A great movie can glorify not only the actor who played in it. DeLorean DMC-12 became an iconic car thanks to cinema. Usually it is simply referred to as the DeLorean, as it was the only model ever produced by the DeLorean Motor Company.
The brand of DeLorean is well known to almost everyone who is interested in cars. You can easily recognize the DeLorean DMC-12 by his wedge-shaped design and gulwing doors, which looks like it came from the future, even in nowdays. And it was appeared as a time machine in cult Robert Zemeckis movie trilogy “Back to the Future” which made Delorean DMC-12 one of the best movie cars of all times.
The story of DeLorean began as a dream John DeLorean, the talented American engineer and manager to make his own car brand. As head of the Pontiac at first, and then Chevrolet, General Motors DeLorean enriched many technical, stylistic and conceptual solutions. In 1973, he was vice-president of General Motors, but unexpectedly resigned and founded his own company – DeLorean Motor Company (DMC). Under this brand, he decided to produce his own sports car. The best car ever.
Technical documentation for the car commissioned by John DeLorean in a short time performed Lotus Engineering.
The look of that car was created by famous Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. The one who would later be called car designer of the century. The car body composed of carbon-fiber frame, which is hinged on stainless steel exterior panels. It is they who have been the most original feature of the car. Except for three cars plated in 24-carat gold, all DMC-12s left the factory uncovered by paint or clearcoat.
Car doors opened up on the principle of “gull wing”, as in the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300SL of the 1950s. But this beauty is also requires sacrifices. The door of complex shape are not allowed to be inserted into her glass sinking. They had to limit ourselves to a small “window leaf” on the bottom edge of the window.One more feature was different diameter front and rear wheels. Finally, if all plans DeLorean went to the life, the machine would stand to the Wankel engine.
But the fuel crisis that befell the world economy in the 1970s, forced to abandon the voracious rotor “engine” and choose instead the sheer V6, developed jointly by Peugeot, Renault and Volvo. This 2.8 liters engine provide only 170 horsepower.
But in America in those years have already introduced stricter environmental standards. The engine did not fit in them, and had to be redone. The power has fallen to a mere 130 hp, with which the car is already could not claim to be the runner.
The chassis was initially planned to be produced from a new and untested manufacturing technology known as elastic reservoir molding (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 and owner of Lotus Cars. Chapman replaced most of the unproven material and manufacturing techniques with those then employed by Lotus.
In October 1976, the first prototype of the DeLorean car was completed by William T. Collins, chief engineer of the DeLorean Motor Company (who worked previously with John DeLorean in the Pontiac and Chevrolet).
The car has received the official name of the DeLorean DMC-12. Way to tell, the number “12” is not carries no special meaning – apparently, it’s just intra factory project designation. Exotic design and DeLorean’s reputation began to machine a good advertisement. In the first days of sales DMC had on its 4000 car of paid orders.
To reduce the cost assembly of cars made on the UK plant, in the Northern Irish city of Belfast – more precisely, in its suburbs Dunmurray. Local authorities interested in the development of local production, the factory promised financial preferences, but because of unemployment dial manpower there was easy. The difficulty lies in the fact that these hands for the most part did not possess the necessary qualifications.
Production of DeLorean DMC-12 began in 1981, however, serious problems with the quality, and the questionable performance of the machine, have led to the fact that the DMC-12 bought up bad. And this despite the fact that even before the start of sales of the car lined up willing to willing to pay for new DeLorean extra 10 thousand dollars over and above the sale price of $ 25 thousand (since because of inflation, the dollar fell approximately three times, that is, for those times the car could not be called cheap).
Year before of production launch DeLorean Motor Company was close to financial ruin. But then the car part of the story ends and begins a detective. In October 1982, John DeLorean was arrested by the FBI on false charges of selling cocaine. Later, he was found not guilty, but to save the DMC-12 is no longer possible – the banks denied Deloreanu credits, the government stopped funding. Back in February 1982 due to bankruptcy, it was transferred to an external control, and at the end of that year finally closed. Total less than two years produced about 9,200 cars DMC-12 – it was the only model of the brand.
At the time of closing of the factory in Northern Ireland about 2,000 pieces DMC-12 remained unsold stock, representing approximately 23% of the total circulation. These machines have been sold a few years later – after a DMC-12 came to world fame.
It would seem the history of DeLorean project come to the end, but this is not the first time in history, came to the rescue of art. DMC-12 “was held casting” and was approved at the time of the machine in the role of the famous Robert Zemekes movie “Back to the Future» And as Doc Brown – the one of the main BTTH characters says, “The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?”
In addition, the futuristic look with silver panels, four rectangular headlights and the doors of the “gull wing” makes the machine very similar to the spacecraft. Especially from the point of view of the inhabitants of 1955, where the car and puts it with the built-in flux capacitor, which is activated when the car accelerates to 88 miles per hour (141.5 km / h).
The huge success of the film led to the fact that the DMC-12, there was a large army of fans. Promoted through the movie machine has become a cult object, in contrast to many other low-volume sports cars. Moreover, the new Texas company DeLorean Motor Company (which has no relation to John Delorean), which owns the rights to the brand, has announced that in 2008, resumes DMC-12 release in limited quantities. That’s really really made the car leap in time, hitting back to the future!