DeLorean to go Back to the Future by making cars again
There are few other cars that had such a brief lifespan and such a lasting impact. The DeLorean may have been in production for less than two years, but in that time it gained cult status on the road and became an unlikely vessel for fictional time travel.
More than 30 years later, the car that was immortalised in 1985’s Back to the Future is to be brought back into limited production.
DeLorean Motor Company, the Texas-based manufacturer that purchased all the leftover parts from the Belfast factory in 1997, has announced that it intends to produce roadworthy replicas that will include the gullwing door.
It had previously been dedicated to restoring the 6,000 DeLorean cars still in existence. But a US government initiative has allowed the business to begin making new models for the first time in 33 years, to the delight of Back to the Future fans worldwide.
An attempt was previously made by DeLorean Motor Company to restart production in 2008.
DeLorean’s chief executive, Stephen Wynne, told Texas radio station KPRC: “It is fantastic. It is a gamechanger for us.”
The original DeLorean cars went into production in 1981, but only 9,000 were made before the company went bankrupt in early 1983. It was two years later that the DeLorean became a collectors item, after the sports car was transformed into a time machine in Back to the Future.
DeLoreans are made up of about 2,800 parts and the modern company, which has no connection to the original firm or the estate of John DeLorean, the American engineer who founded the first company, has more than 99% of them. It reproduces or rebuilds the rest using the original drawings.
DeLorean Motor Company said it has parts to make about 300 new cars, which will include a more powerful and more environmentally efficient engine than the 1980s original, which had 130 horsepower. It hopes to begin production in 2017.
However, for Back to the Future fans eagerly hoping to get their hands on the iconic car, it will not come cheap. The company said it hopes to sell the cars for $80,000-$100,000 (£56,000-£70,000).
The company said in a statement: “DeLorean Motor Company has been working for some time to identify a supplier for engines and other parts that must be reproduced to facilitate this production for 2017. A number of hurdles exist before production can begin, and we’re still early on in this process of determining the feasibility of moving forward.”
The new DeLorean will have “bigger wheels, bigger brakes, and shocks from ‘a famous German supplier’”, it added. The DeLorean will also have upgraded interiors and amenities such as Bluetooth, navigation systems and heated seats.
The combination of Spielberg as ideas man and Zemeckis as executant (the latter made the efficient and at times ingenious Romancing the Stone) is just right for this story of an ordinary guy transported back in time to the mid-Fifties, and faced with his parents as teenagers. Spielberg supplies the sentiment and Zemeckis pours the acid, so that nostalgia is laced with a little provocation.
It doesn’t go as far as Gremlins, because Joe Dante really is spiteful, whereas Zemeckis is only playing at it. But the moment the ordinary guy’s mother takes a lunge at him in her bedroom, without knowing he is her son, is at least one sequence to cherish.