Introduced in 1981, the DeLorean DMC-12 was a rear-engined sports car built in Northern Ireland for the American market. The vehicle acquired iconic status after staring in the Back to the Future film trilogy, in which Dr. Emmett Brown used it as a time machine.
These details, and the fact that the DMC-12 had gull-wing doors and unpainted stainless-steel body panels, are part of common knowledge nowadays, as most of the car’s history. However, the full DeLorean story is still intriguing after more than 30 years.
Why? Because DeLorean went into bankruptcy due to an unstable U.S. car market that finally slumped in the early 1980s. There’s also the fact that the DMC-12 looked faster than it really was with only 130 horsepower at its disposal and a sluggish 0 to 60 mph time of 10.5 seconds. This car could’ve been more than that.
DMC-12 aside, John DeLorean’s life is also worthy of a Hollywood movie. He worked for Chrysler , Packard , Pontiac (developed the GTO muscle car ) and Chevrolet before starting his own company, and got out of the automotive business after being framed, arrested and tried for trafficking cocaine.
With John DeLorean having passed away nearly ten years ago, only a handful of people can talk about and relate to his dream. One of them is Stephen Wynne, the man behind the new DeLorean company based in Texas, and the other one is James Espey, vice president of the small business venture that acquired the trademark in 1995.
They are now building DMC-12s from new-old-stock parts and, most importantly, carry the DeLorean legacy further into the future. Just like "Doc" Brown did in his heavily modified example of the car.