It's a sad day for the motoring industry.
Ever heard of the Vector W8? If you know how to make a video on TikTok, you probably have no idea what a Vector W8 is, but to those of us old enough to have experienced dial-up internet, we know that the W8 was one of Gerald "Jerry" Wiegert's creations. The man founded his American supercar brand in 1971 under the name Vehicle Design Force before it was renamed Vector following a partnership with Hollywood movie car expert Lee Brown. To many, Wiegert could be considered akin to John DeLorean, having tried and failed to achieve major mainstream success, but unlike DeLorean, he almost made it.
If you don't know much about the man and his brand, he had a tumultuous time with his company and even lost the rights to his brand following a hostile takeover by Megatech, one of his company's investors. Eventually, a court battle ended in Wiegert reacquiring his brand's assets, trademarks, and copyrights. In 2008, the Vector brand was revived and development of the WX-8 began. This car was intended to go even faster than the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport with a target of 270 mph. This was to be achieved by either a massive 10-liter turbocharged big-block V8 or a hybrid-electric 7.0-liter small-block V8. Unfortunately, it never got off the ground.
Wieger was more than just a car guy, having also founded Aquajet, a company that built the Jetbike, an innovative machine that was described as having handling like "motorcycles for the water". As you can see, Wieger was an eclectic visionary with many exciting ideas and achievements. Born on July 12, 1944 in Dearborn, Michigan, he worked for decades to see his own supercar come to life but had a reputation for never taking shortcuts or cutting corners and still had a big lust for building the ultimate hypercar. He wanted to create something with 3,000 horsepower, a 300-mph top speed, and a $3 million price tag, but sadly never got the chance. He passed away on January 15 in California from unknown causes.