Earlier in the month of April, while at a car show, I was catching up with a good friend/client of mine who has an unrivaled obsession with Dodge Vipers. As we spoke, he reminded me that the day was drawing nearer to his big Viper-day in Detroit. See, I had been hearing snippets from him over the past year that something incredible was in the works for him. He had placed an order on a brand new one of one Dodge Viper ACR Extreme. While there were some difficulties finalizing the paint color for Matt, he finally settled on Stryker Purple. Stryker colors come at a cost over the standard paint colors available to the ACRs, but when you’re buying one of the VERY LAST Vipers to ever be produced, why not go for a rarer color? …Good choice, Matt!
So along with Matt, five other local Viper owners had also placed orders for new ACRs as a group. In the last weekend of April, 2017, this whole group of Viper fanatics packed up and headed to Detroit for the big unveil! We arrived at the factory with great excitement and great sadness. Yes, these men and women were all going to pick up new Vipers at the factory and do a tour of the assembly facility, but that also meant that Dodge was 6 steps closer to closing the Chrysler Viper Assembly Plant. Once again, Viper fans everywhere must say goodbye to this beloved niche performance car that changed the world.
I was honored to go along with this wonderful group and to tour the factory where these track legends are made. After we arrived back in Minnesota, I had enough time to reflect on the experience and realized how much of a honor it was. It may seem silly to “non-car people” that we speak of cars with such romance, but knowing that the days are numbered for the Viper is incredibly sad. The people and effort that goes into making a car is monumental, let alone a high performance sports car which over the years has broken dozens of records. On the track and the street, the echoes of the thundering V10 will be remembered for decades to come.