Maverick automaker John DeLorean died in 2005. The DeLorean Motor Company lives.
Although DeLorean had to deal with public ridicule and legal issues, DeLorean was one of the industry's original disruptors – an innovator who hired a giant company to showcase something new. In DeLorean's case, the car bore his name. With gull-wing doors and a stainless steel chassis, the introduction of the DeLorean DMC-12 in 1982 should be a seismic shift in the automotive business.
Instead, production problems forced his company to bankruptcy. The car would probably have been a 20th century footnote, if not 1985 Back to the Future which would have embedded it in popular culture. Suddenly the DeLorean was no joke anymore. It was as popular and identifiable as the Batmobile. For the past thirty years, collectors have traded parts and kept a small fleet of cars in circulation.
The aftermarket will soon be a little more up-to-date. In a recently released Popular Mechanics profile, Texan entrepreneur Stephen Wynne claims to have targeted production of the vehicle. Instead of buying a used model, DeLorean enthusiasts can buy a new model from the assembly line.
Wynne originally came from Liverpool to the United States in the 1
The parts were sold to car owners. Later, Wynne started the idea of building new DeLoreans. He had enough material for 350 to 400 cars and a plan to replace the limited number of 130 hp engines (70) with a modern 300 to 400 hp engine. The idea was partly borne by a convention law called FAST (short for "Fixing America's Surface Transportation"). In 2015, it will enable the manufacture and sale of small replicas without being subject to applicable vehicle safety standards.
For Wynne, with one exception, this was an ideal situation. The FAST Law requires the Department of Transportation to provide information about specific regulatory details, and the DOT has yet to issue it.
As soon as he is legally able, Wynne plans to produce 22 cars in the first year and then ramp up production. The vehicles are expected to have a price of around $ 100,000. Is it a viable business plan? Wynne believes it. The waiting list of people intending to buy a new DeLorean is over 5,000.
[h/t Popular Mechanics]