A disheartening moment in recent automotive history has been brought back to light via Instagram. In the video posted by @ONLY_VIPERS, we see the claw of a heavy-handed excavator mercilessly tearing a beautiful black Dodge Viper to pieces. While it's undoubtedly a sad moment, the person operating the machinery appears to be having fun with the first-gen car, making it even harder to stomach.
The video, as it turns out, is from 2014 when Chrysler Group (then-owner of Dodge and now part of FCA) began the process of recalling and destroying first-generation Vipers that were donated to schools for use in educational programs. There were 93 cars, none of which were ever intended to be street legal since they were among the first pre-production Vipers to be made. No emissions control systems were put in place and the cars were built without speed limiters.
Only two of the Vipers made their way onto public roads and ended up being wrecked, so the incentive to keep the rest under wraps and avoid litigation was strong. Chrysler Group at the time owned all of the loaned cars and subsequently all of the liability that went along with it.
One of the cars was granted a reprieve from the crusher. Car #004, the fourth Viper to ever be built, was saved by students at South Puget Sound Community College. Their actions saved the car from, though it's unclear whether their efforts were permanent. That car was valued at $250,000, and would have joined several others with similar values if it had been destroyed.
This car, sadly, wasn't fortunate enough to escape its ill fate. A full-length clip of the dismemberment can be found below, but we suggest you keep a handkerchief close by:
Alas, here's a second car that seems to have been demolished by the same folks:
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