All text © diseno-art.com 2010
Well really it's an open and shut case. Sure there have
been some contenders for the title of 'World's Most Over
Hyped Car', but even the front runners are miles behind
that most heinous of automobiles, the DeLorean DMC-12.
Everything about this car was advertised as being so right,
so good and so futuristic. How wrong they were. Sadly
everything about the DMC-12 summed up the 1980s. It was
poorly designed, high maintenance and had a shady background.
It was designed for the North American market, but produced
in Northern Ireland. The first production models were
in service by the early 1980s. The first breakdowns were
also in the early 1980s. In fact they were so bad production
only lasted just over a year. During the manufacturing
run around 9,000 DMC-12s managed to escape through the
factory gates and into the wild.
The DeLorean DMC-12 venture was made possible by the shady
business practices of John DeLorean. DeLorean secured
the millions needed to finance his project by persuading
Hollywood legends like Sammy Davis Junior and Johnny Carson
to invest in his startup company. From day one the things
started to go wrong. The factory was staffed with highly
paid but also highly unskilled workers who pretty much
put the cars together using nails and bits of string.
Then John DeLorean was arrested on drug trafficking charges
only a year into the cars production run. Even though
he was later found not-guilty, the company in the meantime
had declared bankruptcy. Needless to say Sammy and Johnny
didn't make money on their investment.
But it wasn't just the whole depressing saga of the company
as a whole which made the DeLorean DMC-12 an over hyped
failure. It was also a fantastically bad car itself.
200 horsepower had been promised, as had a rotary engine.
In the end however it was fitted with an asthmatic 170
hp V6 unit. Add to that the emissions regulations which
were required by the US government and power dropped to
a woeful 130 hp - a pitiful figure for an expensive sports
car. The DMC-12's handling was also less than stellar
thanks to other US regulations which required the ride
height to be increased.
The stainless steel bodywork, which had been touted as
being rust and maintenance free was rust free - of course,
but far from maintenance free. Even small imperfections
were easily spotted and difficult to rectify. Not to mention
how easily it showed up fingerprints!
The extravagant gullwing doors were also a flop. Literally.
Many owners found that the gas struts used to hold them
open gave out after a short space of time due to the disproportionate
weight of the doors.
Pretty much everything about the DMC-12 failed to live
up to expectations. Any way you look at it the DMC-12
was a waste of space. It wasn't fast, it couldn't go round
corners, it wasn't cheap, it wasn't easy to live with,
and it wasn't profitable.
All Delorean DMC-12 images by Kevin Abato