Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019
This is one of my favorite cars. Ever. Jerry Wiegert lost control of Vector in the mid-1990s, and it was taken over by Megatech, an Indonesian company owned by the son of the country’s “president” (read: dictator). Megatech also owned Lamborghini between 1994 and 1998.
The M12 was based on the Vector WX-3 prototype and the Lamborghini Diablo, a corporate cousin. It shares the same 492 horsepower, 5.7-liter V12 as the Diablo. Top speed was 189 mph and 60 arrived in 4.8 seconds. The design is pure land shark – a 90s wedge with a big spoiler. These cars are impossibly wide at the rear, and remarkably spacious inside with a crease at the beltline surrounded by glass on the scissor doors.
The M12 went on sale in 1996, and Megatech sold Lamborghini to Audi in 1998. The financial situation of Megatech was, well, miserable at this point, and Vector couldn’t afford to pay for the V12s anymore. So Vector shut down. Only 14 road-going M12s were built, along with three pre-production prototypes. Two of them are local to me, which is completely insane (one of which is the first car built). The one offered here is number five. It is the only one finished in purple and is being sold from the Lingenfelter collection.
The 90s were a wild time for supercars, and none of the M12’s competitors quite encapsulate the time quite as the Vector did. It’s also one of the rarest modern-day supercars that actually saw production, even though but a handful were completed. It is ludicrous in the best way possible, and I love it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Coys | London, U.K. | February 17, 2018
Photo – Coys
I have a soft spot for the Noble M12. The U.S. distributor (or one of them) was located not far from where I grew up and I saw them a lot when I was younger. This is the GTO-3 – the mid-range model, introduced in 2002, two years after the original 2.5 version.
The “3” signifies that it is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter Ford V-6 making 352 horsepower. It could hit 60 mph in under four seconds and topped out at 170 mph. It was a decent power bump over the 2.5-liter model and it had enough performance improvement to justify the increased cost.
It is thought that only 116 examples of this model were produced (there was also an even more hardcore GTO-3R). The M12 has been molded into other cars after Noble stopped producing them, but this is an actual Noble from 2003. It is expected to sell for between $45,000-$53,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Birmingham, U.K. | November 12, 2016
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
Lee Noble has designed a lot of low-volume sports cars, including the Ultima GTR and the line of cars that bears his name. The M12 is the most popular Noble model, with quite a few different versions available. They first went on sale in 2000 but the company (having been sold in 2006) moved on to other projects after 2008.
The M12 chassis is steel and the body is fiberglass. All M12s were powered by Ford V6s, and this one features a 2.5-liter twin-turbocharged Ford Duratec V6 making 310 horsepower. Later cars grew in engine capacity – and power. Top speed of this model is 165 mph and it can hit 60 in 4.1 seconds.
Pre-built Nobles were assembled in South Africa, but in the U.S. they were technically a kit car and were distributed by 1G Racing (which went on to become Rossion, maker of the Noble-like Q1). As a side note, 1G Racing used to be located down the street from where I lived… so Nobles were about the sportiest thing I could ever hope to see on any kind of regular basis.
This 15,000 mile car has never seen the track and should sell for between $33,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The Mirage M12 was the final Mirage prototype race car the company would construct. Mirage has one of the coolest histories because of its founding as the flag carrier for the colors of the Gulf Oil Corporation. The first Mirages were Ford GT40-based and they were awesome.
The Gulf sponsorship dried up after 1975 but Mirage continued to be successful in the late-70s. With the new Group C rules coming into effect, Mirage designed this rather attractive ground effects car powered by a 4.0-liter Ford-Cosworth V-8 that makes 540 horsepower. The build of the car was actually undertaken by Tiga, another racing car manufacturer.
This particular example was never raced, as it served as the team’s spare car at Le Mans in 1982. It has been clocked at 220 mph in testing and has never needed a rebuild or restoration – although it has been competently sorted and is ready for the historic racing circuit.
The Mirage program ended after Le Mans in 1982 and this is the last car they built. It can be yours for between $345,000-$440,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Monaco.