The future is looking very bright for car manufacturer DeLorean Motor Company. The Humble, Texas-based company recently announced plans to start production of a souped-up version of the iconic DMC-12, a model recognizable to many film enthusiasts as the time-travelling car in the Back to the Future franchise.
The announcement was made after Congress passed a bill last December easing up the requirements for small-volume manufacturers of replica vehicles. The company said in a statement that for nearly five decades, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not distinguish between industry giants and small businesses that produce only a few custom cars in a year, subjecting all to the same requirements that are deemed restrictive to the small time players.
The landscape is all going to change now with the introduction of the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, H.H. 2675. The original DeLorean Company based in Ireland built 9,000 DeLorean DMC-12 cars between 1981 and 1983 before it filed for bankruptcy. Later in 1997, a Texas-based group acquired the original Belfast factory along with leftover parts and made a business of refurbishing the original DeLoreans.
Just last year, the company made a settlement with the estate of John DeLorean’s wife acquiring the name and trademarks of the original company in the process. With the new legislation in place, everything is set for the company to manufacture its first ever DeLorean car 30 years after it appeared in the sci-fi movie Back to the Future.
A Sportier DMC 12
The new DMC 12 will still retain the original’s look especially the iconic gull-wing design. However, since the original model only came with a 130 HP engine – the 2016 Toyota Corolla is more powerful by comparison – the company will replace the original engine with a significantly more powerful one, though the actual engine to be used is not yet revealed as of press time.
DeLorean CEO Stephen Wynne told KPRC-TV in Houston that Delorean plans to sell at least 300 units of these newer, more powerful DMC-12 units with a projected price tag of around $100,000 each. Production is slated to start in 2017 at a rate of 1 car per week.
South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune highlights the Congress’ role in the iconic car’s resurrection. As the chairman of Congress’ Commerce Committee, Senator Thune explains that provisions were introduced into the FAST Act that aims to reform existing regulations that stifle small business growth. He added that he is excited to actually see the reforms in action which resulted to the iconic car’s revival and the creation of new jobs and business opportunities.