“The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?” –Doc Brown
This futuristic classic of the eighties will always have a place in our hearts. The DeLorean DMC-12 is synonymous with the Back to the Future series, popping up recently as one owner received a speeding ticket for going 88 mph. (Where was Doc Brown on that one?)
The DeLorean has a striking silhouette with its gullwing doors and spartan stainless steel finish. Despite its looks, at 130 horsepower, it plodded its way up to 60mph in 10.5 seconds and had generally poor performance. Fittingly, in one episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld and Patton Oswald find themselves having to take an Uber after their DeLorean breaks down.
John DeLorean, himself, was a heavy hitter in the automotive industry — responsible for one of the original muscle cars — the 1964 Pontiac GTO. He has been described as a “flamboyant automobile industrialist” and the father of the glamour car. In 1975, he started the DeLorean Motor Company with the dream of creating an affordable sports car.
The DeLorean DMC-12 was born in January 1981 in a Northern Ireland factory just outside of Belfast. It came in five-speed manual or three-speed automatic. Despite investments from the likes of Johnny Carson, Sammy Davis, Jr., and the British government, the company was short lived, filling for bankruptcy in 1982, leaving a legacy of just 9,000 cars ever produced.
In 1995, a new privately held DeLorean Motor Company would surface, with Liverpool-born mechanic Stephen Wynne at the helm. His company continues to service and restore those DeLoreans that remain today.
He even has plans to bring back a small number of these cars for 2017.
Wynne told CNBC, “My dream with DeLorean is to really do the car some justice, and make it, not the car it should have been, because it was that, but the car it could have been.”