Chrysler held a ceremony at its Connor Avenue Assembly Plant to celebrate production of the 2013 SRT Viper. At the ceremony, Chrysler also presented owner Scott Thomas with the very first SRT Viper customer car, on which the VIN ends in 001. Thomas won the car for $300,000 at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2012; his winning bid will benefit the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer.
During the ceremony, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne unveiled a plaque dedicated to former company group vice president Dan Knott. The plaque reads, “Today, we are a real car company again,” a quote attributed to Knott when the 2013 SRT Viper program was confirmed. Knott, who died in 2012, was instrumental in the development of previous iterations of the (Dodge) Viper and led Chrysler’s SRT operations from 2002 to 2009.
The Connor Avenue Assembly Plant built the Dodge Viper from 1992, but the factory was idled in 2010 when the sports car temporarily went out of production. But the location was re-opened to assemble the new 2013 SRT Viper. About 150 workers there hand-build approximately 12 cars each day. The new Viper has an 8.4-liter V-10 engine with 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. Pricing starts at $99,390 (after a $1995 destination charge).
Although the company is already building cars, the first 2013 SRT Viper coupes won’t reach customers until February as they will first be subjected to “rigorous quality checks.”