My good friends over at Seekonk Car Storage have an awesome new addition to the fleet: a pristine 1981 Delorean that just came in.
If you don't know Seekonk Car Storage by now, you should. They are one of the best car storage facilities out there and I can personally recommend them. If you have a classic car that needs safe, trusted and professional storing, use them. It's located on the east coast and is the perfect location for owners coming to and from Europe and all over the world. Visit their site here and email me here with any questions.
The Delorean is easily one of the coolest cars of all time. Rear-engine. Gullwing doors. Stainless steel body. Sharp modern shape by Giugiaro. Immortalized in Back to the Future.
But truth was stranger than fiction with these things. There was the real-life saga of John Z. Delorean, the car's creator and namesake. John Delorean represented the highs and lows of the American entrepreneurial spirit. He was a genius automotive executive, the brains behind the original Pontiac GTO, Firebird and Grand Prix. And yet when it came time to launch his own brand, he fumbled. He was the original oversees job shipper, having the Delorean built at a plant in Northern Ireland of all places. Why couldn't he have it in the dying Rust Belt of Ronald Reagan's early 80s recession-stricken America? When the company started failing, Delorean got arrested on charges of trafficking cocaine after getting involved with a sleazy former drug dealer turned FBI informant. But it's important to note that Delorean was found not guilty after successfully defending himself in court, proclaiming that "without the government, there would be no crime." The only problem is that he took funds from the government of Northern Ireland to help launch the factory there. Without the government, there would be no Delorean, or at least there might not have been such an unsuccessful Delorean, as handouts rarely work in practice. I wonder how many lives were ruined when the Delorean plant closed? He couldn't have had many friends left by the mid 1980s. The lesson was powerful: steer clear of the government at all costs when starting a business! This is something entrepreneurs should still heed today.
John Delorean's image never recovered from his legal woes. He died in 2005, just as he was supposedly about to revive the brand. All that's left today is the car itself, which has a much brighter feeling, and surviving examples of which still amaze. It is a masterpiece of modern automotive design, with long, clean flat planes and hard corners. Then there are the neat details, like the sectioned side windows (later employed on Giugiaro's Subaru SVX) louvered rear window and gridded taillights. It is extremely well-proportioned and sculpted. Inside is a simple and cozy interior.
In some ways, the Delorean has unexpectedly lived on. A longtime Delorean parts supplier called DMC Texas announced in 2007 they will be completing and selling the chassis of unfinished Deloreans, using 80% old parts and the rest new. The cars have unused VIN numbers and will supposedly be titled as 1980s cars, astonishingly. Talk about a blast from the past. Last year, they said they will be offering an electric version that makes 200 horsepower, accelerates to 60 mph in 8 seconds and has a range of 100 miles between charges, all for $90k. The 80s meets the 2010s. But a world with a Delorean, even an electric one, is better than a world without one. It's a testament to Giugiaro's design, which bucks notions it is dated. Instead, it's turning out to be quite a classic.