The stainless steel DMC-12 was John Z. DeLorean’s vision after being Pontiac’s performance guru during the 1960s. This model was most famous for its role in Back to the Future, a 1985 American comedic science fiction film. It was the only car produced by the DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) and took six years to design and engineer.
Built from scratch, the Delorean was a new venture that eventually ran into production problems and was never succeeded by a replacement. Its place in automotive folklore has had somewhat of a cult following from owners that appreciate the individually of the design.
From the inception of the Delorean’s vision, the Giorgio Giugiaro-designed body had all the right lines. Giugiaro gave a the car a low and wide presence that was only trumped by its gullwing doors.
Delorean chose stainless-steel for the body panels which was enough to deter purists. This somewhat eclectic choice was heavy and irreparable, but it did resist corrosion and added a stunning finish from new. The stainless panels were attached to a fiberglass under body that included painted front and rear bumpers.
Performance of the Delorean wasn’t its selling point. The Renault-sourced V6 only produced 130 bhp which meant the acceleration to 100 mph 40 seconds.
Road & Track fully tested a car for their December 1981 issue and said “The Delorean is a GT car with enough unusual features (the gullwing doors and stainless steel body panels for starters) to attract a lot of attention to itself. John Z. Delorean has reason to be proud: He’s added a new dimension to the American sports car market.” They also added that the car feels heavy due to its wide tires and the car is “not quick for a sports/GT car in this price category.”
No matter what the company did, sales targets were never met and the company folded in December of 1982 after spending nearly $100 million in investment. Approximately 9000 cars were built in the single year of production.
1981 DeLorean DMC-12 Gallery
See full 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 Gallery here
|type||Series Production Car|
|production years||1981 – 1982|
|body stylist||Giorgio Giugiaro|
|price $||$ 25,000|
|valvetrain||SOHC, 2 Valves / Cyl|
|fuel feed||Bosch K-Jetronic Injection|
|displacement||2849 cc / 173.9 in³|
|bore||91.0 mm / 3.58 in|
|stroke||73.0 mm / 2.87 in|
|power||96.9 kw / 130 bhp @ 5500 rpm|
|specific output||45.63 bhp per litre|
|bhp/weight||100.93 bhp per tonne|
|torque||219.6 nm / 162 ft lbs @ 2750 rpm|
|body / frame||Steel & Fiberglass Body over Steel Frame|
|wheel type||Cast Alloy|
|front wheels||F 35.6 x 15.2 cm / 14.0 x 6.0 in|
|rear wheels||R 38.1 x 20.3 cm / 15.0 x 8.0 in|
|steering||Rack & Pinion|
|f suspension||A-Arms w/Coil Springs, Tubular Shock Abosorbers, Anti-Roll bar|
|r suspension||Semi-Trailing Arms w/Tubular Shock Abosorbers, Anti-Roll bar|
|curb weight||1288 kg / 2840 lbs|
|weight distro||38 % / 62 %|
|wheelbase||2408 mm / 94.8 in|
|front track||1590 mm / 62.6 in|
|rear track||1588 mm / 62.5 in|
|length||4267 mm / 168.0 in|
|width||1990 mm / 78.3 in|
|height||1140 mm / 44.9 in|
|transmission||5-Spd Manual or 3 Spd Auto|
|gear ratios||3.36:1, 2.06:1, 1.38:1, 1.06:1, 0.82:1|
|top speed||~175.4 kph / 109.0 mph|
|0 – 60 mph||~10.5 seconds|
|0 – 100 mph||~40.0 seconds|
|0 – 1/4 mile||~18.0 seconds|
|fuel capacity||51.10 litres or 13.5 gal.|