The DeLorean DMC-12 (commonly referred to simply as “the DeLorean”) is a sports car originally manufactured by John DeLorean’s DeLorean Motor Company for the American market from 1981 to 1983. The car features gull-wing doors and an innovative fibreglass body structure with a steel backbone chassis, along with external brushed stainless-steel body panels. It became widely known and iconic for its appearance, and because a modified DMC-12 was immortalised as the DeLorean time machine in the Back to the Future media franchise.
The first prototype appeared in October 1976. Production officially began in 1981 in Dunmurry, a suburb of south west Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the first DMC-12 rolled off the production line on January 21. Over the course of production, several features of the car were changed, such as the hood style, wheels, and interior. About 9,000 DMC-12s were made before production halted in early 1983.
The DMC-12 was the only model produced by the company, which was later liquidated as the US car market went through its largest slump since the 1930s. In 2007, about 6,500 DeLorean Motorcars were thought to still exist.
In 1995, Stephen Wynne, a British entrepreneur from Liverpool, created a separate company based in Texas using the “DeLorean Motor Company” name. Wynne acquired the trademark on the stylised “DMC” logo shortly thereafter, along with the remaining parts inventory of the original DeLorean Motor Company. The company builds new cars at its suburban Humble, Texas location from new old stock (NOS) parts, original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and reproduction parts on a “made to order” basis using existing vehicle identification number (VIN) plates.
On January 27, 2016, DMC in Texas announced that it planned to build about 300–325 replica 1982 DMC-12 cars, each projected to cost just under US$100,000.