The DeLorean DMC-12 is one of the most iconic cars ever made, and its design and looks were light years ahead of its time when it was first produced in 1981, and in fact, the car celebrated its 40th birthday last year. The DeLorean was the brainchild of John Delorean, who had previously a very successful career and was the youngest-ever division chief in General Motors’ history.
John DeLorean was an extraordinarily ambitious individual who wanted to create a legacy by designing and producing his own car. The DeLorean company was established in 1973, but due to production delays, the car did not reach the consumer market until 1981. The DMC-12 was loud and brash and had striking gullwing doors and a stainless-steel body. Ultimately, DeLorean only produced 9,000 units and struggled with overheads and repaying its mammoth investment.
The car was produced in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and gave a much-needed boost to the local economy as Northern Ireland was going through ‘the troubles’ which had effectively stunted economic growth and had been prohibitive to outside investment and manufacturing opportunities. The DeLorean Motor Company received significant financial incentives from the Northern Ireland Development Agency of approximately £100 million ($120 million in today’s money).
The DeLorean Motor Company only produced one car, the DMC-12. Besides this iconic car, the DeLorean Motor company is remembered for its bankruptcy, receivership, and John DeLorean’s brush with US Law enforcement.
The DeLorean DMC-12 Is Easily The Coolest Car Ever Used For A Movie
If you were to match a car and movie together, you might think of James Bond and an Aston Martin DB5 or the Dukes of Hazard and General Lee 1969 Dodge Charger, but nothing comes close to the DeLorean, which is Synonymous with the Back to the Future franchise.
The Back to the Future starred Michael J. Fox as Marty Mc Fly and Christopher Lloyd as his eccentric scientist companion, Doc Brown. The time-traveling duo travels back to the 50s with their time-traveling modified DeLorean DMC-12. In order to be able to travel through time, the dynamic duo must reach 88 miles-per-hour, and Marty ends up back in November 5th, 1955.
The Gullwing doors were futuristic, which were ideally suited to the movie plot, and are classic Italdesign’s Giorgetto Giugiaro design language. The stainless steel added to the futuristic appearance and created a new wave of fans of the iconic car. The irony is that the DeLorean car company had dissolved in 1983, and the movie didn’t hit the big screens until 1985. The Back to The Future movie was a huge success and was the most popular movie in 1985, grossing over $380 million.
After the Back to the Future movie, the DMC-12 sparked a lot of interest among sports car enthusiasts due to its distinctive looks and enticing interior. After the release of the Back to the Future Movie in 1985, John DeLorean wrote a thank-you letter to the writer and producer of the movie for immortalizing his car.
How Does The DMC-12 Compare With James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5
While these two cars are undoubtedly the coolest movie cars ever made, it is interesting to see how their performance numbers stack up.
The DMC-12 was fitted with a 2.85-liter V6 engine that produced 130 hp at 5,500 rpm and 153 lb-ft of torque at 2,750 rpm. The DeLorean engine was jointly produced by Volvo, Renault, and Peugeot. It was able to reach 0-60 mph in 9.6 seconds and was marketed as a luxury sports car.
The DMC-12 is surprisingly fuel-efficient, with an average consumption of around 21 miles per gallon. The engine was tied to either a 5-speed manual transmission or a more laborious 3-speed automatic option with a final drive ratio of 3.44.1.
The Aston Martin DB5 first hit our screens in 1964 in the James Bond film Goldfinger. The car personified the James Bond character and has subsequently appeared in several James Bond films: Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, Skyfall, and Spectre.
The DB5 had a 4.0-liter engine with three carburetors that produced 286 hp at 5,500 rpm and 287 lb-ft at 3,850 rpm. The Aston Martin could reach 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds and a top speed of 145 mph, giving it a slight edge over the DeLorean.
The interior of the DB5 was pure opulence for the 60s with luxurious leather trim, reclining seats, and wool pile carpets.
The DeLorean’s DMC-12 Popularity Is Still As Strong As Ever
Approximately 6,500 DMC-12 are still on the roads today, which is quite impressive from the original 9,000 produced over 40 years ago. It was rumored that John DeLorean was working on a second iteration of the DMC-12 right before his death on March 18th, 2005.
They are many DeLorean fan clubs in existence today, and the car still has a strong following on several social media platforms and blogs. While John DeLorean’s personal reputation took a massive hit, he did create a memorable automobile that would leave a lasting legacy.