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The DMC DeLorean is a two-passenger sports car made by John DeLorean’s DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) from 1981 to 1983. The DeLorean was the only vehicle to come from the company, and it was Giorgetto Giugiaro who designed it. DeLoreans were identifiable by their gull-wing doors and stainless steel exterior. John DeLorean was originally an inventor, engineer, and executive at General Motors (GM) before starting his own company, DMC.
Why would we equate life lessons to the DeLorean? There is a lot to learn from this model, plus it is unique. The only cars like it are the DMC Texas DeLoreans being built today. In fact, in January 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final ruling allowing low volume vehicle manufacturing – just in time for the DeLorean’s 40th birthday!
Here is your practice lesson –
The DeLorean has gull-wing doors. If you don’t know what a gull-wing door is, the hinges for the door are on the roof, not on the sides. The doors also open up and out, resembling wings. Most parking spots are tight, even when you drive a standard vehicle – but what happens when you park your DeLorean?
Angle and perpendicular parking might turn out to be a problem when you drive a DeLorean (or any other gull-wing car). If someone pulls up right next to you, forget about getting out of your car or in it. The lesson? Stick to parallel parking.
The DeLorean is notably featured in the movie Back to the Future, which is likely why it is still so popular. Car enthusiasts classify the DeLorean as poorly built and a less-than-satisfying driving experience, so that enhances the theory about the movie is why people are still in awe of the vehicle.
Marty McFly: Wait a minute, Doc. Ah... Are you telling me that you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?
Yes, Doc Brown built an on-screen time machine from a DeLorean – but there is a small caveat to the features. The DeLorean was not built for speed. John DeLorean never planned for these cars to enter races and win. The car was built with a top speed of 85 miles per hour, but if you have ever seen the movie, you know that “expletive” doesn’t happen until 88 miles per hour.
How did they make that possible? They put a sticker on the speedometer that showed a top speed of 95 for dramatic effect. Don’t even get me started on the fact that it didn’t really fly.
Unlike other vehicles, the DeLorean is built from food-grade stainless steel. The DeLorean’s body was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign. Instead of painting the cars or applying a clearcoat, the manufactured DeLoreans came off the line as they were constructed – “natural.”
If small scratches wind up in the body panel, they can be removed with a non-metallic scouring pad or sandpaper. The panels are attached to a fiberglass underbody which is then attached to a steel double-Y frame chassis.
You could extract the metal off of a DeLorean to redo your kitchen counters. We wouldn’t recommend using car metal for a food prep surface, but you could probably fry an egg or too o the hood if you are in a bind.
You would probably think that this would be a life lesson that is a no-brainer. Don’t sell drugs. Drugs are bad. Unfortunately, John DeLorean didn’t get that memo. In 1982, DMC was facing bankruptcy and a deficit of $17 million.
In October 1982, DeLorean was charged with cocaine trafficking. An FBI informant James Hoffman was the one who solicited DeLorean in a scheme to sell cocaine that was worth approximately $24 million. Although he was arrested, DeLorean was able to fight a guilty verdict because it was considered a case of police entrapment. The verdict came in 1984 after the company had already filed bankruptcy.
DeLorean faced additional charges in 1985. He was indicted on charges that he defrauded investors and committed tax evasion by diverting millions to line his own pockets. The court acquitted him of these charges too.
In a promotional effort by DeLorean and American Express, the plan was to create and sell 100 24K-gold-plated DeLoreans, available only to gold-card members. Picture it now, driving a DeLorean down the street, looking like a million bucks.
Not quite a million bucks, but $85,000 bucks. The dream of selling 100 of these was soon thwarted when only two of them were sold. One was sold to Roger Mize, the president of Snyder National Bank in Snyder, Texas. The gold-plated DeLorean sat in the bank’s lobby for close to 20 years before being loaned to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
The second was purchased by Sherwood Marshall, an entrepreneur, and formal Royal Canadian Naval Officer. He donated this DeLorean to the William H. Harrah Foundation/National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada.
A third gold-plated car was assembled with spare parts that American Express required in the event that one of the other two was damaged. The car was first acquired by the winner of a Big Lots store raffle.
In 1995, Stephen Wynne created a separate company based in Humble, Texas, using the DMC company name. Wynne, a British car mechanic from Liverpool, acquired the trademark and stylized the DMC logo – along with the remaining parts of the original company’s inventory.
After the Low Volume Vehicle Manufacturing Act was passed, DMC Texas announced that it would be producing replica DeLoreans. The goal was approximately 50 vehicles per year over six years, with an estimated retail price of $100,000 per vehicle. The company did encounter hurdles when reproducing parts that were no longer available from old stock.
Just because the DeLorean took a hibernation period, anyone wanting the iconic vehicle has the opportunity to have one of their own now. Did we mention how epic the 2021 model looks? That looks like a time machine!
It might awkward to compare living life to a car, but think about it – the DeLorean is not a fast car, and it is not an overly priced car. Still, it got movie gigs, and it made a comeback. That is a life lesson all on its own. How many can say that they faced extinction but still got a movie deal?
The DeLorean has seen many ups and downs during its manufacturing lifespan. The thing about it, ask anyone on the street (aged 30 and older), and they know what a DeLorean is. Be recognizable.
So in a world where cars are movie stars, can be plated in 24K gold, and can come back from the brink of extinction – be a DeLorean!
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.
Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.
And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.
The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.
When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.
The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.
They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?
So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!
If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.
I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!
The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!
There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.
After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.
Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.
By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.
We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!
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