Imagine getting something really badass that you, and everyone that you know, absolutely love. Now, imagine receiving a letter from the people that gave you said badass thing, saying that you have to destroy it, and if you don’t, they will personally take it from you and savagely wreck it themselves.
Sounds pretty shitty, doesn’t it? Well it’s a Dubai-esque dick move that Chrysler is pulling on a whole bunch of schools around the nation.
According to The Seattle Times, automotive professors and students at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) were just notified that they have two weeks to destroy the ’92 Dodge Viper SRT which was donated to the school by the Chrysler Group. The ’92 SRT is just one of 93 donated Vipers which Chrysler will oversee the smashing of.
Apparently two educational Vipers “got loose” and were involved in accidents that cost Fiat, Chrysler’s parent company, millions of dollars, so now they’re pulling the plug on the whole program.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
If you’re wondering whether or not Chrysler is able to do this, the answer is yes, they can. It’s written in the contract that if the company orders the vehicles to be destroyed, the vehicles must be destroyed.
I’m sure that there are a lot of schools sad about forfeiting their Vipers, but there’s a damn good chance that no one is as butt hurt as the professors and students at SPSCC. Norm Chapman, the auto-technology professor at the college, compared their Viper to a “family pet.” He said he still hasn’t been able to find the courage to make the call to smash it. That’s probably because he knows that the car is valued at a quarter-of-a-million dollars.
Probably the most depressing part of all of this is that The Seattle Times reported the students at the community college will be “washing and preparing” the Viper before it hits the crusher. Hearing that, I can’t help but picture a bunch of puffy-eyed students hugging the car and using tear-soaked rags to buff out all of the little scratches and imperfections while listening to Sarah McLachlan’s “In the Arms of an Angel.”
Whether the school takes it to that level is still unknown, but the fact is that tears will be spilt, and Chrysler could not give two shits about it. If they were smart, they would just take the Vipers back from the schools and sell them all. Guaranteed that if the other 92 donated Vipers are worth even a fraction as much as the one at SPSCC, Fiat could easily make their money back.
Instead, it seems that they would rather sit back and laugh as they literally crush the dreams of students around the nation.
[UPDATE] Chrysler just released a statement about their decision to send the 93 Vipers to the crusher, and as expected, it makes absolutely no sense at all. Here’s what they said:
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.
With advancements in automotive technology over the past decade, it is unlikely that these vehicles offer any educational value to students.
I understand where Chrysler is coming from here, but still, taking away these 93 Vipers and destroying them seems pretty pointless. The story in The Seattle Times just goes to show how much these vehicles mean to some people, so why not just let the schools keep them? It’s a win-win situation. SPSCC gets to keep their “family pet” and Chrysler doesn’t have to bother with the costs of crushing these iconic cars.
The lack of educational value of these Vipers is completely irrelevant when you consider the fact that their sentimental value is, undoubtedly, still intact.