Chrysler orders WA school to destroy rare Viper

Credit: KING

Chrysler orders WA school to destroy rare Viper

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

kgw.com

Posted on March 6, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 6 at 11:49 AM

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A community college says it's the pride of their automotive technology program: a rare Dodge Viper donated to their school worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So you can imagine their shock when they were told to destroy it.

The 1992 pre-production Viper has been parked at the South Puget Sound Community college for seven years.

"The VIN number here is number four, so it's the fourth one off the production line,” said Professor Norm Chapman.

A car so rare Jay Leno supposedly tried buying it from Chrysler in the 1990s and was turned down.

Like many of the cars here in the program, the Viper was donated to the school for educational purposes. The students say it’s much more.

"People who are into cars should know that if you get attached to a car, you'll do anything you can to keep it running,” said Stormy Hudson-Renstrom, a former student.

Pop the hood and you'll see a V-10 that powers the car from zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds.

All of this is why the email from Chrysler came as such a shock.

"They've ordered the destruction of their entire educational viper fleet,” said Chapman.

Chapman says the problem is, the car was never meant to be driven in the open public, and two of them somehow got out and into accidents, costing Chrysler's parent company millions of dollars.

So this royal blue beauty is now a liability.

"I was crushed to the point of tearing up. It's heartbreaking,” said Hudson-Renstrom. She and another student have started an online petition to save the car from the wrecking yard.

"I'm hoping Governor Inslee or President Obama will some sort of pardon like they do for turkeys at Thanksgiving,” said Chapman. “They can pardon the Viper.”

That unlikely miracle pardon will have to come soon, Chrysler wants the car crushed in two weeks.

Related links:

Operation Save The Vipers petition
 

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