15 Fascinating Facts About the DeLorean DMC-12

The DeLorean DMC-12 is a car that has captured the public’s imagination like few others, thanks to its unique design, limited production run, and prominent role in pop culture. Here’s a list of 18 mysteries and myths that surround this iconic vehicle, each with a detailed explanation:

Time Travel Capabilities

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Popularized by the “Back to the Future” film series, the myth that the DeLorean could time travel captured imaginations worldwide. While purely fictional, this myth is rooted in the car’s futuristic design and gull-wing doors, which gave it a sci-fi appearance.

John DeLorean’s FBI Sting Operation

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John DeLorean, the car’s creator, was famously caught in an FBI sting operation involving drug trafficking. This incident, though he was acquitted, added a layer of intrigue and mystery to the DeLorean story, casting a shadow over the car and its legacy.

Unusual Production Materials

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The DMC-12’s stainless steel body and gull-wing doors are unique in automotive history. The use of stainless steel led to myths about the car’s durability and rust resistance, although in reality, the material presented challenges in manufacturing and repair.

Underwhelming Performance

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Despite its sporty looks, the DeLorean was often criticized for its lackluster performance. Myths arose that its engine was deliberately detuned or that prototypes had much higher performance, neither of which have been conclusively proven.

Connection with Lotus

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The DMC-12’s design and engineering were heavily influenced by Lotus, particularly the Lotus Esprit. This connection led to rumors about shared parts and design elements, some of which are true, but often exaggerated in car enthusiast circles.

Rare Gold-Plated Versions

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A very limited number of DeLoreans were gold-plated, as part of a promotional campaign with American Express. These rare models have become the stuff of legend, with many myths about their whereabouts and value.

Hidden Features and Easter Eggs

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There are numerous myths about hidden features or Easter eggs in the DMC-12, such as secret compartments or special editions with unique capabilities, most of which are unfounded.

The DeLorean Hovercraft Myth

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A modern myth is the existence of a DeLorean hovercraft, fueled by images and videos of custom-built hovercrafts. These are, in fact, fan creations and not actual production models.

Failed Revival Attempts

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Over the years, there have been several attempts to revive the DeLorean brand and restart production. Myths abound regarding these attempts, often exaggerating the progress made or the involvement of original team members.

The DeLorean in Motorsports

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There’s a persistent myth that the DeLorean was used in professional motorsports. In reality, its racing history is minimal, mostly limited to enthusiast and amateur events.

Alleged Design Changes

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Myths persist about major design changes during the car’s development, with some claiming that initial prototypes were radically different from the production model. However, most changes were minor and related to regulatory compliance.

Involvement with Other Car Companies

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Myths often link the DeLorean to various other car companies, suggesting secret partnerships or influence in its design. These stories are largely speculative and not supported by concrete evidence.

The Mystery of Missing Serial Numbers

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There are rumors about missing or skipped serial numbers in DeLorean production, leading to speculation about hidden or secret batches of cars. The reality is more mundane, often related to record-keeping issues.

Supernatural Stories

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Some enthusiasts share supernatural stories involving DeLoreans, from ghost sightings in abandoned factories to cursed vehicles. These are purely part of the car’s folklore.

Prototype Variants

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Myths about various prototype variants of the DeLorean, including different body styles or advanced tech, are common. While there were a few prototypes, none were as exotic as the myths suggest.

This article originally appeared on MyCarMakesNoise.

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Author: Dave Johnston

Dave is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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