Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

In technology they call it vaporware. In cryptozoology it's called a cryptid. But Nice Price or Crack Pipe is all about the cars, and that's why we call it... the Vector.

Not only did the Wagoneer Limo get you to the show on time, but it evoked the inner Larry the Cable Guy in a few of you, producing a dead-even NPOCP vote! That's probably because the back roads behemoth was based on a beloved American legend- the Jeep Wagoneer. Another flag-waving automotive legend is that of a U.S.-built supercar intended to take on the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini, and one that over the past 40 years has become more myth than motorcar.

Jerry Wiegert grew up in Detroit. That may have had something to do with his following the dream of turning his junior high notebook drawings into three dimensional, four-wheel reality.

Wiegert's first company was dubbed VDF, or Vehicle Design Force, where Uma Thurman played the funny one. They produced one fiberglass-shell mockup before being reformed as Vector Motors - named after that roller - and began a nearly 4 decade saga of unfulfilled dreams, unflagging self-promotion, and corporate drama. Along the way they announced various prototype cars, all stylistically based on that first, iconic VDF pusher.


Although more fully engineered, and able to move under its own power, the next iteration of the Vector, the W2, never reached production. But that didn't stop Motor Trend magazine from producing annual cover stories touting its mythical performance and imminent availability. Wiegert took the car to every auto show and car-related event in the country, trying to drum up interest and venture capital. In the process, he racked up over 100,000 miles on the 600-bhp twin-turbo Chevy powered prototype.

The successor W8 disposed of the Chevy for a Rodeck aluminum V8, with wet-sleeves and again the twin turbos. Shunning their reputation as nothing more than a tease, Vector actually produced 17 of the W8s- and sold them! Their most notable customer was Andre Agassi who spent less time with the car than he did married to Brooke Shields, returning it after breaking down despite having been warned that the car had been delivered unfinished.

The W8 was followed up by the Avtech WX-3 which returned the company to its roots by not being produced.


Shortly thereafter, Wiegert was forced out of Vector through a hostile takeover by the Indonesian company - and good Transformer - Megatech. That company also sought to forgo years of tradition and actually produce Vectors for public sale. They determined that the most expedient way to do so would be to throw out the aerospace tech semi-monocoque chassis and one-off racing motor, and replace them with the modified chassis and V12 engine from the Lamborghini Diablo, as, at the time, they owned that company as well.

So, that's what we have today- a Vector M12 which is really a mid-nineties Lambo in drag. The switch from sidewinder to longitudinal engine placement means the Vector body had to be elongated, and the cabin pushed forward. While it still sports many of the iconic Vector styling cues, the proportions are funky and it just doesn't look right. The 4-cam Bizzarrini-legacy motor puts out a healthy 500-bhp, but that pales in comparison to the 1000-bhp Wiegert had promised back in the company's glory days.


That's not to say this silver bullet can't get out of its own way, it should be blisteringly quick, and have a top speed in excess of 200-mph. And strangely, all the Lambo parts will mean repairs and maintenance will be easier. Plus, the Vector had Lambo doors before Lambo had Lambo doors. As you might expect, the mileage is as low as the roofline, at only 3,900, meaning it was probably only used by a little old lady to drive to church on Sundays. The condition looks factory fresh, and as one of only 14 ever built, the $139,900 cost buys you not only a very quick piece of history, but exclusivity as well- as long as you can get past the Miata turn signals and Cavalier tail lamps.

After this car was produced, Megatech imploded, selling Lamborghini to VW/Audi, and the assets of Vector to local management, for pennies on the dollar. Jerry Wiegert bought them out and returned the company to its rightful position as the world's leading non-producer of supercars, a reputation it enjoys to this day.


So, would you shell out $139,900 for a chance to own not just a car, but a soap opera star? Or, do you want to maintain your tradition of not buying Vectors?

You decide!


eBay or go here if the ad disappears. Hat tip to SagarikaLumos!

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