In a decision that has ramifications across the country, Chrysler has ordered a number of Dodge Vipers to be crushed, because they no longer serve an educational purpose.
Chrysler released a statement on its blog on March 6 saying, "About 10 years ago, Chrysler Group donated a number of Dodge Viper vehicles to various trade schools for educational purposes. As part of the donation process, it is routine, standard procedure -- and stipulated in our agreements -- that whenever vehicles are donated to institutions for education purposes that they are to be destroyed when they are no longer needed for their intended educational purposes."
But some schools and their students are taking the decision hard. At a community college in Washington, students and faculty reacted strongly after learning about the news.
"It's like taking a family pet, putting it in front of kids and destroying it," Norm Chapman, an automotive professor at South Puget Sound Community College, told ABC News.
School officials said Chrysler did not say why it wanted the Dodge Viper destroyed but that the contract signed when Chrysler donated the car to the school stipulates that the school is responsible for its destruction after Chrysler orders it. It has only 304 miles on it according to Norm Chapman, either put on by the mechanics rack or the manufacturer.
"It's a much beloved car on campus," Dean of College Relations Kellie Purce Braseth said.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, in Pennsylvania a Dodge Viper donated to a trade school will suffer the same fate. Donated in 1999, hundreds of students have worked on the Viper but its time is up due to Chrysler's decision.
Chrysler notes on its blog that "We definitely understand and appreciate the historical significance of the Viper. And, we are sure to maintain any of the legendary models and designs for historic purposes. It’s our heritage so of course we take great pride in preserving it. However, none of the vehicles at the schools fit into this category."
The schools must present evidence that the Vipers have been destroyed either by photograph or videotape.
Image via Wikimedia Commons