My first word was car and much of my spare money growing up went into my MR2 to make it look nicer and go faster. I was never much of a fan of ‘Murkan cars. I was too young to have experienced the muscle cars of the 60’s and 70’s, I remember the K-Car and the Minivan. There are really only 2 that I truly admire and would feel fortunate to own one day, 1-the Buick Grand National and 2-the Dodge Viper.
The Viper first appeared as a concept at the very end of the 80’s and went on sale in the early 90’s when I was 10 years old and it looked amazing, It was stylized but a brute at the same time; like a mullet, it business up front, party in the back (lol).
One time I got the opportunity to ride in one of the earlier models (red with yellow wheels) and it stood out to me similar to the times I got to ride in a Lotus Esprit V8 and an Acura NSX, it was breathtaking. My personal favorite is when they slightly redesigned the original model but offered it in hardtop version; the 1996 GTS (blue with white stripes). If I had a stack of bills equal to what someone was asking for one right now, I would be hard-pressed to pass it up.
I hate lawyers (like most every respectable person) but their reign of terror has gone too far today. 93 Vipers are going to be crushed because of them (see story below). Chrysler donated 93 to tech schools but 2 of them had students take the cars out for joyrides.
Shame on the school for not properly keeping the cars secure and shame on the 2 sets of kids ruining this for the other 91, but a pox on the lawyers of this country that have created a lawsuit happy environment where Chrysler makes a financial decision to mandate the cars be destroyed because they fear (rightly so) they will be held liable for damages the joyriders might cause.
To cut down on the “lawyer problem” I propose policies/laws similar to this JLA clip to be instituted.
Chrysler orders 93 rare early Vipers to the crusher
The original Dodge Viper revealed in 1992 was a beast of a machine — an attempt by then-Chrysler exec Bob Lutz to revive the spirit of the Shelby Cobra and give Chrysler a world-class sports car. Powered by a massive V-10 with 400 hp, the early Viper’s brute force overwhelmed many drivers.
Today, the power that made the Viper a legend appears to be at the heart of an order from Chrysler to dozens of trade schools, demanding the immediate destruction of some 93 early Vipers, including a preproduction model that could likely fetch a couple hundred thousand dollars at auction.
According to The Olympian, the staff of South Puget Sound Community College was told by a Chrysler official that their Viper had to be crushed within two weeks. It’s common for automakers to donate cars to automotive shop classes, and in many cases the vehicles in such donations aren’t saleable — meaning the company technically still owns the cars. School officials say Chrysler told them two of the 93 early Vipers given to schools had been involved in accidents by joyriding students, creating a major liability for Chrysler.
Of those 93, the Viper at SPSCC stands out. It was the fourth Viper ever built, with a prototype hard top years before Dodge offered a production version. With no emissions controls, and no speed limiter, the V-10 can make 600 hp, and school instructors say it could be worth $250,000 to a museum or private Viper fan.
“It’s like the day Kennedy was shot,” Norm Chapman, automotive technology professor at SPSCC, told The Olympian. “No one will forget where they were when they heard the news.”
There’s several precedents for Chrysler’s order, the most memorable being General Motors’ decision to destroy all of its original EV1 electric vehicles after a safety recall it decied not to repair; the few that remain in universities and museums have been permanently disabled. The Vipers at SPSCC and other schools were useful more for promotion than education, but trashing a piece of automotive history seems like a differnent kind of educational tool: Punishing everyone for the mistakes of a few.
Production vehicles are mass produced for distribution through car dealerships. They come after pre-production vehicles.
Pre-production cars are vehicles that allow the automaker to find problems before a new model goes on sale to the public.
Pre-production cars come after prototypes, or development mules
Prototypes are preceded by concept cars.
Manufacturers use pre-production cars to provide the automotive press a chance to experience and create publicity and articles about the models that are yet to appear in dealer showrooms for public view.
Some of these cars are exhibited at auto shows. They may also be destroyed during crash tests. Most of the rest are scrapped, since they may not meet automobile safety regulations or emission standards.
An example of a pre-production vehicle was the Dodge Tomahawk motorcycle. Hundreds of these were projected to be built, but the dozen or so that were sold don-t meet the legal requirements to be classified as a motorcycle by the U.S. government, or to be driven on the street.
Dodge Tomahawk vs. Dodge Viper
Hand-built examples of the Tomahawk were offered for sale through the Neiman Marcus catalog at a price of US$ 555,000, and up to nine of them might have sold. Dodge emphasized that the bikes were “rolling sculptures” not intended to be ridden.
Digging further I found this is just a case of crush the pre-production cars. SOP for decades. How they lasted this long must be due to people having more important things to tend to in the last many years at Chrysler. Just like they did in the 50s and 60s and before, preproduction cars get scrapped. Only in rare circumstances to they survive.
Chrysler cannot sell these cars likely due to various federal laws and regulations. Also even if they could be sold it is with these regulations that the injury lawyers have ammo. Our client was injured because the prototype vehicle he purchased did not have airbags… or something like that.
So, blame the lawyers elected to run an all powerful government.
So gubmint regulations are behind the irrational “Just crush them and be done with it” phenom.
Chrysler still technically owns the cars, which is why they still retain liability and why they can legally order the cars crushed; however, the stupid thing is that Chrysler could make several million dollars in pure profit while relieving themselves of any liability by auctioning off the cars to collectors, race car drivers, and museums. I knew most lawyers were mentally challenged, but I didn’t know they were THAT stupid! It makes me wonder if part of the stipulations of the Chrysler bail-out was that they had to hire government bureaucrat attorneys to replace their own attorneys. That is the only way I can see an attorney working for a private company being such a special kind of stupid.