In the memorable words of Dr. Brown, “If you’re going to make a time machine, why not do it in style.” DeLorean Motor Company’s out of this world DeLorean DMC-12 certainly makes you start to believe that we’re already living in the future.
The concept of the time travelling car used in the 1985 film, Back to the Future was designed by William T. Collins, the former chief engineer at Pontiac. The concept was to have a sports car of the future in both appearance and substance. Originally planning to feature an innovative chassis made of moulded elastic, including a rotary engine, production pressures saw these ideas scrapped.
The iconic bodywork of the DeLorean was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the man who was also behind the design of the 1976 Lotus Esprit S1. The shape of the car coupled with a brushed stainless steel finish, made the car feel like it was far ahead of its time. It appeared as if fresh from the laboratory of an unhinged scientist, like paint was an afterthought, surplus to the function of putting rubber on pavement.
The DeLorean was originally fitted with a Peugeot-Renault-Volvo (PRV) 2.85 litre V6 engine, that was produced by DMC under special contract. Able to power its way from 0–60 miles per hour (0–97 km/h) in 8.8 seconds you could be sure that when you needed to you could gun it up to 88mph into the future.
“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
Finished with red and amber lights, the DMC-12 looked more like a spaceship than a car. With gull-wing doors lifting effortlessly on either side this was certainly the kind of car which could lift off into the clouds. No wonder the Back to the Future franchise was built around it.
The Delorean is more than a car. While it has been immortalised in popular culture by Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd alongside ‘Johnny Be Good’, ‘Flux Capacitors’ and a desire for science to step up and finally build a working hover-board, it represents what every other car is can be, and that is a method of escapism from our day to day lives.
While we may not be able to hijack some plutonium for ourselves and head back in time to address life’s problems and frustrations, we do have our own time machines sitting right in our driveways. Where weekend drives down long winding roads, with scenery rushing past us see the hours melt away with our worries, transport us to a world away from the daily grind.
Be it tinkering under the hood for hours as we try to get the best out of our pride and joy or imagining life as a professional race car driver, whether we’re working on a project or restoration with friends, these cars aren’t just about getting us to where we need to be, they’re a way of living out our dreams! Who needs a time machine when we’ve got our own escape right here!