The stainless steel DMC-12 was John Z. DeLorean’s vision after being Pontiac’s performance guru during the 1960s. Most famous for its role in Back to the Future, whenever I see these around, especially in mall parking lots or near clock towers, I start looking around for Doc Brown. It was the only car produced by the DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) and took six years to design and engineer.
Built from scratch, the DeLorean was a new venture that eventually ran into production problems and was never succeeded by a replacement. Its place in automotive folklore has had somewhat of a cult following from owners that appreciate the individually of the design.
From the inception of the DeLorean’s vision, the Giorgio Giugiaro-designed body had all the right lines, coupled with a low, wide stance and gullwing doors.
DeLorean chose stainless-steel for the body panels which was enough to deter purists. This somewhat eclectic choice was heavy and irreparable, but it did resist corrosion and added a stunning finish from new. That said, owning one is equivalent to keeping a high-end appliance in your driveway, with all of the attendant dings and smudges you’d get from driving your refrigerator to the shops. For that reason, some owners (like the owner of the red one pictured) choose to forsake the iconic brushed stainless look in favor of easy maintenance and a less conspicuous profile.
Performance of the DeLorean wasn’t its selling point. The Renault-sourced V6 only produced 130 bhp which meant the acceleration to 100 mph took an agonizingly slow 40 seconds.
Because of its “unique” design and woeful performance for the price, sales faltered and the company folded in December of 1982 after spending nearly $100 million in investment. Approximately 9000 cars were built in the single year of production.
With three of them in attendance at this event, it means .3% of all the cars ever produced were within a few feet of one another.