Where’s Emmett "Doc" Brown when you need him?

Built by a company founded by former GM executive John DeLorean and penned by famed designed Giorgetto Giugiaro, the DeLorean DMC-12 became famous mostly for starring in the "Back to the Future" trilogy. Although its design was stunning and its gull-wing doors and brushed stainless steel body gave it a unique appearance, its drivetrain and performance figures were rather disappointing. While it may have been able to travel through time in "Back to the Future," the DMC-12 was far from spectacular in the real world, with its 130-horsepower engine hitting 60 mph in 8.8 seconds (10.5 ticks with the automatic gearbox) and reaching a yawn-inducing top speed of only 109 mph. Which brings me to the news of a British DeLorean owner getting a ticket for speeding at 88 mph.

Yup, you got that right, a 35-year-old DMC-12 is able to get you a speeding ticket with the right amount of pressure on the gas pedal. However, hitting 88 mph won’t help you travel in time, like Marty McFly did in the film, as Nigel Mills from Essex discovered while joyriding in his DeLorean. What he got was a ticket for traveling 18 mph over the limit, which was thrown out as the ticketing police officers failed to appear before the court.

Introduced in 1981, the DMC-12 was built at DeLorean’s factory in Northern Ireland. Only 8,583 units were assembled through 1982, when the company went bankrupt. Thanks to DeLorean and "Back to the Future" enthusiasts, more than 6,500 examples are known to have survived to this day. What’s more, continuation DMC-12s are currently being built in Houston, Texas, using a combination of new, original and reproduction parts.

Why it Matters

Despite not delivering the performance it promised it would, the DMC-12 quickly became a cult car thanks to the "Back to the Future" franchise. But while DeLorean’s brushed steel coupe definitely deserves a special place in the automotive hall of fame, it won’t get you anywhere in a hurry unless you have your own "Doc" Brown to throw in a flux capacitor and a Mr. Fusion, among other things. Jokes aside, it’s actually great to see that enthusiasts are still driving their DMC-12s. It’s also good news that these cars can still be pushed close to their limits, but it’s important to remember that this must be done without breaking the law and risking the lives of other fellow drivers.

Source: The Guardian

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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