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The Vector automobile was created by Gerald Wiegert with the assistance of Lee Brown in 1972. The original Vector made its debut at the 1972 Los Angeles Auto Show; the static design study was said to be the basis of a production car that would be powered by a DOHC Porsche engine.
Vehicle Design Force was formed by Wiegert to build the Vector automobile. In the late 1970s, a road-going version of the show car had been built, now called the Vector W2, and was powered by a twin-turbocharged version of the Chevrolet 350cid small-block V8. The W2, as tested by Car & Driver magazine in 1980, produced a proported 625hp and weighed only 2,400lbs. Production versions would be made available, according to the article, in 1981 for the price of $125,000.
Vehicle Design Force became Vector Aeromotive Corporation in the 1980s. Production finally started for the Vector W8 (a slight modification to the one-off W2) in 1989. The production Vector W8 was powered by a 6.0L OHV 16-valve twin-turbocharged V8 loosely based on the Chevrolet small-block and mated to a 3-speed automatic transaxle. A total of 22 Vector W2/W8 (one W2 prototype, four W8 prototypes, and 17 customer cars) models were built before production ended in 1993. Vector announced the production of the Vector Avtech WX3 (said to be available with engines up to a 7.0L DOHC V8 which would produce 1,000hp) at the Geneva Auto Show in 1993, but the car never entered production. Control of the company was taken from Wiegert by the board of directors and Indonesian investors (Megatech) after a well-publicized stand-off.
Vector Aeromotive Corporation moved from its Wilmington, California home to Jacksonville, Florida. Vector shared office space with its corporate cousin Lamborghini (purchased by the same Indonesian investors a few years earlier) and began preparing for production of the Vector M12, an evolution of the Avtech design.
Again, troubles ensued. After less than a year of production, the company shut down the assembly facilities. Vector and Lamborghini were sold (the former to management, the latter to Volkswagen's Audi Group) in 1997. The Vector M12 used a version of the Lamborghini Diablo V12 engine and supplies were cut off when the two companies parted ways. A total of 14 Vector M12s were produced when the Vector SRV8 (powered by a version of the Chevrolet Corvette's LS1 V8) was shown to the press in 1999. Only the prototype SRV8 was produced before the doors were closed on the Florida facility.
After being parted out to various buyers, Vector (the name) has returned to Gerald Wiegert's control. He has stated that he would like to restart production of his dream car, if only investors could be found.
Vector W2, 1977 - 1 built
Vector W8, 1989-1993 - 2 prototypes, 17 customer cars
Vector WX-3 or Vector Avtech WX-3, 1993 - 2 prototypes (one coupe, one roadster)
Vector M12, 1995-1998 - 4 prototypes, 14 customer cars (one prototype was later used for racing)
Vector SRV8, 1998 - 1 prototype
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|Gerald Wiegert||Corporate website||independent|