BY JAMES CAMPBELL
When I was learning to read in the late 1970’s, one of my prized possessions was a book all about cars which featured a chapter full of glossy photos about concept cars.
I am not sure whether it was the drugs or what it was but the 70’s as a decade – in spite of the oil crisis – produced some of the most extraordinary and wacky concepts that the car industry has ever seen.
One car that I can still picture in that car book is the Vector W2 concept car created by Vector Motors in 1978. I remember this car in particular as I recollect asking my father to buy one and him replying that my mother – his then wife – would insist upon snazzy and expensive dresses to wear in such a snazzy and expensive car, which in turn would mean that he’d have no money to buy any more Meccano for me. As I gazed at the Vector W2 I recall not caring about Meccano – its dashboard made Star Wars look passé.
This week I Googled the W2 to see how much I could buy one for and I was disappointed to find that the W2 – in spite of Jerry Wiegert (designer and founder of Vector) trying to finance production between 1978 and 1987 – was only ever a prototype. The prototype is still owned by Wiegert and the car of my boyhood dreams is currently dismantled and stored at Vector headquarters in Wilmington, California.
The W2’s cutting edge design was once ready to take its place as America’s response to the ‘Supercar Elite’. The car was displayed at international motor shows worldwide and was very well received. Its top speed of 242 mph often won me a Car trumps match in later years.
How disappointing that such a wonderful machine never made it into mass production.
My father left my mother for a secretary a few years after making his snazzy dress comment. I never forgave him for that. He trader in the family Rover for a two-seater MG which upset my mother to no end but placated me to some degree.
Up there in auto heaven the angels surely have access to a Vector W2 even if they do have wings.