randalf0102 profile picture randalf0102 2 years ago 6
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The DeLorean DMC-12: Why it was built and why it failed

DeLorean - The DeLorean DMC-12: Why it was built and why it failed - Blog

The DeLorean DMC-12 had a difficult start and a difficult life. The guy who wanted to build this car was John DeLorean and he had the plan to build an ethical car, which means a car which was safe, long-lasting and sustainable. He was a manager from GM and had the opinion that small, high-quality cars with efficient engines were the future. The problem was: The rest of the GM staff had a different opinion and later, in 1973, after some arguments with the staff, he decided to quit the job and to make his own sports car, which was proved to be difficult. DeLorean partnered with Bill Collins, who was an engineer at Pontiac. In 1975, John DeLoren decided that he wants Giorgetto Giugiaro to design the car, which was already finished in only a few months. But, it wasn´t a completely new concept: He used some old sketches which were meant for the Porsche 928. Anyway, in february 1975, Giorgetto Giugiaros company “Italdesign” got the order to shape the car, and six months later, the concept was finished. They made a prototype but of course it lokked different to the finished car.

The prototype of the DMC-12

DeLorean - The DeLorean DMC-12: Why it was built and why it failed - Blog

However, the biggest problem was the engine. At first they used a Ford 3,0 litre V6, but that didn´t quite work. After that, they decided that they want to use a 4-cylinder engine from Citroen with 102 hp, but of course that wasn´t powerful enough and DeLorean asked if they could turbocharge it, but Citroen said that that had no warranty and also they didn´t want to make a deal. In 1977, they made a second prototype and Bill Collins wanted to use the 2,6 litre V6 from Volvo/Renault/Peugeot (PRV Engine). Long speak short: That didn´t work out neither and they had to ask Lotus, which was the only company that wanted to make the car ready to be built. However, they changed many, many things on the car, and the only thing which was left from DeLorean was the design, the gullwing doors and the with stainless steel planked plastic body. Then, finally, in 1981, the production of the car was initiated in Denmurry in Northern Ireland.

The finished project in 1981

DeLorean - The DeLorean DMC-12: Why it was built and why it failed - Blog

Well, now the car was finally built but there were still problems with the car. For example the gap dimensions weren´t perfect because of the complicated body, or the gullwing doors were just to heavy. The electronic wasn´t the best aswell. For example the engine ventilation didn´t always work which of course caused overheating. The other problem was, that the DMC-12 only had 132 hp but weighed 2,866 Pounds (1300 kilos), which means that it wasn´t a performance car at all. Well, not only the many problems and low performance, but also the high price caused many people to not buy the car. Anyway, DeLorean doubled the production rate of the car but the demand fell which caused insolvency. No more cars were produced because John DeLorean didn´t want another manufacturer to produce the car and then it was over for the DMC-12. On Christmas 1981, three golden DMCs were finished because American Express ordered them. Well those were the last three DMCs and all of them are still in the US.
Well, it is very sad that this project didn´t work out, because these guys really had some great ideas but they just didn´t had enough time. Well, those are still pretty cool classics and everyone is happy if you see one.

The DMC-12 from the rear view

DeLorean - The DeLorean DMC-12: Why it was built and why it failed - Blog

The interior

DeLorean - The DeLorean DMC-12: Why it was built and why it failed - Blog

One golden exemplare of the DeLorean

DeLorean - The DeLorean DMC-12: Why it was built and why it failed - Blog