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Agassi wrote a $400,000 check for a W8 even before it was certified. All rights reserved. “I would like it to express the difficulties of staying on course and tackling roadblocks that would have caused most people to divert course or give up. Cyclist on a mountain bike. I had this attitude that the Vector was going to be superior to Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche.

But only the Hydramatic case was original; every other piece was custom-made and beefed up to handle the greater power. These days, the notion of a fighter jet for the street seems like a cliché. The terms allowed Wiegert’s new venture, Vector Aeromotive Corporation, to issue warrants that garnered an additional $8.2 million. The fastest speed was a self-reported 193 mph at Riverside International Raceway. He now concedes this was his biggest mistake.

Cars were where he figured he could make his biggest mark, and that’s because he had a big idea—namely, leverage leading-edge aerospace technology to create an all-American supercar that would eviscerate the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the day. No engine, no drivetrain, no interior.

Along the way, the Indonesians snaked the Lamborghini deal away from him. He wasn’t a mechanic.

The first two W8s went to sheikhs in the royal family of Saudi Arabia. He’s devoted most of his adult life to the Vector. “Vector was the world’s first supercar,” he says, daring me to disagree.

Augmented by a pair of Garrett AiResearch turbos, the engine dynoed at 625 horsepower on pump gas, or 730 horses after twisting the cockpit-mounted boost knob. It seems that if Wiegert didn’t have bad luck, he wouldn’t have any luck at all. The story remains an open wound, and Wiegert can’t talk about “that asshole article” without getting worked up. “I drove them a lot,” he recalls. All Rights Reserved. He structured a deal to buy Lamborghini from Chrysler. “He sat me down with a video of the Vector and the stealth fighter,” he says. Kostka pulled an all-nighter so Csere could drag himself out of a hotel bed in a last-ditch effort to get some hard numbers. “Wiegert was a gifted stylist, but he had no production experience,” Csere says. Every week we add new premium graphics by the thousands.

Looking back on the experience, Csere consigns the Vector to the purgatory reserved for ultra-high-performance, ultra-low-production cars that aren’t quite ready for prime time. Brown agreed to provide a Porsche chassis to serve as the foundation of the prototype. He advertised, he promoted, he generated elaborate business plans, he distributed a brochure describing the Vector as “the world’s fastest investment.” Several deals came together only to fall apart at the 11th hour. There wasn’t much about the car inside the magazine because the car was little more than a fiberglass shell over a derelict Porsche chassis.

He’s coy about details, and I’m less interested in what the new car will be than in why he’s so determined to build it.

He spurned an offer to return to GM “because, frankly, I didn’t want to be a yes man.”. Vector claims that the WX8 has a top speed of 275 mph (443 km/h) and a 0-60 time of just under three seconds. Or does Wiegert have more in common with another polarizing visionary, Steve Jobs, who was said to have operated in a reality distortion field that allowed him to convince himself—and others—that just about anything was true? One car passed every single crash test at the highest levels—rollover tests, side-impact tests, all of that. Plus, the transmission was fitted with a slick ratcheting mechanism that allowed clutchless shifting—standard practice in modern supercars. I’m antsy, but he insists.

He helped set up Toyota’s Calty Design Research studio in California and even served as a consultant on the 1983 James Bond flick Never Say Never Again. But when Wiegert gets off the phone, he wants me to hear the engine running. He could have undertaken a less ambitious project, or allied himself with a large corporation that could have properly financed development and production. Aerospace was his passion; the greatest disappointment of his life was that his poor eyesight prevented him from becoming a fighter pilot.

“I was able to do it because I knew how to get $10 worth of value out of a dollar spent.”.

When the board fired him, Wiegert hired armed guards, changed the locks of the factory, and barricaded himself inside, prompting comparisons with David Koresh and the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.

The fastest speed was a self-reported 193 mph at Riverside International Raceway. Illustration of illustration, transport, isolated - 80252144 The transmission failed after one car finished making passes for a photographer, and the engine in another overheated not once, not twice, but four times during abortive test runs.

(He claimed two of them had been bribed by the Indonesians.) “I’m in the wealthiest country in the world, and there are tens of thousands of guys who could put the Vector on the map,” he says, then flashes a disarming smile.

The Vector seems like ancient history. For the full, in-the-flesh experience of our world-class magazine—as well other great benefits like roadside assistance and automotive discounts—join HDC today.]. He leads me to a sunken living room next to an open kitchen full of upscale appliances.

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