Old Dodge Viper Plant will Become a Private Dodge Museum
Dodge dealerships across the country were saddened last year to learn that the automaker’s famed Conner Avenue Assembly Plant would close down after ceasing production of the beloved Dodge Viper. But that bad news is now being turned into great news: Dodge recently announced plans to convert a portion of the former plant into a 100,000 square foot private museum and corporate meeting facility.
The 51-year-old plant will now become a space to display Chrysler’s priceless collection of historically significant, ground-breaking concept vehicles.
“With a storied history of its own, the Conner Avenue facility is an ideal location to showcase the vehicles that have sustained the company for more than 92 years,” Brandt Rosenbusch, manager for FCA Historical Services, said in a recent statement. “We are proud of our history and have been working diligently in the daily care and restoration of these important vehicles. This move will allow us to house all of our collection under one roof and have the space to share that history with our employees.”
According to reports circulating around Fox Lake Dodge dealerships, the automaker has earmarked over 70,000 square feet of the space for vehicle displays and another 20,000 for corporate meeting space. The remaining square footage will potentially be used for archival space but Dodge has not yet confirmed or denied that assumption.
An archive would make sense though, given the huge amount of memorabilia remaining inside the plant. Items including vehicle hoods, sketches, posters, photos and more were found and saved when the plant was undergoing the decommissioning process. Many of those pieces of Dodge history were auctioned off to benefit the United Way of Southeast Michigan.
“We found things like signed sketches, photos and posters, not to mention all of the items that were part of the operations of the plant,” Mike Tonietto, former Conner Avenue Assembly Plant Manager and auction coordinator, told reporters at a recent briefing. “As more and more items were discovered, the question became ‘what do we do with them?’ Rather than store them somewhere where they would never be seen or, worse yet, disposed of, we decided to auction them off.”
The auction began on March 21 and ended on April 13. But don’t worry–a small collection of items remain in the automaker’s possession to be preserved for posterity.
Although the Conner Avenue facility will not be open to the public, you can get your very own piece of Dodge’s legacy today at a Dodge dealership near you.
Become a part of Dodge’s long history of innovation by bringing home a Dodge vehicle today. Come visit us at Ray Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to check out the incredible vehicles on our lot and learn more about Dodge’s remarkable past and bright future.