The 1980s and 90s saw some rather strange cars hit the roads. The emphasis was on the future and it showed in nearly every radical new design. Supercars were no exception to this either. That’s why for this week’s Want we’re taking a look at two of these cars from Vector.
The story of Vector begins in the early 1970s when founder Gerald Wiegert started Vehicle Design Force. The company’s intention at the time was to make an affordable supercar to take on the exotics from Europe.
The original concept is a bit of a mystery. However, it was intended to have a tubular frame and use a Porsche engine. It didn’t materialize, and quickly the rumor-mill changed gears, suggesting the car now would feature a rotary.
This car, named The Vector, made its debut at the 1972 LA Auto Show. It quickly vanished and Wiegert seemingly went on to do other things. These include helping create the JetSki, working on the world’s largest hot air blimp, and consulting on the Bond flick Never Say Never Again. A regular string of jobs, then.
In 1978 though, now under the Vector Motors name, a new car appeared. Using most of The Vector, the company created the W2 prototype.
Said to have 600hp, the W2 used a twin-turbo 5.7-liter GM V8. With a supposed 2,500lb curb weight, this apparently pushed the car to 60mph in four seconds with a top speed of 237mph. However, this is really nothing more than hearsay from the early 80’s motoring press.
After the W2 and it’s campaign to secure funding fizzled out, its predecessor, the W8 took over. Now with a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V8, it boasted 625hp and 630lbft of torque.
Unlike the W2, the W8 actually had performance data to back it up. During a test with Road & Track in 1991, the magazine hit 60mph in 4.2 seconds and ran the quarter in 12 flat. This handily put it over its rivals of the day.
It could also hit an estimated top speed of 217mph. However, Vector claimed the car’s top speed was actually 242mph. Between its weight of 3320lb and the wonky 80s-caliber aerodynamics, we find this really hard to believe. Even R&T’s estimate seems a bit generous.
The next evolution of Weigert’s supercar was set to be the WX3, but that never came to pass. During the development, the parent company of Vector, Megatech executed a hostile takeover of the company. This stopped the development dead in its tracks.
Only two prototype WX3 cars were ever built, and now they are for sale through Champion Motors in Syosset, NY.
Both the teal hardtop and purple roadster are the exact cars that introduced the WX3 at the 1993 Geneva International Auto Salon.
Sporting a 1,000hp twin-turbo 7.0-liter V8, this was just one of the many engine choices Wiegert hoped to offer with the WX3. The others would’ve been a positively anaemic 600hp V8 and a flat-out bonkers 1,200hp one.
If you’re looking at the WX3 and thinking it looks familiar, you’re definitely on to something. While Vector Motors was essentially no more at the time, the new owner used the WX3 design to produce the Vector M12.
Now Vector is attempting yet another comeback and it’s the reason these two prototypes are up for sale. The company hopes by selling two of its prized cars, it can raise money for its new project the WX8, which apparently has 2,000hp and 275mph — but not 300mph — top speed.
To show its serious about it, Vector is also offering a buyback program for these two cars as well. With an estimated value of $3.5 million, Vector says in 12 or 24 months it will repurchase the cars. Or if the buyer is really feeling cheeky they can opt for double the value in stock options for the new Vector Motors.
This won’t be the fist attempt at a Vector rebirth, so we remain skeptical. Nonetheless, these two prototypes embody a pretty cool era in automotive design — flip-up lights practically solidify that. They’re funky and very much a product of the early ’90s. Whoever picks them up is sure to add something cool to their collection.