Sold for $15,805 at 2014 Russo & Steele. John Z. Delorean left Chrysler for Packard, where he helped develop Packard's highly regarded Twin-Ultramatic automatic transmission. With Packard's ill-fated 1954 merger with Studebaker, Delorean was given the opportunity to join his choice of five General Motors divisions. He chose Pontiac, which was headed by Semon E. 'Bunkie' Knudsen who gave him a difficult mandate - to 'fix or kill' the marque. Delorean began there as an assistant to both chief engineer Pete Estes and Knudsen. Together, these men were able to turn Pontiac around, resulting in the 'Wide Track' 1959 model line and the memorable performance cars such as the Grand Prix, 2+2, Bonneville, and the GTO.
In 1965, Pontiac was named the head of Pontiac. Through most of the 1960s, Pontiac was able to hold on to its 3rd place market share.
In 1970, Delorean was appointed division head of Chevrolet. Under his guidance, he quickly turned the troubled GM division around. In 1972, he became the Vice-President of GM's entire car and truck production. He grew increasingly tired of GM's corporate politics and left the company in 1973.
After leaving GM, Delorean started his own company, named the Delorean Motor Company. A short time later, a prototype two-seat sports car called the 'Delorean Safety Vehicle' was unveiled. Styled by Giorgetto Giurgiaro of Italdesign and featuring stainless-steel body panels, gullwing-style doors, and the PRV (Peugeot, Renault, and Volvo) V-6 engine, the car was named the DMC-12. New manufacturing facilities were established in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland with major financial incentives from the Northern Ireland Development Agency.
Production began in early 1981 and over the next 21 months, approximately 9,000 DMC-12s were produced.
This particular car, chassis number SCEDT26T9CD011068, is a three-speed automatic car. The government-mandated original 85-mph speedometer has been replaced with the originally intended 130 mph as designed. By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2014
The DMC-12 was a sports car manufactured by the DeLorean Motor Company from 1981 - 1983. It is commonly referred to simply as 'the DeLorean,' because it was the only model ever produced by the company before it folded.
The DMC-12 featured gull-wing doors and an innovative fiberglass body structure with a steel backbone chassis, along with external brushed stainless steel body panels. It became widely known for its unique appearance.
Because the DMC-12 was the star of the Back to the Future movie Franchise, it is beloved by younger car enthusiasts for whom it represents the stuff of dreams. For many people under the age of 40, a DeLorean is as iconic as the great pre-war cars are to their grandparents.
The first prototypes of the DMC-12 appeared in October of 1976. Production officially began on January 21, 1981 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Over the course of production, several features of the car were changed, such as the hood style, wheels, and interior details. About 9,000 DMC-12s were made before production halted in early 1983 in a cloud of controversy surrounding its celebrity owner and namesake, John Z. DeLorean.
The DeLorean Motor Company was later liquidated as the United States car market went through its largest slump since the 1930s. In 2007, about 6,500 DeLorean Motor cars were believed still to exist.
The example is still in the posession of its original owner.
The 'Back to the Future Car.' The trio of the time-traveling movie series has sent this car into a world of its own. Unfortunately for the owner of the Delorian company, Mr. John Delorian, that he stopped selling the vehicle in 1982 before it could become famous by the 1985 movie.
The Delorian has similarities to the Lotus Esprit, and thus it should. It was designed by the same individual, Giorgetti Giugiaro of Ital Design. The car featured a V-6 alloy engine developed by Peugot, Renault, and Volvo. The vehicles slated for the European market had an engine they could be proud of. However, those going to America received a detuned version that greatly deteriorated the horsepower. The engine was placed in the rear of the car and gave the vehicle a 65/35 weight distribution. The transmission used was a Renault-derived five-speed manual. The Flux capacitor, capable of producing 1.1 Jigawatts of electricity, was added in 1985.
The body was made of stainless steel-clad panels. It was hard to keep clean; finger prints would show, that is why the manufacturer would provide cleaning materials with every vehicle sold. The Mercedes-Benz 300SL was the influence for the gullwing doors.
Production ran from 1980 through 1982. The car stopped selling poor build quality, expensive American Federal emission regulations, and lousy performance (American models). It probably did not help that the owner, John Delorian, was arrested on drug charges but later acquitted. When the company finally buckled there were still 2000 unsold Delorians. By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2009
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