Dodge Viper: Down The Snake Hole For Good?

May 29, 2009

It was news that we expected, but today a report by The Detroit Free Press reports that Chrysler isn't having an easy time selling off the Viper brand. Chrysler's CEO until the end of bankruptcy, Bob Nardelli reported in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing.

Nardelli said, "There is the objector's mistaken notion that it would be a simple matter for us to sell off select product lines, such as Jeep, that might allow a recovery above $2 billion. The market for such assets is extremely depressed at this time."

When Chrysler emerges from bankruptcy under the majority ownership of Fiat, we wouldn't expect the Viper to be much of a priority for the new company. All indications show Chrysler focusing on electric vehicles and figuring out how to rebadge Puntos as Dodges.  Anybody think they'll bring back the Colt nameplate?

According to the bankruptcy filing, Chrysler did receive a $5.5-million offer to buy the Viper business and lease the Detroit plant for a year, according to a bankruptcy filing. Chrysler is trying to verify that the potential buyer, Devon Motor Works, has access to financing, according to the documents.

We've always felt the Viper was a quintessential Detroit piece. We'll miss it when it's gone, and are thankful for the chances we've had to love and abuse it over the years.  Check out our 2009 Dodge Viper Bottom Line.

The last time I had a Viper was last summer. I took it out to Milan Dragway and ran all night in the high 11s with trap speeds over 121 mph.  It's truly an formidable vehicle created by guys that know how to make fast, tough cars for other guys that know how to use them. Sissies look elsewhere, the Viper was never intended for you...

[Detroit Free Press]

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