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DeLorean DMC-12

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

DMC-12
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: DMC DeLorean

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Back to the Future DeLorean DMC-12
DeLorean DMC-EV

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History
Photographs
1981 Specifications
Article Index
A car produced by DeLorean.  Often known simply as "the DeLorean," as it was the only car produced by the company.  Famous for its role as a time machine in the "Back to the Future" series of movies.  In 2012, in partnership with Epic EV, DeLorean created an electric version of the car called the DMC-EV.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's DMC DeLorean page on 16 June 2019, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The DMC DeLorean (commonly referred to simply as a "DeLorean", as it was the only model ever produced by the company) is a sports car originally manufactured by John DeLorean's DeLorean Motor Company, or DMC, for the American market from model years 1981 through 1983. The car, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, stood out for its gull-wing doors and brushed stainless-steel outer body panels, as well as an innovative fiberglass body structure with a steel backbone chassis. Initially, it became widely known for its disappointing lack of power and performance, which didn't match the expectations created by its looks and price tag, but later – after 1985 – the DeLorean became iconic for its appearances as the time machine in the Back to the Future media franchise.

Throughout production, which began on January 21, 1981, the car was generally unchanged although minor features and parts of the car were changed, such as the hood style and wheels. Over the course of about 24 months spanning three model years, about 9,000 DeLoreans were made before production halted in early 1983.

In 2007, about 6,500 DeLorean cars were thought to still exist.

In 1995, Stephen Wynne, a British entrepreneur from Liverpool, created a separate company based in Texas using the "DeLorean Motor Company" name. Wynne acquired the trademark on the stylized "DMC" logo shortly thereafter, along with the remaining parts inventory of the original DeLorean Motor Company. The company builds new cars at its suburban Humble, Texas location from new old stock (NOS) parts, original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and reproduction parts on a "made to order" basis using existing vehicle identification number (VIN) plates.

History

In October 1976, the first prototype DeLorean was completed by American automotive chief engineer William T. Collins, formerly chief engineer at Pontiac. Originally, the car was intended to have a centrally-mounted Wankel rotary engine. The engine selection was reconsidered when Comotor production ended, and the favored engine became Ford's "Cologne V6". Eventually the French/Swedish PRV (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo) fuel-injected V6 was selected. Also the engine location moved from the mid-engined location in the prototype to a rear-engined installation in the production car. The chassis was initially planned to be produced from a new and untested manufacturing technology known as elastic reservoir moulding (ERM), which would lighten the car while presumably lowering its production costs. This new technology, for which DeLorean had purchased patent rights, was eventually found to be unsuitable.

These and other changes to the original concept led to considerable schedule pressures. The entire car was deemed to require almost complete re-engineering, which was turned over to engineer Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars. Chapman replaced most of the unproven material and manufacturing techniques with those then employed by Lotus, like the steel backbone chassis.

The first prototype appeared in October 1976 and was known as the DSV-1, or DeLorean Safety Vehicle. As development continued, the model was referred to as the DSV-12 and later the DMC-12 since DMC was targeting a $12,000 MSRP at release. After several delays and cost overruns, production finally began in 1981 as DMC officially dropped the name DMC-12 on their now $25,000 car in favor of the model name "DeLorean." The DeLorean sports car, as it was described in advertisements, began production on January 21, 1981.


Photographs

1983 DeLorean DMC-12 1983
Photo ©2006 Bill Crittenden
2006 Morris Lions Fall Classic Car Show
View photo of DeLorean DMC-12 - 335KB
1983 DeLorean DMC-12 1983
Photo ©2006 Bill Crittenden
2006 Morris Lions Fall Classic Car Show
View photo of DeLorean DMC-12 - 269KB
1983 DeLorean DMC-12 1983
Photo ©2006 Bill Crittenden
2006 Morris Lions Fall Classic Car Show
View photo of DeLorean DMC-12 - 403KB
1983 DeLorean DMC-12 1983
Photo ©2006 Bill Crittenden
2006 Morris Lions Fall Classic Car Show
View photo of DeLorean DMC-12 - 345KB
1983 DeLorean DMC-12 1983
Photo ©2006 Bill Crittenden
2006 Morris Lions Fall Classic Car Show
View photo of DeLorean DMC-12 - 408KB
1983 DeLorean DMC-12 1983
Photo ©2006 Bill Crittenden
2006 Morris Lions Fall Classic Car Show
View photo of DeLorean DMC-12 - 326KB
1983 DeLorean DMC-12 1983
Photo ©2006 Bill Crittenden
2006 Morris Lions Fall Classic Car Show
View photo of DeLorean DMC-12 - 480KB
1983 DeLorean DMC-12 1983
Photo ©2006 Bill Crittenden
2006 Morris Lions Fall Classic Car Show
View photo of DeLorean DMC-12 - 377KB
1983 DeLorean DMC-12 1983
Photo ©2006 Bill Crittenden
2006 Morris Lions Fall Classic Car Show
View photo of DeLorean DMC-12 - 377KB
1983 DeLorean DMC-12 1983
Photo ©2006 Bill Crittenden
2006 Morris Lions Fall Classic Car Show
View photo of DeLorean DMC-12 - 603KB
1983 DeLorean DMC-12 1983
Photo ©2006 Bill Crittenden
2006 Morris Lions Fall Classic Car Show
View photo of DeLorean DMC-12 - 405KB


1981 Specifications

0-60 mph*10.5 seconds
80-0 mph*260 feet
Cornering Capability*0.772g
Interior Noise @ 70mph*78 dBA
Fuel Economy*19.5 mpg
*=Test conducted by Road & Track, December 1981 issue

Die Cast Cars

BrandItem #SeriesNameScalePaintNotes
Hot WheelsR0931-A910H2010 New Models'81 DeLorean DMC-12SmallGold


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
10 August 2002Welcome To The Future Of Electric Cars !Tilley Foundation Incorporated
12 April 2013Some humourless dork on Pistonheads reports Ling Valentine to the ASA - and she loves it Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
21 October 2015Hide Your DeLoreans!Bill Crittenden


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