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The DeLorean Motor Company (NYSE: DMC), more often simply DeLorean, is an American multinational automotive manufacturing company based in Detroit, Michigan. Founded by highly successful engineer John DeLorean (designer of the Pontiac GTO and Firebird and the Chevrolet Vega as well as later models of the Nova) in October 1975, the company is well-known for its popular sports and racing cars, and probably best for the "C" series sports coupe (C-2) featured in the 1985 film Back to the Future and its subsequent sequels. From 1983 to 1987, the company expanded its inventory to sedans, pickup trucks, minivans, SUVs, and commercial vehicles, all with the signature stainless steel exterior and gull wing doors patented with the "C" series, another company staple. Starting in 1991, DeLorean began selling all-electric models (the "E" series) of every major production vehicle, and following tradition, they began with the latest C series, the C-4, labeling it the C-4/E.
The company's largest consumer base is in North America, primarily those of the United States, Canada, Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies.
- United States – DeLorean's headquarters and its largest manufacturing plant are located in the city of Detroit, Michigan. Other major US plants include their East Linton Plant in Dakota, the West Lansing Plant in Michigan, the Heath and Grove City Plants in Ohio, the Houston Plant in Texas, the Jackson and Sevierville Plants in Tennessee, and the Carolina Plant in San Juan, PR. The company plans to expand its manufacturing base westward in the next decade, and is already looking into acquiring property in Jefferson, Columbia, and the Californias, an ambitious move that could "...make or break DMC..." according to Newsweek. The potential expansion is based on the lack of major auto plants west of the Plains States, a fact which DMC hopes to capitalize on.
- Canada –
- Central America –
- Mexico –
- West Indies –
- United Kingdom (DeLorean of Britain) – DMC's first major European manufacturing plant was built near Dublin, Ireland, UK in the late 1970s. Three additional plants have since been established in the UK at Liverpool and Ipswich in England and East Kilbride in Scotland. To this day, the Dunmurry Plant remains DeLorean's largest manufacturer in the world outside the United States.
- Germany (DeLorean Auto von Deutschland/DeLorean Auto of Germany) –
- France (DeLorean of France) –
- Italy (DeLorean of Italy) –
- Japan (DeLorean of Japan) –
- Korea (Hangug DeLorean-e /DeLorean of Korea) –
- South Africa (DeLorean of South Africa) –
- Brazil (DeLorean of Brazil) –
- Argentina (DeLorean Auto de Argentina/DeLorean Auto of Argentina) –
- Colombia (DeLorean of Colombia) –
- Australasia (DeLorean of Australasia) –
Now-staple features of DeLoreans – pioneered with the C series – include stainless steel exterior body paneling, gull-wing doors, and the rear engine/forward trunk configuration, the latter of which is unique to the C and S series. Pre-1988 models had fixed windows with small side vents, but since 1989, have included power windows as a standard feature that can only be opened when the doors are closed, regardless of if the engine is on or not. In addition, pre-'88 models had more powerful air conditioning units as well, due to the early fixed-window/small vent configuration and their subsequent inability to adequately open in high temperature environments.
- “A” series sports coupe (1976)
- “B” series sports coupe (1978)
"C" series coupe (1980-present)
The C series is DeLorean's first and undoubtedly most iconic vehicle, with a 1984 model C-2 being the centerpiece of the Back to the Future film trilogy and now a part of Hollywood legend. As many as six different vehicles were used in the production of the films; five still exist at various locations in the United States, while the sixth was destroyed at the end of Back to the Future Part III.
As part of an American Express promotion for the 1980 Christmas season, DMC produced 100 limited edition C-1s with 24k gold exterior paneling and red-brown leather interiors. Twenty-five of them were given as the grand prize in various US and international sweepstakes; the other seventy-five were sold mostly to wealthy business owners and a few 'lucky' people able to afford the up-front $22,500 price tag, as much as seven and a half times the price of a baseline C series ($3,000 in 1980).
Convertible C-1 and C-2 models were produced as well, and are fairly common, though later models (namely the C-3 and current C-4) are much rarer.
- C-1 (1980-1982) – the original commercial production model DeLorean, the C-1 first rolled off the Dunmurry assembly line in the early summer of 1980.
- C-2 (1983-1985) – the second production model DeLorean. Made famous by the appearance of a heavily modified 1984 C-2 in the blockbuster 1985 film Back to the Future and its subsequent (1989 and 1990) sequels.
- C-3 (1986-1990) –
- C-4|C-4/E (1991-present) –
"E" series all-electrics (1991-present)
While considered a 'latecomer' to the electric vehicle market, DeLorean has readily and enthusiastically adopted the technology, starting with the 1991 model C-4, labeled the C-4/E. The Essen Plant in Germany rolled out the first production model C-4/E that December, while the Dunmurry and Detroit Plants were the first to turn out the S-3/E in the spring of '92.
- C-4/E (1991-present) –
- T-2/E (1993-1995) –
- T-3/E (1996-present) –
- V-2/E (1993-present) –
- S-3/E|S-3W/E (1992-present) –
- D-2/E (1991-present) –
"S" series sedan (1983-present)
The S series was the second to be conceived of by John DeLorean, and the company's first sedan, likely as a way to open a door into the family car market. The S-2 series was the period in which power windows were added to all DMC production vehicles (1988-89), necessitating development of yet another child-proofing system for the cars.
Convertible versions of all three model series have been produced, and though a commercial success, they aren't as common or popular as their C series counterparts. Station wagon variants have also been available since 1983.
- S-1|S-1W (1983-1986) – the third production model DeLorean, the second commercially produced series, and the first sedan.
- S-2|S-2W (1987-1991) –
- S-3|3/E|3W|3W/E (1992-present) –
"T" series pickup (1985-present)
- T-1 (1985-1989) –
- T-2|T-2/E (1990-1995) –
- T-3|T-3/E (1996-present) –
"V" series minivan (1987-present)
- V-1 (1987-1992) –
- V-2|V-2/E (1993-present) –
SUV series (1987-present)
- D-1 (1987-1991) –
- D-2|D-2/E (1991-present) –
(Note: 'D' is an abbreviation for Dunmurry, Ireland, UK where DMC's first factory was built. The Dunmurry plant continues in its original capacity, but at a much higher rate of production.)
"L" series limousine (1985-present)
- L-1/A|L-1/B (1985-1988) –
- L-2 (1989-1993) –
- L-3|L-3/E (1994-present) –
"S-C" series commercial (1985-present)
A slightly elongated version of the S series sedan, the S-C is manufactured solely for commercial and government use, largely as taxicabs and occasionally as police vehicles or private transports.
- S-C1 (1985-1990) –
- S-C2|S-T2/E (1991-present) –
- S-C3/E (in development) –
In Popular Culture
- One of the first, and probably best-known appearances of a DeLorean in popular culture was the Steven Spielberg-produced 1985 blockbuster Back to the Future, where an eccentric scientist named Emmett 'Doc' Brown (Christopher Lloyd) of the fictional town of Hill Valley, North California, creates a time machine using a heavily modified 1984 C-2. Seventeen year-old Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is a close friend of the semi-reclusive Brown, and following a confrontation with Sumatran militants in which Doc is shot (and presumably killed), Marty uses the DeLorean to escape, and inadvertently travels back in time 30 years, to 1955. There, Marty accidentally interferes with his parents' timeline and must literally race against time (with the help of 1955 Doc) to ensure that his parents, Lorraine (Lea Thompson) and George (Crispin Glover) fall in love; Marty's interference actually ends up making his life far better than it was originally.
- The limousine used to transport John McClane from the airport in the first Die Hard film was a 1987 model L-1/A.
- The Evans family van in 1993's The Good Son is a 1993 V-2/E.