1978-1998 Vector

The Legacy of the Vector

In January 1997, Vector found a new savior. A holding company called Trade-Link International, Ltd., was formed in the Bahamas to revive Vector as the cornerstone of a "luxury lifestyle product" company. Also included in this project was Stuart 51, a manufacturer of replica World War II aircraft.

TradeLink was incorporated as American Dream International Limited and announced a restructuring of the board of directors. California-based entrepreneur and TradeLink Chairman Waldon Randall Welty, former Lotus Cars board member Timothy J. Enright, and ex-director of parts and service of Automobili Lamborghini USA David P Kordeck replaced outgoing members of the Vector board.

Rose continued as Vector's president and Enright was elected chief operating officer and secretary.

With a further announcement that two cars had been sold by August 6, the directors planned two more cars to roll out of the newly reopened Vector facility and a total of 15 to be built by year's end. In the agreement between V'Power and American Dream, this production schedule was confirmed, with Lamborghini agreeing to supply 15 drivetrains over the next 12 months.

Streamlining continued. To save additional costs, the new company relocated its headquarters to the Florida manufacturing site. Rose resigned, leaving only a handful of people to carry on the torch.

This chapter of the story ends the way that a number had before, anticipating the emergence of the beautiful Vector butterfly from the cocoon it has called home for more than a quarter-century.

Proving that producing an automobile is a difficult venture. Vector Aeromotive seems poised to follow the lead of the Tucker, Kaiser, Frazer, Bricklin, and DeLorean into oblivion.

While none of the earlier makes lasted as long as the Vector, even the Tucker's paltry 51-unit model run demonstrates more success than the Vector model run of fewer than 35 cars. Even with the current effort, Vector's more than 25-year run remains a small footnote in the postwar American automotive scene.

Wiegert's removal from power has historic parallels to Ransom Olds's separation from the company that bears his name or William Durant's two exits from General Motors.

Like Olds and Durant before him, Wiegert would not let this setback stop his entrepreneurial spirit. He currently operates the AquaJet Corporation, building the high-powered Jet Bike watercraft in the same Wilmington offices where he once built the Vector W8. Wiegert vows to return to Vector some day.

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