Man, I remember the Vector W8 as being my all time favorite car since as long as I can remember! too bad his 300 MPH supercar concept didn't reach fruition before he died, I hope someone finishes it. But wow, really tenacious guy! Kept going with that entrepeneurial spirit his whole life!
I remember back to a night in front of a club on Sunset Strip: one of those in silver pulled into the small parking lot next to The Rainbow. I'd read about the car in Car and Driver, I think, so I knew what it was. He got out of it dressed in a silver jumpsuit, as I recall...it was rather surreal, part Evel Knievel and part astronaut...
I had the opportunity to meet Jerry and see the W2 car in the mid 80's. Like Malcom Bricklin (who I also got a chance to meet in '79), and John DeLorean, he was the perpetual salesman. His seemingly endless list of accomplishments made him the Forrest Gump of the car industry. Best remembered for successfully suing Goodyear for trademark infringement and barricading himself in his corporate headquarters, sorry to see him go.
I too met Jerry Wiegert and his first Vector in the early 80's in the paddock at Laguna Seca during the Historics. A few years later, when there was still only one Vector, I saw him and the car on the streets of downtown Long Beach the week before the Grand Prix.
If you ever watch he movie "Rising Sun", a red Vector leads the police on a wild chase that ends badly for the Vector.
R.I.P., Jerry. You fueled the dreams of an astounding number of people.
I was living in San Pedro during Vector's time in Wilmington, and used to drive past the Vector building on a regular basis. Even got to see a car or two in front, but rarely. The closest I ever got to one was a few years later when I was living in Redondo Beach. The was a popular breakfast place along PCH, and I saw one parked there one Sunday morning as I was driving past. Did a U-turn, parked my car, and spent about 15 minutes walking around it. Really stunning to see one up close. I also saw an F-40 there during the same period, and did an extensive walk-around on that car too.
I still think he was *this close* to hitting his goals.
Jeff, well stated and recalls adventures in teaming with Jerry for his 2015 comeback! Jerry was eager to move forward with Vector WX8 Hypercar, but we insisted that initial production focus should be on his AquaJet Jetbike to generate necessary capital for full WX8 development. We arranged necessary WX8 and Jetbike engineering and production support, but unfortunately couldn't come to final agreement with Jerry. Pulling up his folder and pictures (with WX8, original W8 and Jetbikes in his shop) brings a smile! Especially fun seeing Jerry riding Jetbikes... It would be neat sharing backstory and pictures. We both enjoyed a special camaraderie, with our roads less traveled in auto industry. I will always treasure ongoing friendship and good times shared with Jerry!