DeLorean DMC-12 (1981 – 1982) Review

DeLorean DMC-12 (1981 – 1982) At A Glance


+Looks like no other car, gullwing doors draw crowds, iconic car forever associated with 'Back to the Future' trilogy, brilliant club support

-Performance is disappointing, reliability and build suspect, stainless steel body difficult to keep clean

There are many stories of creative men who have designed their own cars, some of whom have even got them into production. But few managed to get as far as the late John Z DeLorean, who not only oversaw the creation of his sports car, but engineered deals to get it into production, and then managed to get the British government to underwrite much of the programme.

John Z DeLorean's sports car was a vision of late-1970s futurism, and, on paper, it looked to have everything going for it. The DMC-12 featured a low-slung and wedge-shaped Giugiaro design, brushed steel outer skin, gullwing doors and a fuel-injection 2849cc V6 engine mounted 911-style at the rear.

Unfortunately, the 1981 reality ended up being a little disappointing - not least because many of the most intriguing design ideas were dropped so that the car could actually get into production on time and within budget. The DMC-12 ended up being rather portly, and that meant the V6 struggled to offer sporting performance, while the handling was good, but not brilliant, even after Lotus engineers had done their best.

The company collapsed amid scandal in 1982.

Ask Honest John

How many DeLoreans are left in the UK?

"How many DeLoreans are left in the UK? "
The Government data doesn't include numbers for DeLoreans, I'm afraid. The latest info held by the club is from the end of 2013 when there were 109 on the road and 48 SORN'd. There's going to be a few that were off the road before SORN was introduced too.
Answered by Keith Moody
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