Ever since Bob Lutz retired from General Motors, America has been lacking a mouthy auto executive whose off-the-cuff remarks can rile up an entire industry. Thankfully, Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, a natural-born Canadian who was raised in Italy, has stepped up to the plate in an attempt to rile up the plebeians. His recent derogatory remarks regarding Italians certainly left the CEO feeling a bit bashful and apologetic.
No wonder Sergio decided to donate, rather than keep, the special one-off SRT Viper that the Chrysler performance division built for him. The Viper Club of America reports that Marchionne gave the Viper to the Sons of Italy Foundation as recompense for his colorful remarks.
If you ask us, Americans, not Italians, should have been upset at Sergio’s remarks. When discussing the upcoming Alfa Romeo 4C, Sergio said that it had to have a “wop” engine, a derogatory term for Italians. Of course he also dissed American motors, as he said an Alfa with an American engine would be a “shlock product.” Whatever, Sergio.
To sooth over those ruffled Italian feathers, SRT put together a white Viper with black vapor-chrome wheels, custom interior touches, and even the Italian flag colors running down the leather seats. Even the Viper GTS has the Italian colors ingrained, and the Viper will be auctioned off to support the Sons of Italy charity, which represents Americans of Italian descent.
A custom $100,000 American supercar for an off-color remark? Seems a but like overkill, don’t you think?