’s auto tech program. Needless to say, the Viper did its job very well at recruitment events. But just a few weeks ago, Chrysler informed the school that the car had to be disposed of, or in another word, crushed.

Chrysler determined the Viper, as well as the other remaining prototypes, were no longer useful and it wanted them destroyed. Sadly, this is a common practice among automakers when dealing with old prototypes. The school was given a two week deadline to destroy the car as Chrysler was also not interested in taking it back. Fortunately a group of students refused to accept this, and so they started "Operation Save the Vipers." This is an online petition that in just a few days gathered over 10,000 signatures. Combined with some media attention, Chrysler was forced to reconsider having the Viper sent to the crusher.

For now, it has called off the Viper’s destruction and is negotiating a permanent solution with the school. One student who helped lead the campaign even wants the Viper to become the automotive program’s mascot. Hopefully that’ll be a part of the negotiated solution.

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