Chrysler’s Conner Avenue Assembly Plant went offline in 2017, but it isn’t suffering the same fate as many shuttered factories of the past.
When Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that the Dodge Viper was being killed off, it seemed like the storied Conner Avenue Assembly Plant would become yet another abandoned factory in Detroit. Fortunately, the company has other plans for this 52-year-old facility.
The building will be renamed the Conner Center, and it will be used to house about 400 concepts and historic FCA vehicles. Such a building was needed following the closure of the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in 2016. Some of the vehicles that will be on display include a 1902 Rambler and 1924 Chrysler Touring.
Initially, the Conner Center will only be open for internal uses, but FCA did hint that it could open its doors to the public in the future. About 77,000 square feet will be used for vehicle displays, and another 22,000 square feet will be dedicated to office space.
The Conner Avenue Assembly Plant went online in 1966 producing spark plugs, but Chrysler acquired the building in 1995 to build the Viper. The Dodge Viper (short-lived SRT Viper) was produced here from 1995-2010 and 2012-2017, and it also produced the Chrysler/Plymouth Prowler as well as the Viper’s monstrous V-10 engine.