Dodge Viper owners in the Detroit area for the 2016 Woodward Dream Cruise have expressed their disappointment over the car’s eventual demise in mid-2017.
Speaking to The Detroit News at Friday’s annual Viper Club Car Show, members of the Motor City Viper Owners car club said they were sad about the Viper’s inevitable departure but also understand Fiat Chrysler’s decision to cease production of the 8.4-liter V10 sportscar.
“Obviously we’re frustrated but we’ve got to realize reality,” Motor City Viper Owners President Bruce Heckman said. “We’re obviously very sad about that but on the other hand, we don’t mind not being the most common car on the road. There’s a uniqueness about the Viper. You just don’t see one every day.”
Dodge announced earlier this year the 2017 model year would be the last for the Viper and debuted six new special edition variants to send the car off. It’s not clear when FCA’s Conner Avenue Assembly plant that builds the Viper will close, but it’s expected to remain operational until at least March 2017.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has floated the idea of one day building a successor to the Viper on one of the company’s newer rear-wheel drive platforms. Viper owners don’t mind that idea, but for them to truly warm up to any replacement Viper, it would have to be built right here in the good old U.S. of A.
“It has to be built here,” said Bob White, owner of three Vipers. “This car was conceived, designed and built right here by my neighbors and your local folks. This is not German. This is not Japanese. This is an American sports car.”