OLYMPIA, Wash. — Chrysler ordered a community college in Olympia, Wash. to crush a rare pre-production Doge Viper in pristine condition owned by the school.
Norm Chapman, an automotive technology professor at South Puget Sound Community College, told Q13FOX he received a letter from Chrysler, advising him that the college’s $250,000 1992 pre-production Dodge Viper must be destroyed.
While Chapman wasn’t sure why the order to destroy the classic car was issued, he did speculate to Q13FOX that crashes involving two other educational Vipers while being driven outside of the classroom illegally may have something to do with it.
The car, described by Chapman as a “once-in-a-lifetime car,” was donated to the college by Chrysler.
Chapman added that the vehicle has only 304 miles and has never even had the chance to get out on the road.
Some faculty members and students are hoping to transport the rare car to LeMay Car Museum in Tacoma, Wash., but Q13FOX reported that Chrysler insisted it needed to be crushed.
Chapman said he hopes for a pardon from the governor, but, if one is not granted, the Viper is scheduled to be destroyed in two to four weeks.
Schools across the country have received similar letters from Chrysler, prompting a social media response and the hashtag, #SavetheVipers.
On Thursday, Chrysler issued a response on its website, saying that a stipulation of the donation process is for donated vehicles to be crushed after they no longer serve an educational purpose.
“With advancements in automotive technology over the past decade, it is unlikely that these vehicles offer any educational value to students,” said Chrysler.
The car manufacturer added that the vehicles scheduled to be destroyed were build for education purposes and do not fit into the categories of legendary models or historic designs.