The end is nigh for an American sports car icon: The Dodge Viper will officially exit production on August 31, 2017, and the Connor assembly plant where all Vipers have been built will be closed for good. Previously, designer Ralph Gilles let the date slip during a speech at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show earlier this year, but this is the first time Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles has made the date official, according to ClickOnDetroit.
The Dodge Viper and its 8.4-liter V-10 engine have been hand-assembled at the facility since the car was launched in 1992, with the current team composed of 87 remaining employees. Fun fact: The short-lived Plymouth Prowler was also built in the assembly plant during its production span from 1999 to 2002. FCA says it anticipates every employee will be offered work at another assembly plant.
The Connor assembly plant's Detroit zip code has also made the Viper the only American sports car actually built in "Motor City." The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro are built elsewhere in Michigan, while Chevy Corvette production now emerges from Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Challenger isn't as American as you'd believe, either — it's assembled in Canada. So is the Ford GT.
The Viper has left an outsize imprint on the automotive industry for the past 25 years. Long known for its untamed nature, the coupe and convertible have always represented a raw piece of American performance, and they've taken on the world in the process.
The Connor assembly will finish building Viper orders specced through the One-of-One program until the plant's closure. Those seeking one last chance to own a piece of history will then have to locate their Dodge Viper through a dealership.
Thanks for the memories, Viper.