Well, that’s that then. Chrysler’s troubles, which are hopefully being resolved, have, in the meantime, meant mass plant closings and temporary idling for many workers. Another casualty, it would seem, would be the Viper, Chrysler’s impressive sports car.
The Viper has been the only American car to seriously challenge the Corvette for sports car supremacy. Indeed, in the history of American car manufacturing, this country has been woefully underrepresented in the sports car world. Besides the Vette and the Viper, there have been precious few American sports cars. Sure, there have been sporty cars, things like early T-Birds and the Kaiser Darrin, and an argument could be made for the first Cobras, but those were basically an English chassis with an American V8 crammed under the bonnet, not exactly a home grown sports car. It would seem that collectively we decided to leave high performance two seaters to the Europeans (and later the Japanese) and more’s the pity because of it.
Chrysler has made noises about selling the Viper line to any other carmaker that is interested, but so far, nobody has popped up. Chrysler was planning to end Viper production before 2011, so it’s not like this sad news comes as a total surprise, it’s just a little sooner than we thought the end would come.
Photo from Flickr user ANATOLI AXELROD