The destruction of a rare 1992 Dodge Viper SRT at South Puget Sound Community College has touched a nerve among car enthusiasts nationwide.
The Olympian recently reported on heartbroken automotive students who worked on the $250,000 sports car. Automotive technology professor Norm Chapman had received notice from Chrysler that the company wants its educational Vipers destroyed. The college’s Viper was among dozens donated to schools across the country.
The news sparked a Twitter campaign called #SaveTheVipers where fans have expressed outrage or suggested alternatives to crushing the cars. SPSCC students launched the online petition “Operation Save the Vipers,” which had gathered 8,428 signatures as of noon Tuesday. Canadian race team Johnathan Schwemler Racecars said it would ask Chrysler to donate the car to the team’s program for injured or ill soldiers and veterans.
The number of cars headed for the junkyard was initially reported at 93, but Chrysler told Detroit media outlets that the number was around 35 in the U.S.
Citing standard procedure, Chrysler has said that the pre-production Vipers must be destroyed because they no longer serve educational purposes. In a statement to the media, Chrysler reported that no records exist of legal action involving its donated Vipers. The company denies any reports of the vehicles being involved in accidents or liability lawsuits.
“With advancements in automotive technology over the past decade, it is unlikely that these vehicles offer any educational value,” the company said.Staff report