Vector W2
in ,

Jerry Wiegert, father of the Vector, passes away

When it comes to American cars, the options always focus on the same old ones, Names like Corvette, Mustang or Viper come to the fore in any motorsports conversation Yankee. Obviously, these are cars whose history and achievements in competition make them important for the sector and desired by fans, serve as an example the number of records that the Viper treasures (even one dragging a caravan up to 127 mph (about 204 km / h). 

But always being the same as always, prevents many others from being remembered when they also deserve to be. In the United States, the motor culture is enormous and at times, it allows many to build their own car or motorcycle. Where else would actor Keanu Reeves have set up his motorcycle business? There the car looks different and even becomes a family tradition. Something that is difficult to find in Spain, if someone can find something similar in our country. 

Vector W2
Vector W2 in front of the Wilmington, California building. Source: Wikipedia

First steps with scale models, real cars came later

Thus, therefore and as expected, our story takes place in the United States, in Wilmington, California, where Gerald Wiegert, better known as Jerry, founded the company “Vehicle Design Force”. It was the year 1971 and had the help of Lee Brown, with whom he developed what they called "The Vector." Basically, we are talking about a car-shaped casing presented at the Los Angeles Motor Show grabbing a lot of attention, so much so that the famous American magazine Motor Trend took it on the cover in the issue dedicated to the Los Angeles Motor Show. 

The collaboration between Wiegert and Brown was short-lived, leaving the company in the hands of Jerry, who changed the name to Vector Automotive and continued with the development of the car presented in Los Angeles. Some time later, In 1978, he introduced the Vector W2 (W for the initial of his last name and the number for being the second prototype), but like the first occasion, it was a case, a life-size model with which he intended to attract attention and show the evolution of the project. 

Vector W2 advertising image
Advertising image for Vector W2, 1979

In 1979 the first rolling prototype was finally unveiled and development tests began, which totaled 160.000 kilometers. The car was ready to go on the market and promised outstanding performance thanks to a V8 Chevy of 5,7 liters and two turbos, capable of yielding 600 hp and to launch the spectacular American sports car up to 320 km / h. Because maybe not something else, but the Vector have always had a design that could be considered extravagant. 

But as always happens with similar projects, there was no money for mass production. Jerry was looking for financing in different ways between 1982 and 1987, but the money never came. Meanwhile, the car had been changing color and Jerry had been working on more evolutions and projects, giving rise to the company's best-known car: the Vector W8

Vector W8

Vector W8, Vector M12 and a hell of a mess with Megatech and Lamborghini

The Vector W8 was the first project of the newly created "Vector Aeromotive Corporation" and was put on the asphalt in 1989. Like the W2, its design was anything but conventional, as unconventional as the materials used in its manufacture, materials such as kevlar or carbon fiber. A set that was animated by a V8 Rocket from competition, supercharged by two turbos and coupled to a B&M three-speed automatic transmission. A stream with three runs may appear to be a mistake, but the engine produced 625 hp and 880 Nm of torque, allowing accelerations from 0 to 100 km / h in 3,9 seconds. The theoretical speed was 390 km / h, but at the Bonneville Salt Flats a speed of 354 km / h was recorded. 

A total of 17 units were manufactured between 1983 and 1993. During that time, Jerry tried to find money to develop the next step in its evolution, a car that he called Vector WX3 but which was never heard from again as the company was eventually expropriated by Megatech. However, and always according to the source, through some legal actions, Jerry kept the original designs, the cars that had not been sold and some elements of equipment and with all this, he got down to work to develop a new supercar . The fact is that other sources affirm that it was Megatech, who had the majority of the shareholding and also had control of Lamborghini, who began with the development of that new sports car. 

M12 vector from 1995
Vector M12

Whoever it was development of what would become the Vector M1995 began in 12, the replacement, so to speak, of the W8. However, the M12 actually hid a Lamborghini Diablo, which had a specific bodywork on it. Only 18 units were made, four of which were "pre-production" and ended up as track versions. After this and since no more units were sold, Vector closed in 1999. It could only last three years after presenting the M12 at the Detroit Motor Show in 1996. After this, Megatech sold the Vector business to Lamborghini, which was already under the control of Audi. 

From here there was a huge mess, it seems. Lamborghini breached the engine delivery contract because Megatech did not pay, and the company director, Tommy Suharto, was accused of illegally stealing money from the company for his own benefit. The Italians are said to have accepted a unit of the W8 as payment for this theft, but it appears that the car was owned by Wieger, who took the matter to court and won. However, Lamborghini never delivered the car. 

Production continued with the Vector SRV8 and dreamed of the Vector WX-8

As they hit each other, Vector kept going, twisting and intermittent, but his way nonetheless. The first thing he did was work on a new car, one that few know about but that existed just like everyone else. It was the Vector SRV8 (pictured above), a car that delved into its roots Yankees with a General Motors V8 LT1. However, only one unit was manufactured as after the car's first appearance, Vector closed. 

In this part of the story a curious case arises again, because Gerald Wiegert appears again. Jerry sold the remainder of Vector Aeromotive to American Aeromotive and contributed Vector assets that were still in his possession. He changed the company name twice, but never made another car. At least until 2006, when it was presented in an elegance contest in Italy aboard what it called the Avtech V8, a supercar prototype that represented its new project. Again, at Rodeo Drive in 2007 he was seen as CEO of Vector Motors Corporation and announced a new car for the Los Angeles Show. 

Vector WX-8
Vector WX-8, Jerry Wiegert's latest project

When the day came there was Wiegert and his new Vector WX-8, a new sports car with an extravagant and very striking design, Powered by a massive, supercharged, aluminum 8-liter V10 with 1.876 hp which, in theory, should allow you to reach 443 km / h and accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in three seconds. It was never manufactured, although in 2018 they talked about the car again and even announced 2.000 CV, but that was where everything stayed. 

Vector will not be active again, Jerry Wiegert passed away on January 15 at the age of 76.. Details of his death have not been released. D.E.P

What do you think?

Javi Martin

Written by Javi Martin

If you ask me where my love for motoring comes from, I wouldn't know how to answer. It has always been there, although I am the only one in the family who likes this world. My father worked as a draftsman in a metallurgical company with a lot of auto parts production, but there was never a passion like I can have.

I really like the history of the automobile and I am currently creating a personal library dedicated exclusively to the history of the motor in Spain, without forgetting the motorcycles that gave so much service in our "old" Spain. I also have a huge collection of scanned material.


Subscribe to the newsletter

Once a month in your mail.

Thanks a lot! Do not forget to confirm your subscription through the email that we have just sent you.

Something has gone wrong. Please try again.

50.6 kHappy fans
1.7 kFollowers
2.4 kFollowers
3.2 kFollowers