Vector Aeromotive Corporation was an automobile manufacturer founded in 1971 by Gerald Wiegert under the name “Vehicle Design Force”. The company was originally based in California, but would later move to Florida. Vector is acknowledged as the first United States attempt to compete with European exotic car companies like the Ferrari, Lotus and Lamborghini. The results have been mixed and Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear labelled the M12 from Vector “the worst car ever made”.
Vector Aeromotive Corporation history
In the early 1970s, Gerald Wiegert graduated from college and founded the "Vehicle Design Force". Lee Brown joined the team and together they strived to create a car named The Vector. According to plan, The Vector would have various powerplants, including a DOHC Porsche engine, and the price tag should land below 10,000 USD. The Vehicle Design Company did however fail to realise these dreams. An empty shell was however constructed and displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Shortly after the show, Lee Brown left the Vehicle Design Force.
In 1972, Motor Trend magazine placed The Vector on the cover and Gerald Wiegert decided to change the name of his company from Vehicle Design Company to Vector Aeromotive. He also started to work on a new project, the Vector W2. In 1989, vehicle production commenced. In the 1990s, production ceased, but the company has now been revived under the name Vector Motors Corporation. The remains of Vector Aeromotive was purchased by American Aeromotive, while Gerald Wiegert took back the assets of Vector and changed the name from Avtech Motors to Vector Supercars. After while, the name Avtech Motors was changed again – this time to Vector Motors Corporation. Gerald Wiegert is currently both chairman and CEO.
The Vector W2
After the above mentioned “The Vector”, Weigert began working in the Vector W2. Just like The Vector, it was immobile during its first show, but the Vector W2 began running in 1979. The W2 received a lot of praise in car magazines.
The Vector W8
In 1989, production of the Vector W8 commenced. The W8 was an evolution of the W2 and two different prototypes were created (one of them running). All in all, 17 Vector W8 cars were built for the public market.
The Avtech WX-3R
The Avtech WX-3R was first displayed at the Geneva Auto Show in 1993. This car was a further evolution of the W8 car, and came in a coupe and a roadster version. Only two prototypes were built.
The Vector M12
The Vector M12 was loosely based on the Avtech WX-3R, but contained a special version of the Lamborghini Diablo V12 engine. Production commenced at the Jacksonville, Florida facility in 1995 and two cars were displayed at the 1996 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The cars did not sell as well as planned and production was shuttered in late 1996. Production then started again, but by early 1999 no more than 14 Vector M12 cars were produced, chiefly due to financial difficulties which lead to a lack of Lamborghini engines.
The SRV8 is the result of Vector reducing the cost of the Vector M12. The SRV8 comes with a Corvette engine and a transaxle from Porsche. Only one prototype was ever built, since the company was shut down a few days after the SRV8's public introduction.
A new Vector car?
Gerald Wiegert has not produced any new car since the revival of the company, but rumours keep surfacing about him planning on brining the Vector car back to life in one way or another. During the 2006 Concuourso Italiano, Gerald Wiegert showed up in a V-8 Avtech prototype and confirmed that he is in fact working on a supercar. In 2007, Gerald Weigert displayed the Avtech at the Rodeo Drive Concours D’Elegance.