Built for royalty. Now offered at no reserve.
Founded by the late Jerry Wiegert in 1971, Vector Motors never became the success story many hoped for, including Wiegert himself. The company's first vehicle, the Vector, never made it to production. Nor did its W2 successor. It wasn't until 1989 when the W8 arrived did the company begin producing cars, though only 22 W8s were made. Jump ahead to 1995, Wiegert introduced the M12, of which just 14 were built between 1996 and 1999. Needless to say, it's an occasion anytime a Vector comes up for sale, and this one is no exception. In fact, it was originally made for royalty.
This 1999 Vector M12 is part of the Barrett-Jackson auction happening later this month in Scottsdale, Arizona, and will be offered at no reserve. It was up for auction a year ago but failed to find a buyer. Time to try again.
For those who don't recall, this vehicle is VIN 12, the second of four constructed in '99. It was specially ordered by the Prince of Brunei, a guy with seriously fine taste. The black exterior and Lipstick Red interior looks stunning. Its mid-engined proportions will look familiar because the M12 is based on the Lamborghini Diablo.
It not only uses a majority of the same components, but it's powered by the Lambo's naturally aspirated 5.7-liter V12, rated here at 492 horsepower and 425 lb-ft of torque. A ZF five-speed manual directs power to the rear wheels. Performance? Similar to pre-facelift Diablo numbers. Zero to 60 mph takes 4.5 seconds and top speed taps out at 190 mph.
Vector didn't simply reskin the Diablo. For example, the M12's engine was mounted in front of the gearbox instead of behind it. Ironically, Wiegert was not involved with the M12 program. Vector was the victim of a hostile takeover by Indonesia's Megatech, and Wiegert sued over M12 design-related issues. By 1999, Megatech was forced to end production because it didn't have the cash to pay Lamborghini for the engines. Welcome to the exotic car business.
This Vector M12 underwent a full engine-out service in late 2019. The clutch was rebuilt and the interior was redesigned to accommodate taller occupants, though the original layout was retained. It's hard to gauge how much it'll sell for, but anyone who might already own something like a Lamborghini Sian or Aventador SVJ will definitely want this to join their collection.