• Video: XCar Tells The Story Of The DeLorean DMC-12

The DeLorean DMC-12 will always be fondly remembered for the wrong reasons. It’s a shame because the car was unfathomably cool. But beneath the gullwing doors and it’s iconic role in Back to the Future, the DMC-12’s checkered history remains as one of the most underrated “what if?” questions in the auto industry.

What if John Z. DeLorean surrounded himself with better engineers? What if he chose Ireland as the factory site instead of Northern Ireland? What if he just bit the bullet and put a premium on the DMC-12’s safety and performance instead of sticking to his intentions of building a rock star of a car whose overall quality left a lot to be desired?

All these questions will remain attached to the DeLorean, even if a lot of people associate it more to Marty McFly than to John Z. himself.

The car’s tragic history was exceptionally explained by XCar, beginning with a run through its history that started when John Z. DeLorean founded the company in 1973 with the simplest, and quite possibly naivest, intentions.

The car itself was touted as a game-changer in the industry. It was supposed to be the car of the future. Even though it’s now iconic design certainly lived up to those expectations, not much else did.

Shoddy decision-making and countless shortcuts during its development phase ultimately resulted in a car that never did its rock star looks any justice.

DeLorean’s company ultimately failed and while the DMC lives on in Texas after being bought by British entrepreneur Stephen Wynne, it doesn’t quite capture the magic the original had. It’s too bad that nobody was able to nurture it in the first place.

But then again, it’s probably best that people remember the DeLorean DMC-12 because of Back to the Future. That way, they’ll only have cool and positive memories of the company and car that was supposed to be, but never was.

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Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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