You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The Last Viper Slithers off the Line; the Ralph Gilles Instagram Feed Makes It Extra Depressing

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 8/17/2017 Steve Siler

2017 Dodge Viper The Last Viper Slithers off the Line; the Ralph Gilles Instagram Feed Makes It Extra Depressing If you’re feeling just too chipper today and want to bring your spirits down a notch, check out Ralph Gilles's Instagram feed (@RalphGilles)—specifically his series of multiphoto #tbt retrospective posts about the illustrious life of the fifth (and likely final) generation of the Dodge Viper. Couched within the wistful depictions of motorsports events and owner gatherings is a post simply captioned “So long . . . #Viper” that depicts the renowned designer standing in front of a yellow Viper, followed a few slides later by images of an empty assembly line with a lone red Viper in the distance. You can almost hear the crickets. Or are they sobbing line workers?

Scrolling down the comments on that particular post, a couple of interesting last-Viper tidbits emerge. First, that yellow Viper was a car commissioned by Gilles’s good friend, and the fact that it was being built on that particular day was a “total fluke.” And second, that the red car was in fact the last one built—or “the ultimate last one,” to use Gilles’s words. That car, according to the comment, will be kept by the company for its heritage collection, where we can envision it being displayed next to the 1989 Dodge Viper concept, which also wore a coat of screaming red paint.

The Last Viper Slithers off the Line; the Ralph Gilles Instagram Feed Makes It Extra Depressing© Steve Siler The Last Viper Slithers off the Line; the Ralph Gilles Instagram Feed Makes It Extra Depressing

In response to one commenter, Gilles did provide the reason—or at least a reason—for the Viper’s death, and it was not lack of sales: “It sold well over the last couple of years at a great mix of mostly ACRs in the last 15 months. It has more to do with a new ejection-mitigation regulation airbag that simply won’t fit in our package. The Gen 5 had a great five-model-year run and the Viper platform which has not changed much over the years had a great 25-year run!”

If 600 to 700 units per year—or about two cars per day—mean it’s selling well, then he’s right. Sure, Porsche sold about 10 times as many 911s, and Chevrolet moved more than 34 times that many Corvettes during the same period, but the Gen 5 Viper was certainly selling better as its doomsday approached than did the Gen 4 Viper as it approached the end of its run in 2010.

Regardless of why Dodge pulled the plug, the result is the same: The Viper is dead! Long live the Viper! (At least on Ralph Gilles's Instagram page.)

Follow MSN Autos on Facebook & Twitter

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Car and Driver

Car and Driver
Car and Driver
Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon