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.
What Life Lessons Could a DeLorean Teach Us?
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.
You Can’t Believe Everything You See in the Movies
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.
You Could Remodel Your Kitchen Counter Tops With a DeLorean
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.
Drug Deals Are Not The Best Way to Compensate Monetary Loss
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.
Just Because Something is Gold, Doesn’t Mean It is Popular
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.
The DeLorean Only Took a Break – It Isn’t Extinct
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!
Living Life Like a DMC DeLorean
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!