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DeLorean DMC-12 (1981 - 1982)

Last updated 14 March 2013

 
4
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
Updated 19 October 1982
John Z De Lorean arrested for possession, and the factory was closed

But on 19 October after a four-month operation in the USA, the FBI pounced on De Lorean in a Los Angeles hotel room for ‘narcotics violations.’ The dream was over thanks to a briefcase full of cocaine....

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Introduction

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.

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