John DeLorean's dream was "to develop and build a car that is safe and reliable, has good roadability, is fun to drive and is unmistakably elegant in its appearance." The development phase turned out to be difficult, but he finally found a partner in Lotus, who developed the Delorean DMC-12 in only two years. This resulted in some teething troubles, which in turn resulted in costly repairs for the company. It was a unique "sports car": with over a tonne in weight and only 132 hp, it lagged far behind competitors such as the Chevrolet Corvette or the European Ferraris.
In March 1981, serial production of this classic began in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, and its body, made of unpainted stainless steel, is still unique today. Initial sales went very well, but in 1982 they declined dramatically and forced DeLorean to look for financial support – unfortunately without success. In 1983, DeLorean Motor Company Ltd. had to file for bankruptcy. Between 1981 and 1983, it produced about 8600 cars, and a particularly well-preserved one of these can still be seen at the Technik Museum Sinsheim today.
The DeLorean DMC-12 in pop culture
The DeLorean became legendary as a time machine in the science fiction trilogy "Back to the Future", where it was the third leading actor alongside Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. The vehicle achieved cult status and became pretty much the epitome of 80s pop culture, and the dream car of all men over 30. As a result, DeLoreans repeatedly made "guest appearances" in numerous other Hollywood productions, TV shows and music videos.