The Delorean Motor Company (DMC) is an American automobile manufacturer formed by automobile industry executive John DeLorean in 1975. It is remembered for the one model it produced — the distinctive stainless steel DeLorean DMC-12 sports car featuring gull-wing doors—and for its brief and turbulent history, ending in receivership and bankruptcy in 1982. Near the end, in a desperate attempt to raise the funds his company needed to survive, John DeLorean was filmed appearing to accept money to take part in drug trafficking, but was subsequently acquitted of charges brought against him on the basis of entrapment.
The DeLorean DMC-12 featured memorably in the Back to the Future movie trilogy, as the model of car made into a time machine by eccentric scientist Doc Brown, although the company had ceased to exist before the first movie was made.
In 1995, Liverpool-born mechanic Stephen Wynne started a separate company using the “DeLorean Motor Company” name and shortly thereafter acquired the remaining parts inventory and the stylized “DMC” logo trademark of DeLorean Motor Company. The current DeLorean Motor Company located near Houston is not, and has never been, associated with the original company but supports owners of DeLorean cars. DMC (Texas), as they are known, has an additional five authorized, franchised dealers in Bonita Springs, Florida; Crystal Lake, Illinois; Huntington Beach, California; Bellevue, Washington and Hem, Netherlands.
The first prototype appeared in October 1976. Production officially began in 1981 in Dunmurry, a suburb of southwest Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the first DMC-12 rolled off the production line on January 21. Over the course of production, several features of the car were changed, such as the hood style, wheels and interior. About 9,000 DMC-12s were made before production halted in early 1983.
The DMC-12 was the only model produced by the company, which was later liquidated as the US car market went through its largest slump since the 1930s. In 2007, about 6,500 DeLorean Motor cars were believed still to exist.
British entrepreneur Stephen Wynne, based in Texas, started a separate company in 1995 using the “DeLorean Motor Company” name and shortly thereafter acquired the trademark on the stylized “DMC” logo as well as the remaining parts inventory of the original DeLorean Motor Company. The company, at its suburban Humble, Texas, location, builds new cars from new old stock (NOS) parts, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and reproduction parts on a “made to order” basis using existing vehicle identification number (VIN) plates.