1992 Dodge Viper pre-production unit with VIN #4 - Image via KING
Remember those 93 Dodge Viper prototypes that were gifted to a various schools' automotive technology programs, only to be destined for the crusher after Chrysler decided their useful life was over? One of them, donated to South Puget Sound Community College, was the very rare and potentially valuable VIN #004. Now, the students involved in the program took action, and have granted the Viper a reprieve—though it may only be temporary.
The effort, dubbed “Operation Save the Vipers” and led by SPSCC graduate Stormy Hudson, reports Fox News, has managed to get Chrysler back at the negotiation table, seeking to transfer the car to the school permanently, so that it may continue as a test bed and teaching tool for more students in the future.
Originally, the car was loaned to the school, with Chrysler retaining ownership of the prototype—and all liabilities that ownership entailed. That is what led to Chrysler requesting it be sent to the crusher upon deciding it was no longer useful—and that it didn’t want the prototype back.
It’s not yet clear what the ultimate arrangement between Chrysler, the school, and the Viper will be, but it looks like the enthusiasm around the car and the automotive technology program is strong enough to save the car—and that, for the enthusiast as well as the students, is a great result.