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DeLorean Prototype & Production

November 1 – April 30, 2017Delorean Prototype Car

One is the very FIRST DeLorean DMC-12 Prototype car from 1976 and the other is a 1981 Delorean DMC-12 Coupe production model.   Having the two available side by side gives you the opportunity to see the differences and enjoy a double dose of these iconic automobiles!  We expect them to be on view until the end of April 2018.

Delorean Duo

The Prototype DeLorean (1976) came directly from working on a movie set about the life of John DeLorean, being played by Alec Baldwin, and scheduled for release later in 2018 for XYZ Films.  In October 1976, the first prototype DeLorean DMC-12 was completed by American Automotive Chief Engineer William T. Collins, formerly employed at Pontiac.  Originally, the car was intended to have a centrally mounted Wankel rotary engine.  The engine selection was reconsidered when Comotor production ended and the favored engine became Ford’s “Cologne V6.”  Eventually, the French/Swedish PRV (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo) fuel injected V6 was selected.  In addition, the engine location moved from the mid-engined location in the prototype to a rear-engined installation in the production car.  The chassis was initially planned to be produced for a new and untested manufacturing technology known as elastic reservoir moulding (ERM), which would lighten the car while presumably lowering its production costs.  DeLorean required $175 million to develop and build the motor company.  Convincing Hollywood celebrities such as Jonny Carson and Sammy Davis, Jr. to invest in the firm.  The vehicle is on loan to the Museum courtesy of Kenneth D. Ullman of Gulf Coast Motor Works.

 

The 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 Coupe

The body design of the DMC-12 was a product of Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italy Design and is paneled in brushed SS304 stainless steel.  Except for three cars plated in 24-carat gold, all DMC-12s left the factory uncovered by paint or clearcoat.  Painted DeLoreans do exist, although these were all painted after the cars were purchased from the factory.  Several hundred DMCs were produced without stainless panels, for training workers, and are referred to as “black cars” or “mules”, in reference to their black fiberglass panels instead of stainless, though these were never marketed.

The DeLorean became widely know and iconic for its appearance as a modified DMC-12 that was immortalized as the DeLorean time machine in the Back to the Future franchise and the Wedding Singer movie.

The one on view is a five-speed manual transmission with approximately 500 miles on the odometer.     This vehicle is on loan to the Museum courtesy of Kenneth D. Ullman of Gulf Coast Motor Works.

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