History is littered with failed automakers, but few were as flamboyant as Vector. Scheduled to be auctioned off by Barrett-Jackson later this month, this 1999 Vector M12 was one of the last cars made before the company dissolved.
Vector started out as the dream of the late Jerry Wiegert, an inventor who wanted to build an American supercar. He spent two decades developing and producing his Vector W8, but by the time the M12 came along, the American dream was over.
A few years after W8 production ended in 1992, Wiegert lost control of Vector to Indonesian firm MegaTech, which also bought Lamborghini. MegaTech then launched the W12, using Lamborghini’s 5.7-liter V-12 coupled to a 5-speed manual transmission. The Italian V-12 was good for 492 hp and 495 lb-ft of torque, and it pushed the car from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and to a top speed of 190 mph, according to the auction listing.
1999 Vector M12 (Photo by Barrett-Jackson)
Number 12 of 14 production-spec cars built, this M12 was built for the Prince of Brunei, who specified the black exterior and red leather interior, according to the previous owner.
The M12 underwent an engine-out service in November 2019, according to the listing. It now has a rebuilt clutch, a ceramic flywheel, and a modified interior designed to accommodate taller drivers. It also has only 2,160 miles on the odometer, according to the listing.
The marriage of American design and Italian mechanicals didn’t last long. While other models were under development, including an El Camino-like vehicle, Vector soon ran out of money. A new Vector Motors Corporation has announced the WX8 supercar, boasting of a 10.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 and a 300-mph top speed, but it appears to be little more than vaporware on a corporate website.
Interested buyers can register to bid for the this car online at the Barrett-Jackson website. The auction house’s Scottsdale Auction is set for March 20-27.