The 51-year-old former production site of the Dodge Viper sportscar, which was officially discontinued last year, will soon be converted to suit a brand new purpose for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: housing heritage Chrysler Corporation vehicles. The Conner Avenue Assembly plant, located near 8 Mile Rd. on Detroit’s north side, will be renamed the Conner Center, devoting 77,000 square-feet out of its nearly-400,000 total space to housing significant historic vehicles from Chrysler’s long history, while also serving as a meeting space for internal use by the automaker.
So far, there are no definitive plans to offer admission to the general public, but the automaker is considering it.
The collection of historic cars formerly housed at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, closed since 2016, will soon call the Conner Center home, as will a collection of heritage automobiles currently stored in other locations. In all, 85 of Chrysler’s nearly-400 preserved historic and concept vehicles will be exhibited there.
“This move will allow us to house all of our collection under one roof and have the space to share that history with our employees, says FCA US Historical Services Manager Brandt Rosenbusch. “We are proud of our history and have been working diligently in the daily care and restoration of these important vehicles.”
Dodge Viper Memorabilia For Sale
In the process of decommissioning the Conner Avenue Assembly plant, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles found loads of stuff from the factory’s Dodge Viper- and Plymouth/Chrysler Prowler-producing days that might be of interest to fans and collectors. Those items are being auctioned off online, now through April 13th, to benefit United Way of Southeast Michigan. There are 1,800 items in all.
“We found things like signed sketches, photos and posters, not to mention all of the items that were part of the operations of the plant,” says auction coordinator Mike Tonietto, formerly Conner Avenue Assembly Manager. “As more and more items were discovered, the question became what do we do with them. Rather than store them somewhere where they would never be seen or, worse yet, disposed of, we decided to auction them off.”
To see what’s available and put in a bid, click here.