End of the Line For the Dodge Viper?

Chrysler’s recent bankruptcy filing has left some of its current products exposed, including the iconic Dodge Viper sports car. That vehicle, first rolled out in 1992, is a halo car one that was created to advance the image of the company’s Dodge division.

A handcrafted vehicle, the Dodge Viper has always been sold in low numbers, only selling its 25,000th copy in 2008. Last year, Chrysler LLC announced that they would try to sell the Viper in a bid to raise much needed funds for the company, but that announcement didn’t bring forth a serious buyer and now, with the bankruptcy in place, the factory producing the Viper has been shut down.

Several Factories Closed, Not Part Of The Fiat Deal

Eight Chrysler factories are being left in bankruptcy which means that Fiat SpA, the buyer of Chrysler, can pick which assets it wants. The Viper assembly plant in Detroit was not included, meaning that support for the sportscar has ended at least for now.

Though the Dodge Viper will likely not emerge as part of the newly restructured Chrysler entity, there is a possibility that a new buyer could step forth to claim the car. Back in the 1960s when Studebaker went out of business, a pair of former Studebaker dealers purchased the rights to the Avanti, the company’s forward looking model introduced just a few years before. For the next two decades the timeless Avanti was built and sold to devotees.

Taking Its Cues From The Avanti

Like the Avanti, the Viper could be produced by just about anyone as the buyer of the car would gain rights to the name, body molds, parts, tools and everything related to the car. The new buyer would also assume responsibility of furnishing replacement parts for existing Vipers and would probably strike a warranty agreement with Chrysler to cover cars built when the Viper was under the Dodge umbrella. That agreement could be backed up by the federal government which has a similar plan already in place for Chrysler.

Thus, if the Viper does continue to live on, its new owner may have nothing to do with building cars, although my personal speculation is that an existing manufacturer will acquire full rights to the Viper and produce the car themselves. After all, a halo car is just that – one that bolsters the image of a brand, something that the V-10, 600 horsepower, 560 lb.-ft of torque Viper has done successfully for Dodge.

Dodge Sprinter – Personalize Yours

With most automobiles, what you see is what you get. Sure, you could add a spoiler or some new hubcaps to add a bit of character, but unless you have tons of cash to invest, your new auto will most likely blend in with every other car on the street. If you want something that not only stands out among the pack, but can also be customized for far less money than the average vehicle, the Dodge Sprinter is worth a look.

Before you even leave the car lot, you’ll be given more varied and interesting options than the average cargo van offers. The Dodge Sprinter is available in three different models – the passenger van, cargo van, and chassis cab. Each one can easily be adapted to individual needs.

The passenger van available options and upgrades include a choice of wheelbase (short is 144 inches and long is 170 inches), standard and high roof height (56 inches or 76.4), and diesel or gas engine. If that isn’t enough options, diesel models come with a twelve seat configuration, but gas engines can have seven, nine, or ten seats. So if you have to haul around a small soccer team, or your two kids just have as much energy as a small soccer team, the Sprinter has you covered.

If you’re looking for a company car that can accommodate your individual business needs, the cargo and chassis cab have great options. Like the passenger van, you can choose either short or long wheelbases, diesel or gasoline engine, uplift options for the chassis and roof height options for the cargo.

The Sprinter isn’t only about factory options. Many people have discovered that this roomy, but gas-friendly vehicle is ripe for creating new business and allowing your creativity to run free. Sprinters have been converted into parties on wheels, mini hotel rooms, and the ultimately luxurious campers.

They can work brilliantly for traditional businesses such as florists, handymen, and airport shuttles, but have seen huge success as specialized small tour and travel vans. And free advertising has never been easier for your company. Ads are easy to wrap around the vehicle’s exterior, making the Sprinter even more eye-catching.

But the Sprinter doesn’t only cater to business customization. Many adventurous families have found it to be more comfortable, spacious, and gas-economic than hauling traditional campers or using expensive motor homes.

Installing kitchens, televisions, and even bathrooms is easily achievable and feels just like home on the road. With ample storage room, easy access to the rear, and seats with quick-release latches for fast configuration and storage changes – you’re ready for a trip to across country or just to the store.

Although it may look like a behemoth on the outside, the Sprinter is actually a smooth drive. Adjustable tilt steering wheel allows for a comfortable position in the driver’s seat, and the Sprinter is capable of surprisingly tight turns for such a large vehicle. And with new, advanced passenger protection features, you’ll have a smooth as well as a safe drive.

Dodge Sprinter – A Great Multi-Purpose Vehicle

From the exterior, the Dodge Sprinter may appear as another handyman or florist truck, but it has the potential to be much more. The Sprinter is truly a blank slate for families, businesses, and the creative auto owner. It boasts one of the most spacious interiors (a 6′ tall person can comfortably stand without bending his head) of any currently available autos and is easily customizable to suit a variety of needs.

Before you step off the lot, you’ll be offered a variety of options to help you start building your dream vehicle. There are standard and high roof heights, wheelbases of either 144 or 170 inches, and vehicle lengths of either 233 or 273 inches. You will also be able to choose between the twelve seat diesel engine model and the gasoline powered engine with a choice of ten, nine, or six seats.

If it’s a family van you’re after, the Sprinter can’t be beat. The multiple seating options and the quick-latch release seating to allow a variety of configurations makes this van an ideal choice for the busy family. Plenty of cargo space and a large rear door make loading and unloading a breeze.

And even though it looks imposing, the Sprinter is a smooth drive, handling more like a small auto than a van. The tilt and telescoping steering wheel allows for maximum driver comfort and there’s plenty of legroom for all.

While the Dodge Sprinter is something of an anomaly in the United States, Europe has been celebrating this multi-purpose vehicle for years. After all, it was created for the narrow, winding roads in European cities and takes tight turns easily.

The Dodge Sprinter is also one of the most economically friendly vehicles of its size. The five cylinder diesel engine model has 156 horsepower, direct fuel injection, and gets 28mpg at 55mph. It’s made to be fuel efficient even when hauling heavy loads and travelling long distances.

For businessmen, the Sprinter can be tailored to fit your company’s and employee’s needs. They not only haul goods and passengers, but many Sprinters have been successfully transformed into alternative, but luxurious limos, party buses, tour buses, and traveling mini hotel rooms.

The interior can easily be gutted and re-outfitted with plasma screen televisions, bathrooms, kitchens, disco balls-just about anything that you can imagine. Impress clients with a roomy ride from the airport or set up a unique shuttle service that outshines the competition.

Adventurous spirits will find that the Sprinter is the perfect alternative to an outdated, gas-unfriendly RV. The passenger van can easily be converted into a comfortable home on wheels, or the chassis model can be outfitted with a camper. With the passenger van, you’ll find parking overnight much less of a hassle as it isn’t oversized like many RVs.

The Dodge Sprinter is for people who don’t like to compromise style and flexibility. It’s a great vehicle as it is, or it can morph into your own individual creation, whether it is a brilliant new business model or getting the family together for a road trip.