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Obscure American Supercar Comes Up For Auction

Auction / 12 Comments

Now is your chance to buy the Lamborghini Diablo's long-lost brother.

If you want a Lamborghini Diablo but can't quite afford the approximately $300,000 price tag that comes attached to used versions of the '90s Italian legend, we have just the car for you. This red 1996 Vector M12 has recently appeared on the website of Nellis Auction, a local public auction company, and while this obscure American supercar may not have the same pedigree as the Diablo, they are closely related brethren and the M12 is a worthy supercar in its own right.

One of only 14 M12s ever made, this example had been preserved in a Las Vegas owner's garage for decades before he passed away. While the vehicle does have a minor fuel leak, everything else runs like new, and the odometer shows a scant 4,100 miles.

To understand why buying a M12 is essentially buying an American Diablo, let's dive into some history. Vector was originally founded in the late 1970s, but didn't churn out its first production vehicle until 1989. By the early 1990s the company was already struggling, and it ceased production in 1993. The company was taken over by Indonesia-based Megatech, which relaunched Vector in 1994 by opening up a new headquarters in Florida. The move to Florida was an attempt by Megatech to consolidate resources with its other supercar company, Lamborghini, which it had acquired from Chrysler in the early 1990s.

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Because the two companies shared office space, the M12 borrowed many components from the Diablo, including the mid-mounted V12 engine. This 5.7 liter monster pumps out 492 horsepower, which is good enough for a 0-60 mile per hour dash of 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 190 mph.

The Vector's main draw, however, are its outlandish looks. The wedge shape manages to appear unique, thanks to a cab-forward look and the impossibly-flat-looking windshield. Scissor doors pop up just ahead of the massive air intakes, and a massive wing sprouts up at the rear. A Nellis representative stated that it is expected to go for between $110,000 and $120,000 when the auction occurs on December 4.

Dropping over $100,000 on an obscure supercar might not be the best move however, especially considering that a modern American supercar, like the Corvette Z06 costs less than the M12 and provides more performance and more comfort.