FIRST SEEN IN UNCRATE MAGAZINE
Only produced from 1981 through 1983 by the short-lived DeLorean Motor Company, its innovative fiberglass chassis, brushed stainless steel body, gull-wing doors, and striking exterior made the DeLorean DMC-12 an easy choice for adventurous car buyers and the perfect vehicle to serve as a time machine. Thanks to the company getting lovingly resurrected, it's easier than ever to hit 88 MPH in your own DeLorean.
Shortly after the company filed for bankruptcy in the early 1980's, DeLorean owners started looking for a competent place to get their cars serviced. Enough of those owners wound up at the independent garage of Stephen Wynne. Over the next several years, he began going deeper and deeper down the DeLorean rabbit hole, until he finally purchased the DMC brand in 1995.
The reborn company bought up what parts were left, found fabrication shops to custom make new parts, and now offers everything from complete DeLoreans to horsepower upgrades. Wynne runs a 40,000 square foot headquarters in Houston that acts as the official DMC warehouse, showroom, service and restoration center, and company offices. The new DMC also has franchised locations in California, Florida, Illinois, Washington, and the Netherlands.
As for the car itself, you can get a "completely remanufactured" version, which begins as a used DeLorean that's taken down to the frame and rebuilt from the ground up with new and original parts. The DMC of today also offers pre-owned DeLoreans, which are cars that are either consigned to the company by their owners, or cars that DMC has purchased. These cars go through a lengthy servicing to make sure they're fully healthy and reliable.
And, yes, the new DMC also builds exact replicas of Doc Brown's original time machine. They rarely make them, but can deliver you one if they're given enough time (and enough money). The guy at DMC who builds them at their Huntington Beach location is even the official caretaker of the time machines at Universal Studios.
What's it like to drive a DeLorean these days? Well, there are few cars out there that can evoke such a feeling of wonderment. The design isn't for everybody, and it's not exactly a convenient grocery-getter, but it's undeniably an icon of not only modern car design, but of industrial design in general. The current incarnation of the DeLorean could be kept in a museum-esque garage bay, or used as a daily driver — and considering the car's long, sordid history, we tend to lean toward the latter. It deserves it.
Photos: Jay Gullion / Uncrate