DMC DeLorean DMC-12

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DeLorean DMC-12





The DMC DeLorean is a rear-engine two-passenger sports car manufactured and marketed by John DeLorean's DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) for the American market from 1981 until 1983—ultimately the only car brought to market by the fledgling company. The DeLorean is sometimes referred to by its internal DMC pre-production designation, DMC-12 However, the DMC-12 name was never used in sales or marketing material for the production model.Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and noted for its gull-wing doors and brushed stainless-steel outer body panels, the sports car was also noted for a lack of power and performance incongruous with its looks and price. With the first production car completed on January 21, 1981, the design incorporated numerous minor revisions to the hood, wheels and interior before production ended in late December 1982, shortly after DMC filed for bankruptcy and after total production reached about 9,000 units.When details surrounding the DeLorean were first announced in the mid-1970s, there were numerous plans and rumors that the DeLorean would have many advanced features, such as elastic reservoir moulding (ERM), a unit construction plastic chassis, a mid-engine layout, an airbag, 10-mph bumpers and ultrawide Pirelli P7 tires; none of these would materialize in the production vehicle.Originally, the car was intended to have a centrally-mounted Wankel rotary engine. The engine selection was reconsidered when Comotor production ended and the favored engine became the Ford Cologne V6 engine.Appearing in October 1976, the first prototype was completed by American automotive chief engineer William T. Collins, formerly chief engineer at Pontiac. The prototype was initially known as the DSV-1, or DeLorean Safety Vehicle. As development continued, the model was referred to as the DSV-12, before changing to DMC-12, the "12" deriving from the target list price of $12,000 upon release.The Ford V6 engine would soon be abandoned in favor of the complete drivetrain from the Citroën CX 2000—deemed a more reliable choice. The 1,985 cc (121 cu in) I4 engine from Citroën was ultimately deemed underpowered for the DeLorean. When Citroën learned of DMC plans to turbocharge the engine, Citroën suggested that DMC find another engine. Eventually the fuel-injected V6 PRV engine (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo) was selected. As a result, the engine location had to be moved from the mid-engined location in Prototype 1 to a rear-engined location in Prototype 2, a configuration which would be retained in the production vehicle.The chassis was initially planned to use elastic reservoir moulding (ERM), which would lighten the car and lower its production costs. DeLorean had purchased patent rights to the essentially untested ERM technology, and it was eventually found unsuitable.Prototype 1’s interior was significantly different from the production vehicle’s. Prototype 1 had a prominent full-width knee bar, as it was intended to be a safety car. A medium brown leather covered the seats, but they were much flatter and didn’t have the comfort and support of the production seats. A black steering wheel with a fat center was intended to hold an airbag and the driver had a full set of Stewart-Warner gauges. A central warning system would check various fluid levels and even warn of low brake pad thickness though, even at this time, it was suspected that production cars wouldn’t have this feature.These and other changes to the original concept led to considerable schedule pressures. The design was deemed to require almost complete re-engineering, which was turned over to English engineer Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars. Chapman replaced most of the unproven material and manufacturing techniques with those then employed by Lotus, including a steel backbone chassis.In order to train the workforce, a small number of pre-production DeLoreans were produced with fiberglass bodies and are referred to as "black cars" or mules. After several delays and cost overruns, production at the Dunmurry factory, located a few miles from Belfast City Centre, finally began in late 1980. Around this time DMC officially dropped the name DMC-12 on its now $25,000 car in favor of the model name DeLorean. The DeLorean sports car, as it was described in advertisements, began production in December 1980 with the first production car rolling off the assembly line on January 21, 1981.The DeLorean Motor Company was placed into receivership in February 1982 and filed bankruptcy on October 26 of that year, just a few days after the arrest of its founder, John DeLorean, on drug trafficking charges. Consolidated International purchased the unsold DeLoreans and partially completed DeLoreans still on the assembly line and assembled approximately 100 cars to finish the remaining production on December 24, 1982.

Prior to the release of the DeLorean, there was a waiting list of anxious buyers, many of whom paid over MSRP. However, that exuberance subsided very quickly and production output soon far exceeded sales volume. October 1981 was the highest month of sales for DMC with 720 vehicles sold but by December, the US was falling into recession and interest rates were rising which further negatively impacted sales. Despite this, instead of reducing production, John DeLorean doubled production output, further adding to the backlog of unsold cars. By the end of 1981, DMC had produced 7,500 cars but had sold only 3,000. By this point, DMC was in a financial hardship having sold only 350 units in January 1982 and in February of that year, DMC was placed into receivership.In February 1982, unsold 1981 model year cars were “priced for immediate clearance” in hopes to make room for the more expensive 1982 model year cars. In March, telegrams were sent to all 343 dealerships requesting each buy six cars to help save the company; none of the dealers responded with a sales order. By this point, dealers were sitting on unsold inventory as were the quality assurance centers and hundreds more sitting on the docks in Long Beach, California. By the end of May 1982, production at the factory was shut down. Another attempt in July 1982 was made to revive sales by offering discounts to dealerships and offering a 5-year/50,000-mile (80,000 km) warranty with the first year or 12,000-mile (19,000 km) portion secured by a major insurance carrier but this was not successful.Production information was lost or scattered upon the shutdown of DMC and production figures for the DeLorean have never been verified based on official factory records. Despite some unexplained VIN gaps, based upon VIN information, owners have been able to piece together the approximate quantity of DeLoreans produced.In February 1982, DMC was placed into receivership and the factory continued to operate at a reduced production rate until the end of May. When Consolidated International acquired the unsold and partially assembled cars in November 1982, it brought back workers to complete the cars remaining on the assembly line. It was decided to make the remaining completed 1982 model year cars into 1983 models. The remaining cars' VINs were re-VINed into 1983 cars by taking the original VIN number and adding 5000 to it and changing the "CD" in the middle of the VIN to "DD" thus making a 1983 model. For the 1981 model year, there were 6,700 DeLoreans produced (VIN 500–7199). For the 1982 model year, there were 1,999 DeLoreans produced (VIN 10001–11999). For the 1983 model year, there were 276 DeLoreans (VIN 17000–17170 and 20001–20105) bringing the total estimated production to 8,975 cars.The DeLorean features a number of unusual construction details, including gull-wing doors, unpainted stainless-steel body panels, and a rear-mounted engine.The body design of the DeLorean was a product of Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign; to create the car, Giugiaro drew on one of his previous works, the Porsche Tapiro, a concept car from 1970. The body is paneled in brushed SS304 austenitic stainless steel, and except for three cars plated in 24-karat gold, all DeLoreans left the factory uncovered by paint or clearcoat. Painted DeLoreans do exist, although these were all painted after the cars were purchased from the factory.Small scratches in the stainless-steel body panels can be removed with a non-metallic scouring pad (since metal pads can leave iron particles embedded in the stainless steel, which can give the appearance of the stainless "rusting"), or even sandpaper. The stainless-steel panels are fixed to a fiberglass underbody. The underbody is affixed to a steel double-Y frame chassis, inspired by the Lotus Esprit platform. The chassis was coated with epoxy, a material that protects steel against corrosion.Another distinctive feature of the DeLorean is its gull-wing doors. The DeLorean features heavy doors supported by cryogenically preset torsion bars and nitrogen-charged struts. These torsion bars and struts were developed by American aircraft company Grumman Aerospace. The doors featured red and amber lights to mark their edges at night and small cutout windows, because full-sized windows would not be fully retractable within the short door panels. Although early production cars had fitment problems due to faulty striker plates and issues with weather seals, these were tolerable because gull-wing doors allowed occupants to enter and exit the car in tight parking places as well as attracting attention from people nearby.The DeLorean's engine is a Peugeot-Renault-Volvo (PRV) 2.85 L (174 cu in) SOHC V6, rated at 130 hp (132 PS; 97 kW) at 5,500 rpm and torque of 153 lb⋅ft (207 N⋅m) at 2,750 rpm. These PRVs were a development of the 2.7-litre V6 used in the Renault 30 that were designed and built under special contract with the DeLorean Motor Company.

This engine has a 90-degree layout with a light-alloy block with cast iron cylinder liners and light-alloy heads with cross-flow hemi-chambers. It is cooled by a front-mounted radiator with twin-thermostatically controlled electric cooling fans. The engine has a 91 mm bore and 73 mm stroke, a compression ratio of 8.8:1 and was fitted with a Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system.
Two transmissions were available for the DeLorean: a 5-speed manual and a 3-speed automatic, both with a final drive ratio of 3.44:1.
The DeLorean has a four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs, and telescopic shock absorbers. The front suspension uses double wishbones, while the rear is a multi-link setup.
When the DeLorean first arrived in the US, the car had a higher-than-expected wheel gap in the front suspension. Despite having significantly less weight in the front, the front and rear springs had the same spring rate and used lower-quality steel, which resulted in the nose-high look. Some people have cited a last-minute change in US bumper height requirements led DMC to raise the vehicle just prior to delivery; however, this is not true. Design drawings show that the design met NHTSA minimum bumper and headlight heights of the time.
Steering is rack and pinion, with an overall steering ratio of 14.9:1, giving 2.65 turns lock-to-lock and a 35-foot (11 m) curb-to-curb turning circle. DeLoreans are equipped with cast alloy wheels, measuring 14 inches (360 mm) in diameter by 6 inches (150 mm) wide on the front and 15 inches (380 mm) in diameter by 8 inches (200 mm) wide on the rear. These were fitted with 195/60-14 (front) and 235/60-15 (rear) Goodyear NCT steel-belted radial tires. The DeLorean is a rear-engine vehicle with a 35%–65% front–rear weight distribution.
The DeLorean features power-assisted disc brakes on all wheels, with 10-inch (250 mm) rotors in front and 10.5-inch (270 mm) in the rear.
A 3-speed automatic transmission, priced at $650 MSRP, was the only extra cost factory option. Interior color choices were grey or black. The grey interior became available mid-1981 model year. The standard feature list included stainless-steel body panels, gull-wing doors with cryogenically treated torsion bars, 5-speed manual transmission, Bridge of Weir leather seats, air conditioning, AM/FM cassette stereo system, power windows, locks and mirrors, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, tinted glass, body side moldings, intermittent windshield wipers, and electric rear-window defogger.
Several dealer options were available, including a car cover, sheepskin seat covers, floor mats, car care cleaning kit, black textured accent stripes, grey scotch-cal accent stripes, a luggage rack and a ski-rack adapter.

Sold for: 123200 USD
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