DeLorean DMC-12

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There's more than a touch of irony that the 1985 movie Back to the Future featured a DeLorean in the fantasy time-trip back to 1955. For not only was the ill-fated DeLorean DMC 12 old before its time; it also ranks right up there with the Ford Edsel as one of the auto industry's greatest failures.

John Zachary DeLorean launched his venture in 1974 with a formidable track record. In the sixties he'd fathered the muscle car movement with the Pontiac GTO and before setting up on his own had risen to the  rank of vice-president of General Motors. By 1982 his reputation was in tatters, the company he'd founded immersed in a tangled web of legal wrangles, and the short flight of his gull-winged sportscar was over. With a design by Giorgetto Giugiaro's Ital Design, chassis and manufacturing development by Lotus, a unique brushed stainless steel body and fancy gull-wing doors the DeLorean was intended as a glimpse of the future. But with a complex series of capital-raising exercises that eventually saw the company settle in Northern Ireland, production only finally got under way early in 1981. By then the design was outdated and those who did buy DeLoreans found a litany of quality control problems, from doors that wouldn't always open, windows falling out, electrical failures, knobs falling off and a body that was well-nigh impossible to keep clean. Performance was also disappointing. Like the Edsel before it, the DeLorean bombed against wildly optimistic sale forecasts and DeLorean Motor Cars foundered in a mire of court cases. Today, there is a small cult of DeLorean devotees who find the fascination of the story behind the car almost worth the frustration of owning one.   

CONSTRUCTION: Y-shaped backbone chassis, glass-fibre body with brushed stainless steel outer skin.
ENGINE: 2849cc overhead-cam V6.
POWER OUTPUT: 130bhp @ 5500rpm.
TRANSMISSION: Five-speed manual; optional three-speed automatic.
MAXIMUM SPEED: 130mph claimed.
O-60MPH: 8.5 seconds claimed.


DeLorean DMC-12 Statistics

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Average Price (1995-present)
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DeLorean DMC-12 Versions View All

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