There was only one car that didn’t need roads! DeLorean Motor Company was founded on this day in 1975 by John. Z. DeLorean, a prominent American automotive executive. His company built a single model, the DMC-12, which first appeared as prototype in October 1976. The vehicle, which has gained a cult following and is widely known for its role as a time machine in the “Back to the Future” movies, saw production between 1981-1983.
A majority of the approximate 9,200 cars produced in those two years were assembled in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland. Though the original design called for a mid engine, the production cars had a rear mounted Peugeot-Renault-Volvo fuel injected V6 connected to a 5 speed manual transmission or 3 speed automatic. Most were left unpainted, giving the car its iconic bare metal look.
DMC went bankrupt after John DeLorean was hit with drug trafficking charges, though he would later be found not guilty. As production wound down the final 100 DMC-12s were completed and sold by Consolidated International, now known as Big Lots. In 1995 a British Texan by the name of Stephen Wynne acquired the remaining stock of the vehicles and got trademark rights to the logo, essentially starting a new “Delorean Motor Company.” His company continues to build “new” Deloreans using leftover parts and original, leftover VIN tags. In January of 2016 the company announced it would build 300 to 350 “new” DMC-12s over the next six years, each with a projected retail cost of around $100,000.