The original DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) is an 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 shot to worldwide fame in the Back to the Future movie trilogy as the car made into a time machine by eccentric scientist Doctor Emmett L. 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; Garden Grove, California; Bellevue, Washington and Hem, The Netherlands.
The DeLorean DMC-12 (commonly referred to simply as The DeLorean as it was the only model ever produced by the company) is a sports car manufactured by John DeLorean's DeLorean Motor Company for the American market in 1981–82. Featuring gull-wing doors with a fiberglass "underbody", to which non-structural brushed stainless steel panels are affixed, the car became iconic for the appearance of a modified version as a time machine in the Back to the Future film trilogy.
The first prototype appeared in October 1976, and production officially began in 1981 in Dunmurry, a suburb of south west Belfast, Northern Ireland (with the first DMC-12 rolling off the production line on January 21). During its production, several features of the car were changed, such as the hood style, wheels and interior. Approximately 9,000 DMC-12s were made before production halted in late 1982.
The DMC-12 was the only model produced by the company which would go into liquidation as the US car market went through its largest slump since the 1930s. In 2007, about 6,500 DeLorean Motor cars were believed to still exist.
Texas entrepreneur Stephen Wynne 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, completes newly assembled 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.