Chrysler Crushing Rare Dodge Viper Prototypes

students with 1993 VIper prototype 1 photo
Photo: ABC News
Remember this crazy video in which a Dodge Viper got smashed to pieces by a merciless claw? It had hit the web in late December with no explanation as to why the sportscar had to be put to death in that horrible way.
As weird as it may sound, it appears the Viper was destroyed by Chrysler itself. Moreover, the vehicle you’ve seen in the video is one of 93 Dodge Vipers that were or will be scrapped. Why would Chrysler do such a thing you may ask?

The answer is somewhat simple: ten years ago, Chrysler donated these pre-production Vipers for educational purposes and, according to those agreements, they must be destroyed when they are no longer needed.

Recently, Chrysler sent a letter to South Puget Sound Community College, which owns one of these pre-production Vipers, informing them that they have about two weeks to smash the car. We’re talking about a 1992 hardtop version of the Viper that precedes the production GTS by four years. That makes it unique and valuable; Autoweek says it has been estimated to be worth around $250,000.

Unfortunately, Chrysler says it can’t save the hardtop, or any of the donated Vipers, and notes that the vehicles don’t have any historical significance.

“With advancements in automotive technology over the past decade, it is unlikely that these vehicles offer any educational value to students. Chrysler Group fully understands and appreciates the historical significance of the Viper and is very active in preserving many of its legendary models and designs for historic purposes however, none of these vehicles fit into this category,” the manufacturer said in a statement.

The pre-production coupe donated to the South Puget Sound Community College was the fourth Viper ever made and it lacks emissions equipment and some electronics, as well as a speed limiter. Standard procedure or not, this Viper should be in a museum!

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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