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DeLorean to Come Back (Sorta) 263

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the my-childhood-dream dept.
Alcibaides writes "DeLorean Motor Company, a suburban Houston company that rebuilds DeLoreans, is laying plans to bring the car back into limited production. The last DeLorean rolled off the assembly line in Northern Ireland in 1982. But like Duran Duran, the Rubik's Cube and other Reagan-era icons, the car retains a following. Of the 9,000 built in 1981 and 1982, about 6,500 are still on the road, according to James Espey, vice president of DeLorean Motor."
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DeLorean to Come Back (Sorta)

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  • by bomanbot (980297) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @10:24AM (#20031809)
    the new production run has the flux compensator as standard issue now ;)
  • by nurhussein (864532) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @10:26AM (#20031821) Homepage
    If this were true we'd already be inundated with DeLoreans now, coming back in time to visit the momentous occassion when they decided to make them again.

    One point twenty one gigawatts!
  • DeLorean Car Show (Score:3, Informative)

    by Skater (41976) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @10:27AM (#20031825) Homepage Journal
    Don't forget the DeLorean Car Show [deloreancarshow.com] next summer. I'm not a DeLorean owner (or even a fan, really), but I think it'll be fun to see so many DeLoreans gathered in one place.
    • I think seeing a show dedicated just to them would beat the (mild) fan out of me. I don't think there is a whole lot of variation in the cars unless you get some heathen that's painted his. Even adding the Bricklins in to the mix wouldn't seem to do it.

      I guess I just don't get the single car model shows, maybe one has to be very dedicated to that model to even put up with it.
      • by xjimhb (234034)
        Speaking of single model cars, I tried dozens of hobby shops and I couldn't find a single plastic model of a DeLorean! With OR without a Mr. Fusion on the back.

  • Options (Score:2, Funny)

    Is the hoverboard an option? I only want one when I can get a stock hoverboard to go with it!
  • by zmollusc (763634) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @10:28AM (#20031833)
    .. to make the bodyshell corrode faster, to conform with the trend for everything to be made as craply as possible out of the worst materials.
    • i don't know much about them but i used to see a few around here that i were told were from some after market kit. the obvious reason being that they were painted, and not stainless steel. offhand i used to see a red one and a yellow one.

      there is something kind of awesome that 95% of the nostalgia about those cars is purely based on Back To The Future, and nothing to do with being obscure car junkies, or fans of their quirky history.
  • by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes AT xmsnet DOT nl> on Sunday July 29, 2007 @10:42AM (#20031921)
    why not do it properly and use modern underpinnings, instead of the crappy engine and gearbox of the original? ISTR the suspension wasn't any good either, so change that as well. The shape may be iconic, but a good car, it wasn't.
    • by bdowne01 (30824) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @12:26PM (#20032571) Homepage Journal
      Being someone that drives a collector DMC-12 a few times a month, I have to pipe in and state that it actually doesn't handle quite as bad as most people are led to believe. It's nothing stellar, but for 1981 it's not half bad. Better than average, actually.

      The engine is underpowered for the car, but it is a nice driver.

      Remember that the car started out lower and meaner--with better handling. Last minute changes due to federal crash regulations at the time changed the ride height and thus the handling characteristics.

    • They're just doing what every other car manufacturer is doing with SUVs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Actually when they rebuild it, they replace the crap gearbox and the driveshaft (which is prone to snap because the torque is all wrong). I grew up 4 blocks from this place, housed in a small warehouse business park. We'd ride our bikes there on saturdays to find at least four parked outside on a good day. These guys are totally for real and fully intend to keep DeLoreans running as long as people are willing to pay them to do so.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      Dude, they eke an existence repairing cars made in 1981. Do you seriously think they have the capital to make all those changes you're talking about?

      They just probably realized they have to fab new replacement parts, so they might as well make some extras and assemble cars while they're at it.
  • Serendipity (Score:5, Funny)

    by Zaphod2016 (971897) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @10:44AM (#20031939) Homepage
    A very common argument with my wife goes something like this: "Mark my words honey: I will have a DeLorean DMC-12 before I die!" "Where the hell are you going to find one?" "Uhhh" [tries to think of creative time-traveling solution] Thank you Slashdot. I think I may have finally won a fight! Bringing the total score to 1-189,203. Yes! Now, let's see if you bastards can handle 90...
  • by MrCopilot (871878) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @10:49AM (#20031961) Homepage Journal
    The reason they can do this is because Delorean never did anything small. He had enough parts made to produce a ton of cars, these guys bought them all. They sell restorations and build new ones from new (warehoused) parts. Been doing it for years.

    They do quite well for themselves. Not really news though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DerekLyons (302214)
      The Discovery Channel special is a couple of years old, TFA isn't. They are starting limited production because they are running out of certain parts and will soon have to start manufacturing said parts - which makes it simple to enter limited production.
    • by wkitchen (581276) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @11:15AM (#20032109)

      He had enough parts made to produce a ton of cars...
      Wouldn't that be approximately one car?
    • The reason they can do this is because Delorean never did anything small. He had enough parts made to produce a ton of cars

      Actually, in order to get federal approval to mass produce cars for sale in the United States, a car company is required to have a large stockpile of parts. That's so if it goes belly-up (as DeLorean did), people who own the cars are still able to get them repaired for a reasonable period of time. I think they're required to have enough parts to service the cars for five years.

      It'

  • really, if they make it use alternative fuels like veggy oil (read august issue of playboy) and improve other things of the car needing improvement, they might just find a growing market as gasoline prices climb.

    And such alternative fuels would certainly fit the "back to the future" evolution of the car.
    I might just consider buying one if those things happened.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by geekinaseat (1029684)

      (read august issue of playboy)

      So some people do actually read the articles then?

    • by Dorceon (928997)
      The only alternative fuel it should use is Mr. Fusion, and it should be the alternative to Plutonium.
  • I've never been much of a car nut but I've always liked the DeLorean. Back when I originally saw the movie as a kid, I thought they were saying "Dalorian" and it was Fett's ride. I liked the idea of the stainless steel finish. "You can get it in any color so long as it's silver. Screw the paint booth guys." And those doors, just too cool. I think the best part is that the car is an insane purchase that's almost affordable for someone of my income level. That's a far cry from the typical exotics that set you
  • Is that a Delorean? asked the girl at Dunkin Donuts.
    I say, Yea, shame Subaru stopped [edmunds.com] making them.

    Well no I did not say that, but I'll be more witty next time.
  • The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?
  • by ChronosWS (706209) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @11:35AM (#20032225)
    It's slow and heavy. It's grossly underpowered. It's nothing like a 'sports car' as the article ignorantly claims. Even if brought back, it's unlikely its styling would survive the major rehashing it would undergo to avoid offending the sensibilities of the modern automobile consumer. And then there are all the safety considerations which would likely change the chassis in significant ways. No, whatever car is brought back, it won't be your father's DeLorean. That might be a good thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      Even if brought back, it's unlikely its styling would survive the major rehashing it would undergo to avoid offending the sensibilities of the modern automobile consumer.

      What?
      Many of "the modern automobile consumer" would buy a new vintage car in a heartbeat, with the exact same exterior styling it used to have. The only reason restored cars go for a lot of cash at auction is because there is no production line to produce them at lower costs.

      The only reason the old-is-new-again idea works is because the car companies stay close to the old look. Cars that don't (Pontiac GTO for example) have not done so well.

      And then there are all the safety considerations which would likely change the chassis in significant ways. No, whatever car is brought back, it won't be your father's DeLorean. That might be a good thing

      Custom/Kit/Experimental/Historic cars are not regulated in the sa

      • by ChronosWS (706209)
        Well, then what is the discussion about? A old car coming back as a kit? This isn't even remotely news. There are hundreds of kit cars out there, many more compelling than the DeLorean (I even own one.) If this is just a niche automobile, the 'modern automobile consumer' also won't buy them, because while they like the IDEA of such vehicles, the implementation of those vehicles usually leaves them wanting. Sometimes the old is best left in its original form, so the rose-colored glasses don't have to be
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by istewart (463887)
      2700 pounds is heavy? Not these days. For comparison, Porsche's new 911 GT2 is something like 3200lbs, and it's their fastest 911 yet. If the DMC people in Texas can come up with a turbo engine (and there's no reason they can't, independent DeLorean enthusiasts already have), a "new DeLorean" ought to perform decently, even if it does end up being overpriced for its performance.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Reaperducer (871695)

      It's slow and heavy. It's grossly underpowered. It's nothing like a 'sports car'
      Bowling is a sport. I think that's the justification.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mrchaotica (681592) *

      Even if brought back, it's unlikely its styling would survive the major rehashing it would undergo to avoid offending the sensibilities of the modern automobile consumer.

      What, are you kidding? The people who would buy it are the kind that like the 80's styling. For me, at least, cars like the DeLorean, C4 Corvette, 1st-gen 300ZX, and 2nd-gen CRX had some of the coolest styling ever.

  • I know 3 people who have them, and have talked to a few more. They all say 100 points for style, -50 for reliability, mechanics, etc. They had about a million things wrong with them, but for some people the looks overcame that.

    If you own one of the classics, you should either be comfortable with doing your own wrenching, or have the money to pay for regular mechanical work at a level far above that of a normal production car.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bdowne01 (30824)
      Very true. Most of the issues with the car were due to the unskilled labor force assembling the vehicles, though. Not necessarily because of poor design (remember Lotus had a hand in designing them). By the time the linen workers got the knack of it, DMC was out of business. That being said, you can still order brand-new parts rescued the original factory inventory. Right down the composite frame.
  • They'll be funding it by dealing meth instead of cocaine.
  • by Chairboy (88841) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @12:16PM (#20032511) Homepage
    http://www.eliseusa.com/rotary.htm [eliseusa.com]

    This guy put a Mazda 20B into his Delorean, twice the power of the stock V6, plus it's smooooooth. Instead of the same underpowered old engine, put an engine in that the car deserves.
    • Even without using an exotic powerplant like a rotary, it's still possible to get a LOT more power out of an engine similar in size to the existing ones.

      According to Wikipedia, these are the specs:
      2.8L V6, 170 HP (Europe), 130 HP (US). The engine was severely derated to meet emissions specs in the U.S. Back in that time period it was probably carbed - EFI didn't become common until later in the 80s, and once that was introduced it became easier and easier to meet emissions specs without compromising horse
    • by turgid (580780)

      That rules! A RISC engine :-) I wish more sports cars came with Wankel RISC engines. The compact size and low weight would also make it easier to use in a hybrid. Imagine a hybrid Wankel turbo...

      • by The_Rook (136658)
        the toruble with wankel engines is that they gulp down gas by the gallon.

        how about retrofitting a delorean with an electric power plat a la the tesla?
        • by really? (199452)
          the toruble with wankel engines is that they gulp down gas by the gallon.

          Not here in Canada. We've gone metric a long time ago. We no longer fear the gallon gulping engines.
  • by The Optimizer (14168) on Sunday July 29, 2007 @01:19PM (#20032915)
    I guess not many posters here actually owned one. I had one for about 3 years in the late '80s, and am something of a car geek (I recently owned a 1995 BMW M5 Station Wagon, for example). Anyway, after reading the posting here, I feel the need to provide more accurate information about the car. The following are in no particular order.

    Mobyy_6kl was basically right about the engine: The US saw a detuned version of the PVR 2.8L V6, though in US trim it's peak output was rated at 130hp (not 120) and ~165 lb-ft.

    One important thing to realize is the state of automotive engineering at the time the DeLorean was sold. If you compare it to the cars being manufactured and sold today, things look very different.

    While today's economy cars have engines as powerful as the DeLorean's; In 1982, there were only 4 car models being sold that were rated as having over 200 peak horsepower. Only 4. Today, virtually every family sedan has more power than that. DeLorean One now sells a tuned and upgraded version of the very same engine that puts out around 195 hp.

    The build quality of "exotic" cars has drastically changed since the time of the DeLorean. For it's time, the quality, and fit-and-finish (of the later build cars especially) of the DeLorean were very good. If you ever go look at an exotic car from that era, say a Ferrari 308, look carefully at the interior and panels, check the gaps and how straight the lines and seams are. Examine the switchgear. The Ferrari of the time was not much better than a kit car, and can't compare the build quality of today's "exotics". We can thank very rapid technology and quality advancement, not to mention the Acura NSX for giving the rest of the industry a lesson on build quality and reliability.

    The DeLorean was envisioned as more of a Luxury/Grand Touring coupe than a pure performance car. It also has its roots in a 1970's safety car design.

    A lot of parts were sourced from other manufacturers, making service interesting and sometimes much less expensive than it otherwise would be. The 'backbone' the car sits on is from Lotus (Lotus Esprit) as well as the windshield. The brakes/pads were from the same company that was supplying Jaguar at the time. The A/C system was a GM/Delco unit, same as on some Cadillacs. And so on...

    Though underpowered, the handling was good for the time, especially considering its 65/35 rear weight distribution (it was a true rear-engine car, not mid-engine). Lotus, whose engineering group is still doing chassis tuning for other car companies today, is responsible for the DeLoreans handling. Note the rear tires were larger than the fronts. Try tossing around a Fiero to see the difference the engineering makes. The brakes were pretty good for their time (pre ABS/Monster rotor size).

    Build Quality and reliability increased with production (VIN) number. The first thousand or so cars had to be extensively re-worked when they arrived in the USA to fix manufacturing and design errors. Later cars were bolted together much, much better. And I do mean bolter. I swear that you could almost completely tear down a DeLorean with just a 10mm socket wrench. Also, there were about 2200 design changes (big and small) from the first car to the last one off the line. I know several late '81s that had over 100,000 miles put on them without needing excessive maintenance.

    Most of the DeLoreans were 1981 models, with a few '82 and '83 models. The DeLorean plant shut down and restarted near the end. Early '81s had black interiors, and the rest had Grey (a big improvement IMHO). For the '82s and '83s you could get the Black interior as an option. It was a comfy car to ride in. I had passengers fall asleep on me several times.

    None of the cars was ever painted at the factory. All painted cars were done aftermarket. The thick type 304 Stainless Steel panels had an epoxy coating and were designed to last at least 25 years. At the time of the DeLorean's design, most cars still regul
    • In 1982, there were only 4 car models being sold that were rated as having over 200 peak horsepower.
      ???

      1978 Porsche 911 Turbo (930) - 320 hp

      1982 Porsche 928 - 220 hp

      1982 Ferrari Mondial 8 - 205 hp

      1982 Ferrari 308 - 240 hp

      1982 Ferrari 512 BBi (Boxer) - 340 hp

      1982 Lamborghini Countach - 375 hp

      1982 Lamborghini Jalpa - 255 hp

      1982 Jaguar XJS - 262 hp

      1982 Aston Martin V8 Volante - 263 hp

      • Thanks for doing some homework for me. Seriously.

        The quote of "only 4" cars is something I took from Car & Driver Magazine, and I am unsure how they may have qualified it.

        Your list is very instructive though; all of those cars would be considered "exotics" (the Jag a little less so) and I do believe that some of them (the 512BBi and Jalpa for starters) were not available for sale in the US due primarily to emissions.

        A little more research may be needed to be definitive, but I think the point I made is
  • Maybe Betamax and Cavaricci's can be next.
  • It's full of drugs!

    My apologies to Arthur C. Clarke.

  • Jokes (Score:2, Funny)

    Jokes from back in the day when John D was busted:

    DeLoreans are the only car to have snow tires mounted on all four wheels as standard equipment.

    DeLoreans have chronic alignment problems. They always veer toward the white line.

    The best fashion statement of the era was to own a DeLorean with license plates made by John himself.

    Ba-dum-bah!

    • "The DeLorean is the only car to come with rear-view mirrors installed horizontally. Also, the printed warning reads 'Officers in mirror are closer than they appear.' "

  • Why do I seem to recall something about DeLoreans and cocaine being sold with them... and a subsequent arrest. Maybe a shady dealer or something? This is from way back and I could be completely wrong ... Anyone?
  • Will the MAKErs have a flux capacitor and Mr Fusion DIY aftermarket addon kit/howto before the actual car rolls off the assembly line, or shortly there after? It'll be the "real world" fr1st p05T effect.
  • Sometimes you see a Delorian in the twin cities. WOW are those things low to the ground. They seemed much taller in Back to the Future, but then you realize Michael J Fox is a short individual. You read about the horsepower, etc, and find out it's not the hotrod Doc Brown's car made it out to be. In today's engines, you would expect at least 300+ horsepower with a V6. But it has less power than my Mini Cooper S(that weighs 2700 lbs!).

    Trust me, as a car nut, I would LOVE a Delorian. It's a car I WANT to like

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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