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DMC Delorean

megasuvownermegasuvowner Member Posts: 64
may not have been the best car in history, but it sure was a good one. The company only lasted a few years but it will definately never be forgotten. I liked in the Back To The Future movies also. Well, heres the place to talk about the Delorean.


  • blarg1blarg1 Member Posts: 59
    did johnny z sell you some of that coke he used to finance his white elephant?

    the car was a rolling joke. the thing sold for 25000 in a day when corvettes sold for 15k. the engine was slow, and buried inside that body made it even slower. between that and the recession of the early 80's, demand was not especially high.

    the irish people were sold down the river, thinking that they would get thousands of new jobs, and the English parliament gave delorian hundreds of millions of pounds, and got nothing in return. Imagine being a bond holder today, still awaiting payment...

    i laugh when I see these cars. i am mildly amused that you think that these are good cars.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    ....the PVR (peugot(sp?) Volvo Renault) POS V6 they used in the Delorean. They were giving them away for like $1500 COMPLETE in the ads of R&T, C&D etc..DMC RIP!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The Delorean showed some promise on the design boards (after all, it had a lot of Lotus input), but by the time they actually built (well, threw together) the car, all that promise was gone. Very mediocre performance, quality problems all over the place, and about the dumbest idea since making cars out of wicker---making one out of stainless steel. The fact that no one has ever built one out of SS before or since should have been a hint.

    But you know, with the right engine, a paint job, and rigorous quality control, it would have been a decent but overpriced car. It probably would have failed no matter what.

    No one person has ever succeeded in putting his name on a regular production car that didn't meet with almost instant disaster ---not since Walter Chrysler did it in 1924. Those are pretty long odds!
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    "No one person has ever succeeded in putting his name on a regular production
    car that didn't meet with almost instant disaster ---not since Walter Chrysler did
    it in 1924."

    Since accusing you of being wrong is very risky, I'll ask for clarification. How do you reconcile Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche with this statement? Is it that you don't consider Lambo and Ferrari regular production cars and Porsche was already an established car maker when he created the Porsche line?
  • lokkilokki Member Posts: 1,200
    Walter Chrysler, 1924....

    Wasn't there some guy named Enzo something, some Italian guy who started building cars with his name on them in the late 40's? I know the company was finally sold to Fiat, but I thought he kept it running for quite a while before that....
  • lokkilokki Member Posts: 1,200
    and did a better job too. I didn't even think of Porsche...

    I think they'd qualify as regular production cars abeit expensive ones...
    certainly as much as a DeLoren would...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Ah, darmn!....I meant AMERICAN and the American market! Sorry for the oversight and thank you for keeping my words tidy. Should have read:

    "No American entrepreneur has ever successfully..." etc etc.

    We could also say: "No entrepreneur has ever successfully marketed a mass-produced car under his own name since Walter Chrysler". I think that would also be a fair statement.

    My intention was, of course, to illuminate how difficult an undertaking this is in the modern world.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Where Marty is on the starting line waiting to take off and catch the lightning bolt, and the DeLorean dies? Well, that's typical DeLorian behavior ;-)
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    Too bad it started again when he banged his head on the steering wheel. If it hadn't, it would have been more accurate and we could have avoided all the sequels.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,666
    I've heard that it's bad to build a car out of it, but I don't know why? Stainless steel is good enough to keep my kitchen sink from rusting, and you can just take a Brill-o pad to it when it does get a stain ;-)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    It looks awful in a hurry...try keeping your sink outside. And try taking a dent out of your sink and make it look good without paint and body filler.

    It just isn't a practical material for an auto body, or so it would appear.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Cledus T. Judd painted a DeLorean red for one of his music videos. Looked kinda cool. Although, I think the stainless steel would be better for the auto body than the 24K gold some of the DeLoreans had.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes, how tasteful! Actually, gold plating is not all that expensive...it's a pretty thin coat!
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Member Posts: 414
    I think there were only two that were actually 24k gold plated. Most were just gold colored.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Shifty, you're the first person to call anything Cledus T. did tasteful. They guy makes his living to tasteless parodies of country songs. While the thin layer of gold may not be expensive, as far as gold goes, I never thought of it as a material that was durable enough to last as an automotive finish.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes, but think of how hard it is to get a wedding ring off in bars!
  • megasuvownermegasuvowner Member Posts: 64
    Yes,there two 24k gold-plated deloreans, one in a bank in Texas and the other here in Maryland, which was also the last delorean produced.
  • odie6lodie6l Member Posts: 1,173
    in C&D or something that DeLorean is going to start making cars again including a SUV? Did anybody else see any type of article or was it just an O/D on sugar...LOL.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, I hope they change the name!
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    My friend and I went down to the local DMC dealer to have a look. While we were there a guy came in with his son. He basically said "Is that what you want?" and we watched him write a check. That kid had a pretty good 16th birthday.
  • thetrojanman03thetrojanman03 Member Posts: 8
    I think that the DeLoreans look pretty cool, the problem was just thay they were underpowered. They only had a v6 that puts out 130 hp if I remember right. I read somewhere that DeLorean was going to make a DMC-12 with a twin turbo engine and a few concepts were made and the track results were a great improvement over the original DMC-12, but the company went out of business before they were able to sell them. I've heard some people griping about their build quality, from what I've heard they're pretty well-built cars, just have little flaws as do all cars. I don't think you can get a worse built car than any new car out on the road today. The fact is, even the newest DMC-12 is almost 17 years old, they're bound to have some problems. I think if DeLorean had gotten to produce the twin turbo DMC-12, his company would have been saved and people would be driving brand new 2002 DMC-12s.
  • 2001diver2001diver Member Posts: 8
    This message is for "blarg1" and other DMCphobes:

    The majority of people who hate the car don't know the facts. The stainless steel body costs the same OR LESS to fix as any exotic cars. How much do you think it costs to fix a dent in a Countach? (It costs more than it should)

    The DMC engine is a V6. But don't let that fool you: Lotus had a 4 cylinder for the longest time that would smoke V8s. Besides, the DMC was marketed as a touring car that would last forever... not a high performance gas guzzler. Do not put the car down. Many of its pioneering features are incorporated into every new car you see on the road.

    Before making such outlandish statements, I would like to know if you who "put down" the DMC actually OWN a De Lorean? How do you know anything about the car... by reading low-IQ posts on the Web? Experience is the best teacher. Do I own one? Yes, I actually owned 2 at one time. They worked quite well considering they are 20 years old. How is your '81 Camaro holding up?

    You may find more detailed info at www.delorean.org, www.delorean.com, and www.deloreanone.com.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Oh, I've driven lots of them, and I feel I have a pretty good idea of what the car's "problem" is.

    I think what killed the Delorean is that it fact that it delivered so much less than it promised.
    In fact, it is not an "exotic car", it only looks like one, and that's too bad. Also, all the scandal, etc. didn't help one bit.

    Basically the car is okay, but it's more of a minor footnote in automotive history to most people. It's not a car that's easy to get excited about. True, a Countach costs more to fix, but it will also rip your head off when you mash the gas pedal and go 200 mph. A Delorean is not in that league by about half.

    You can see this lack of excitement at auctions particularly, where it is very difficult to sell a Delorean. There are few bidders.

    But every old car has enthusiasts who like them, so hopefully the Delorean folks will continue to enjoy their cars.
  • 2001diver2001diver Member Posts: 8
    It did deliver less than it promised.

    This car is unusual in the fact that poeple who are old enought to remember what the car promised... these are the people who usually HATE the car. The people who are too young to have experienced those promises really like the car. My sister has friends (ages 14 through 19) that go crazy when they see the car. They love it. However, the typical 30-something person on the street also goes crazy. Only they HATE the car with a passion & aren't ashamed to tell you - much like the post from "blarg1".

    I fall into the "younger person category", missing the promises by just a few years. My first impression of the car was as an anonymous futuristic vehicle. It looks exotic, but I guess it does not fit into the "Exotic" mold (big engine).

    Now that I think about it, there are many cars I am disappointed with today that made promises before production. For example, the New Beetle had a cool profile, a transparent roof and was to cost $13K. When it was released, they tacked on these huge bumpers, got rid of the roof idea, and bumped the price up by $9K. Ugh. History repeats itself...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    By the way, some folks may not know that the Delorean didn't have "a stainless steel body". It is a thin metal veneer over plastic panels. Think of it more like a metal-coated Pontiac Fiero in its construction.

    One of the Delorean's biggest obstacles to success was that Lotus Engineering didn't have a clue about what was needed to mass produce a quality product. Coupling that with the inexperience of Ireland's labor force, you ended up with cars coming off the assembly line with all kinds of problems. So these issues needed to be sorted out on each and every car once it got to the US, and that ended up costing thousands per car in extra costs to make them ready for sale and of acceptable quality. Then, of course, the car did not meet the highly touted performance, price or fuel economy projections. This caused early media enthusiasm to die off pretty quickly. It wasn't the car John D had promised, not by a long shot. Publicity turned ugly.

    The car had an enormous challenge in front of it even before the first one was built. Someone should have (and in fact did) tell John D. that his projections were way too ambitious and unrealistic, and that his car was 95% gimmicks (stainless overlay, gull wing doors) and 5% real technical breakthroughs. And with a Renault V-6 hung out past the rear wheels, the car's handling and performance simply did not justify the then considerable $25,000 price tag.

    Only about 8,500 cars were built before the whole venture collapsed. It was a rather mad and egotistical dream for John D., since no American has successfully put his own name on a mass-produced car since 1924, when Walter Chrysler succeeded. That still holds true today.

    Still, that he managed to get as far as he did with the project does say something for his determination.

    Had John D. set less ambitious goals, perhaps built the car with an experienced workforce, done some further R&D before production, and installed a more powerful engine, the company may have very well survived.
  • ndancendance Member Posts: 323
    By the way, some folks may not know that the Delorean didn't have "a stainless steel body". It is a thin metal veneer over plastic panels. Think of it more like a metal-coated Pontiac Fiero in its construction.

    I didn't know that...oof, how on earth do you fix body damage on a strange composite like that (short of either outright replacement of body panels or ...painting the car)?

    All in all I'd rather have an Alpine.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think you can replace some of those panels outright and re-skin. I'd have to check around for the actual procedure.

    Some people do paint their Deloreans, but if you buff them out in the recommended fashion they aren't too bad to keep up. I don't think they look all that good painted.
  • 2001diver2001diver Member Posts: 8
    The Saturn is a more accurate comparison. If you unbolt all the plastic panels from a Saturn, you can still drive it around because the panels are like an "outer skin" of the car's frame/safety cage structure and mechanics.

    This is the same concept as the DMC. It has a sub-structure made of GRP (the predecessor to carbon fibre), that is kind of like a roll cage & frame all in one. The fenders are bolted on to that. If a fender is damaged, unbolt it pound it out and bolt it back on. The fenders use no composites... they are 100% Steel. You could actually take the panels off the car and drive it (though not legal and highly ugly)!
  • ndancendance Member Posts: 323
    Well,if nothing else, a bodypanel-less DMC would be quicker. Reminds me of the odd "project" car you see in Hot Rod or whatever where an old frame car (maybe a Delta 88) is lightened by removing everything (I mean everything) possible and you end up with a $300, 12-second car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think the Delorean could have handled more power just the way it was. The basic Lotus chassis was competent enough, although the engine overhang was annoying. But that could have been sorted out I think, in time, with lots of money, of which Delorean had neither.
This discussion has been closed.