Super rare Diablo-based supercar is up for sale.
Those of us who grew up in the 1990s (this writer included) typically acquired many supercar posters featuring the best of the era. These included the Ferrari F50, Lamborghini Diablo, and perhaps some other less well-known supercars. The Vector M12 could have been one of them.
The Vector Aeromotive Company is a now-defunct California-based car company that aimed to compete with Europe's best. Vector, founded by Jerry Wiegert, is today known as Vector Motors, though it hasn't produced anything in years. That's a shame because we'd love nothing more than to see an M12 successor, though crazier.
Built from 1995 until 1999, the M12 was actually based on the Lamborghini Diablo, utilizing a majority of its components including the 5.7-liter V12 engine. There's a simple reason why it borrowed so much from the Diablo: Vector parent company Megatech was owned by Lamborghini back then.
But the M12's styling is way more dramatic than the Diablo's thanks to its fighter jet-inspired look. It was styled by English designer Peter Stevens, whose previous work includes the Jaguar XJR-15 and the McLaren F1 (co-designed with Gordon Murray). It also featured similar scissor doors but the interior was redesigned to accommodate taller occupants.
The Vector M12 was also an anomaly. Initially designed by Americans, it was later restyled by an English chap, made in Florida, financed by Indonesians, and powered by an Italian V12. Only 17 examples were produced, and these included three pre-production models, one of which was converted to motorsport spec though it never raced. Why? Mechanical issues.
Vector was forced to end production because it couldn't pay Lamborghini for the engines. Therefore, every surviving Vector M12 is special and valuable, but this one up for auction this weekend at the Barrett-Jackson event in Scottsdale, Arizona is probably more special than others.
This is the 12th example built, specifically for the then Prince of Brunei. He requested a black exterior and a Lipstick Red interior. Although no longer in his collection, it's current owner and seller has had it for 16 years. It's also been on display at several museums, including the Petersen Automotive Museum's "Supercars of the World" exhibit. The 492 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque V12, paired to a ZF five-speed manual gearbox, has been driven only 2,160 miles.
This past November, the engine was fully removed for major service. The auction listing states the car is being offered with no reserve, though a previous auction had another M12 valued between $250,000 and $300,000.
It's fairly easy to find a used Lamborghini Diablo for sale or heck, just go out and buy a new Lamborghini Aventador, but you still wouldn't be as cool as the guy who says "Yeah, I own a Vector." Become that guy.