The DeLorean car was the brainchild of former GM Executive John Z. DeLorean. He founded the DeLorean Motor Company or DMC to produce a truly unique sports car. Equipped with a mid-engine mounted Volvo V-6, an unpainted stainless steel body and gullwing doors, the two-seater DeLorean was one of a kind. The Volvo V-6 was an interesting choice given John DeLorean’s Detroit background. It shows the emphasis placed on handling by having a lighter weight engine. The design reflected the period it was created in, the late 70s, while still having a timeless element to it. Like many cars of the era, it had sharp angles and flat surfaces. Since the company only made one model, the DMC-12 in one color, the company name brings to mind an image of an exact model.
|The DeLorean With Its Iconic Gullwing Doors Raised. Photograph by Kevin Abato|
The Original Company
The DeLorean went into production in 1981; however, by 1983 the company had gone out of business with slightly under 10,000 cars made. It was a difficult time for the auto industry, and the unique DeLorean didn’t take off. Cut to 1985; a science fiction-adventure-comedy called Back To The Future was released. The film series revolved around time travel. The DeLorean was a perfect fit for the 1985 time travel classic. In the film, a time machine is built out of the futuristic-looking DeLorean; although it is only used in a few key scenes, it made a lasting impression on filmgoers. The film was a hit and had two more sequels. The DeLorean had, just several years after going out of production cemented its reputation as one of movies most iconic film cars. Many fans have even built detailed replicas of the film car. Had the timing of the film and the company going out of business been different. The film’s popularity could have had a major impact on sales.
Picture by Sicnac.
The Company Today.
According to its website, the new DeLorean company is completely separate from the original. The U.S. based company sells, repairs, supplies parts, and accessories for DeLoreans. They created an electric DeLorean concept car. They even sell used DeLoreans. They have locations around the U.S. DeLorean and also sell high-performance kits. As per their website they had once sold newly assembled cars out of a combination of old and new parts. When Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky ended production, DeLorean had expressed interest in buying it, even going so far as to have concept art of what one might look like created. Recently DeLorean announced that they had planned to make new DeLoreans, with the only modification being modern engines. They even released a teaser trailer of sorts to promote it. It had a time-related theme, showing the impact that the Back To The Future trilogy had on the company. There are legal hurdles they must overcome, however. As a bona fide part of pop culture, the future looks bright for the sports car that defied convention.
|DeLorean with red pain. Picture by Greg Gjerdingen|