It's not every day you get a chance to buy a brand new Vector chassis from 1978, but a W2 prototype's most important part just found its way to Ebay. Just think of the possibilities for a second!
Sold by a Vector Motors employee, this W2 chassis listed on Ebay reportedly belongs to Vector founder Mr. Gerald Wiegert's personal collection. Unsurprisingly, this unstamped time warp is located in Los Angeles, and should you choose to buy it, turning it into something that can move would be an interesting challenge.
The W2 was the prototype of the W8 of which Vector built only 22 copies. Prices today for a good one of those twin-turbo supercars can climb above a million dollars. This empty shell is significantly cheaper, and was truly cutting edge for 1978:
It is a semi-monocoque design using an aluminum honeycomb panel and aluminum sheet which is epoxy bonded and stainless steel riveted together.
Traditional automotive welded steel structures tend to have stress concentrations at the welds, either at the spot welds in a unibody design, or where the tubes join in a tubular design. Riveting and bonding distributes loads more evenly. The epoxy in the joints carries most of the load, keeping the rivets from working loose after many miles. The Vector's chassis is comprised of a central cab section which is very stiff, and the front and rear extremities, which are de-formable under impact. The cab section houses the occupants and the fuel cell. It is comprised of a tubular steel roll cage structure fabricated from a structural steel alloy.
The entire Vector chassis structure weighs only three hundred and fifty pounds. It is inconceivable to produce a chassis from a mild steel as virtually every other automaker does, with a strength to weight ratio even remotely similar to this type of structure. In terms of the advantage to the vehicle as a whole, light weight provides faster acceleration, higher cornering ability and improved fuel economy.
In order for automotive suspensions to work as they're intended, they must be fastened to a stable base. The cornering potential of any vehicle is directly proportional to chassis stiffness. It has been estimated that the Vector's chassis is approximately 300 percent stiffer than any other production GT car chassis. This provides for not only an extremely high cornering capability, but very stable and predictable traits regardless of the road surface condition. High density resilient bushings and self-lubricating bushings are used in the suspension members, resulting in a stiff "feel" without the harshness associated with high performance cars. These suspension bushings also have a life many times longer than traditional high performance parts.
And safe it was indeed.
The question is, who would spend that sort of money on an unmarked prototype piece and what should a brave/crazy person do with it afterwards?
Hellcat it? Turn it into the mid-engined Corvette we've been all waiting for? Attempt to design a modern Vector around it? Perhaps just put a Lamborghini V12 in the middle as a homage to the latter Vector M12?
Either way, owning a piece of history like this looks like a win-win on all levels.