Just imagine how different the Viper story would be if the deal went through!
Things were looking incredibly bleak for Chrysler when the global financial crisis hit. Parent company Daimler promptly left the mess that was the struggling company for the Cerberus investment firm to clean up, with the effectiveness of those efforts being best summed up by Chrysler's filing for bankruptcy collection in April 2009. It's of no real surprise, then, to know that Chrysler was looking at selling as much as it could to recoup some money. According to , it turns out the entire Viper brand was incredibly close to being sold off.
In an interview with James Glickenhaus, the man behind the and revealed he was ed by a group of well-financed enthusiasts who wished to seek Glickenhaus' advice on the course of action they should take in order to buy the Viper brand. And by "Viper brand" we mean the whole lot: commercial rights, facilities, tooling, the entire shebang. Despite the allure of owning an entire sports car brand, Glickenhaus wasn't so convinced, stating that he "advise[d] them not to do this deal." And it appears the group heeded this advice, as the Viper acquisition arrangement never came about, even though Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was quite keen on the idea.
With the benefit of hindsight, it's understandable why the wealthy enthusiasts decided not to buy the Viper brand. In spite of its mass popularity, the Viper never truly sold in strong numbers, (especially in comparison with its closest rival, the Chevrolet Corvette,) and it's unlikely that the V10-powered sports car would have found much success outside of Chrysler's hands. You could also argue that the Viper's longevity is more surprising than the fact it's being killed off in 2017. Of course it would have undoubtedly been incredibly interesting to observe how a bunch of gearheads would fare at the helm of a niche appeal sports car company, but FCA turning off the life support is probably the better course of action for the Viper.