After graduating from college, Jerry Wiegert formed Vehicle Design Force. With the help of Lee Brown, the Vector was built. The Vector was merely a shell that was intended to be outfitted with a Mercedes-Benz Wankel engine. The production plans for the Wankel engine was eventually scrapped by Mercedes-Benz and the Wiegert/Brown union dispersed.
In 1972, the name Vehicle Design Force was changed to Vector Aeromotive Corporation. Their first creation was again a shell, this time dubbed the Vector W2. By the 1980s a power-train had been outfitted to the W2. Throughout the 1980's various W2 variants were created, each unique in design but never mass-produced. By the close of the 1980's, the W2 was no longer being produced.
In 1991 the W2 was redesigned and dubbed the Vector W8 of which two prototypes were originally created. The name was formed by using Wiegert's last initial and the number of cylinders in the engine. Power was supplied through an eight-cylinder engine capable of producing 600 horsepower and 600 foot-pounds of torque. Top speed was estimated to be over 200 mph. Production was low with only seventeen examples ever created. Eventually, the designs were sold and Vector began focusing on their new model the Wx-3 and WX-3R.
The intended engine for WX-3 was to have more than 1000 horsepower. The engine was never completed so a turbocharged Chevrolet engine was used. Production cost for the WX-3 was around one-million dollars. The sticker price to own a WX-3 was around $685,000. The WX-3R was intended on being the roadster version but never made it past being a prototype.
High production costs and poor build quality eventually sent the Vector Company to file for bankruptcy protection.
In 1993 the Indonesian company Megatech bought Vector and moved the company from California to Florida. Wiegert was not allowed a lead position in the company but was offered a position as a designer, which he refused and thus, left the company. Before he left, Wiegert copyrighted the designs for the WX-3 and the W8 and as a result, the WX-3 never entered production.
In 1994 Megatech purchased Lamborghini for forty million dollars. In 1998 it sold the Lamborghini marque to Volkswagen.
From 1995 through 1999 Vector Supercars produced the M12 during which only 14 examples were produced. Counting prototypes and crash-test cars, seventeen examples of the M12 were created. Power was provided by a 5.7 liter Lamborghini V-12 engine capable of producing nearly 500 horsepower and 425 foot-pounds of torque. The 3600-pound vehicle could race from zero-to-sixty in just under five seconds and had a top speed of 190 mph. Many of the mechanical components were borrowed from the Lamborghini Diablo. Its price tag was similar to the Diablo at around $184,000.
The M12 shared a similar design to the WX-3. The WX-3 had been outfitted with enough space to accommodate an eight-cylinder engine. With the adaptation of the V-12 in the M12, the chassis needed re-engineering to accommodate the extra weight and horsepower. Due to its large size, the rear was enlarged, the cockpit was moved further and the front was shortened.
In 1999, employee Tommy Suharto brought an end to the Vector Company due to embezzlement. Tommy had been considered by many as a 'playboy'. He was the son of President Suharto. Production ceased in 1999 when Vector could not pay for the Lamborghini engines and its other debts.
A Vector SRV8 was the final effort for Vector in the automobile production business. Its basic design was based on the M12 but in the engine compartment lurked a Corvette engine. The vehicles aesthetics were updated with the use of air scoops and spoilers. Due to mounting financial difficulties, the vehicle never entered production.
Vector was sold to an Ohio company named American Aeromotive.By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2006