Great Scott! It came in gold. In 1981, American Express and DeLorean Motor Company offered a 24 karat gold-plated DeLorean. The catch? It could only be purchased with an American Express Gold Card. The retail price - $85,000. DeLoreans are expected to make a comeback in 2017.
"John DeLorean was the text book bad boy of car design," says co-writer and producer of Back to the Future, Bob Gale. "He was the guy who came up with the Pontiac GTO. Everyone wanted one in my high school." The 1985 Back to the Future film would feature the DMC-12 DeLorean -- as time travel machine of choice.
John DeLorean, the man behind the machine, poses with his dream sports car -- the eponymous DMC-12 DeLorean. Of the decision to use the DeLorean in the Back to the Future film, co-writer and producer Bob Gale says: "There was something dangerous, counterculture, something gorgeous about how beautiful that car was and we loved those gull-wing doors." While the movie was being scripted, DeLorean was on trial for allegedly trying to smuggle $24 million dollars worth of cocaine. DeLorean was later acquitted by reason of entrapment.
CEO of Houston-based DeLorean Motor Company (not affiliated with John DeLorean's original company), recalls how radical the DMC-12's design was, when it first entered the market. "If you sort of roll the clock back to the early 80s, the automotive environment was quite boring. Regulations were changing in the US for safety and emissions. People didn't know what would be legal anymore. The DeLorean was the Tesla of the 80s. It was breaking all the rules."
British manufacturer Lotus Cars designed the chassis, or the internal framework, of the DMC-12.
Members from the DeLorean Owners Club UK (DOC) gather for a rally at the Gaydon Motor Heritage Centre. DeLoreans, manufactured in Belfast, but primarily intended for the American market, were for the most part, left-hand drives. DOC club historian Chris Parnham estimates 150 DeLoreans (right-hand drives) remain in the UK.
The original DeLorean Motor Company was based in a suburb in Belfast, Northern Island. After a mere 12-months into production, the company went into receivership and was bankrupt by 1982.
This photo shows American talk show host Johnny Carson and John DeLorean during the public unveiling of the DeLorean Motor Car on February 8, 1981 in Los Angeles. Carson invested $500,000 DeLorean Motor Company -- which he later called, an "ill-fated investment."
Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd star in 1985's blockbuster hit, Back to the Future. To celebrate the film, Universal Pictures is releasing a Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy edition on Blu-ray and DVD. The release will coincide with Oct 21, 2015, the date Marty (Fox) and Doc (Lloyd) travel forward in time in Back to the Future 2.
In the first film installment, Doc Brown uses plutonium to create a nuclear reaction strong enough to produce 1.21 gigawatts of electricity.
The original script saw Doc Brown building a time machine out of a refrigerator. But in pre-production, the logistics of a stationary time traveling device were proving difficult. Director Robert Zemeckis suggested that the time machine be mobile, and built into a car. The rest is history.
The film predicts that in the future, roads aren't needed.
No DeLorean time travel machine is complete without a signature 'outatime' license plate.
In Back to the Future 3, Marty (Michael J. Fox) travels back in time to 1885, to America's Wild West. Marty goes to save Doc (Christopher Lloyd) who's trapped in the past. The DeLorean plays a final role. It's pushed by a locomotive train to get it up to the necessary 88 mph it needs to travel in time.
100 DeLorean cars and their owners convene at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2007. Production on the car ceased in 1982. There are an estimated 6,000 DeLoreans left in the world.
Fans have rigged their own DeLoreans with key time travel components inspired by the movie. This dashboard reflects Oct 21, 2015, the date Marty and Doc travel forward in time in Back to the Future 2.