No car says the 80s like the DeLorean. Even before its iconic entry into film in the classic Back to the Future franchise, the car looked like something out of a movie.
With it sleek, low style to its all stainless steel body and the unmistakable gull-wing doors. The car looked like a cross between a James Bond Lotus Esprit and a Cylon Raider from Battlestar Galactica (1978). But it took Doc Brown in Back to the Future to turn it into a timeless time machine we all remember.
For all you aspiring time travelers, the DeLorean Motor car company, thanks to new US legislation, is putting the car back into production. New cars are expected to be available as early as 2017. It seems you really can go back.
The original DeLorean DMC-12 was the only car Delorean Motor Company ever offered. A surprisingly low 9,000 were made between 1981 and 1983. Today as many as 6,500 still survive. Likely due to the fiberglass chassis and stainless steel body. That and the cult status the car continues to hold 35 years later.
The car, while built and sold as a 2-door sports coupe, wasn’t really a very good sports car. With its original lackluster 130 horsepower engine, 88 miles per hour was a bit of a stretch. Road and Track reported at the time 0-60 miles per hour in 10.5 seconds “It’s no a barn burner” Especially if you’re running from terrorists.
The new DeLorean cars will use the same iconic body style while fitting it with a new still to be determined 300 to 400 horsepower engine. The new models may finally be able to live up to its sports car billing.
(provides)“a waiver from the safety requirements that are currently required of manufacturers, but it does not exempt us from the requirement for an emission-certified engine.”
Originally the red tape and testing of the previous safety regulations were too much of a financial burden for small car manufacturers to absorb. The new legislation does limit small volume manufacturers to build up to 325 cars per year.
Surprisingly James Espey says that many of the new cars will, at least in part, be built from existing inventory of parts.
The history of the original DeLorean Motor Company is one of legend and scandal. Filled with charges of drug trafficking and partnerships with the late Tonight Show host Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis Jr., founder and company namesake John DeLorean was eventually acquitted of all charges.
Production problems, delays and cost overruns would eventually put the company into bankruptcy in 1982 and finally closed its doors in 1983, ending DeLorean’s dream.
Hollywood could not write fiction as stimulating as the true life story of the man and his car.
John DeLorean himself died in 2005 after suffering a stroke, just six years after declaring personal bankruptcy – the legacy of endless legal battles following the demise of the DeLorean Motor Company. A movie about his life starring George Clooney has been rumored for years.
The current DeLorean Motor Company purchased the trademarks, name and remaining inventory in 1995 and has stayed in business since then repairing and rebuilding the remaining cars until today. Even so far as to build completely new cars from existing parts and “retired” original VIN numbers.
The new Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act allows the manufacturer to finally be able to issue completely new cars with new VIN numbers.
If you don’t mind the whole no safety law, the new cars are expected to cost $100,000. If you can’t wait till 2017, restored original cars sell for $45,000 and up. Better get the Sports Almanac and set your time circuits to be able to afford one.
Follow the complete story and updates on the new models check out the DeLorean Motor Company here.
As for me, I’ll wait for the new law to allow a manufacturer to offer a reproduction Knight Industries 2000, KITT if you prefer from Knight Rider.