(Motorsport-Total.com/Classic-Car.TV) – At first glance, the Gulf Coast Motorworks company in Bonita Springs / Florida in the USA looks like an ordinary sports car dealership. But at the latest when you enter the showroom, a look at what is probably the largest collection of DMC DeLorean vehicles worldwide opens up.
© JÃ¼rgen Lewandowski
Probably the largest DeLorean collection in the world: the Gulf Coast Motorworks showroom in Florida Zoom
Around 20 vehicles are in the showroom and others in the attached workshop. Including the actual prototype of the DMC DeLorean “Proto1”. A very special rarity.
Former General Motors manager John DeLorean had a dream. He wanted to build a sports car that can compete with the best in its class. For this purpose, John DeLorean founded his own company.
DeLorean found support in developing the concept from Bill Collins, a former engineer at Pontiac. The order for the design of a prototype was awarded to Giorgetto Giugaro at Italdesign.
DeLorean Lotus brought on board as a partner. The two-seater gullwing was built on the chassis of the Lotus Esprit. The development of the DMC-12 took two years. A very short time for such a project and this led to some problems in serial production.
The body is made entirely of brushed stainless steel. Decorative and add-on parts made of plastic. A large factory for the production of the DeLorean was built in Belfast, Ireland, with government grants.
Originally a mid-engine
The engine used was the so-called Euromotor, a V6 engine that was built in cooperation with Renault, Peugeot and Volvo. It has a displacement of 2849 cc and an output of 132 hp at 5500 rpm. The DeLorean DMC-12 reached a top speed of 198 km / h. The 1250 kg sports car sprinted from 0 to 100 km / h in 11 seconds. A performance with which the DeLorean could not match its comparable competitor Ferrari or Corvette.
The DeLorean was originally designed as a mid-engine vehicle. However, since the V6 engine was too large, it only found space in the rear of the vehicle and this in turn affected the driving behavior of the sports car. Agility was restricted and the vehicle became very rear-heavy.
The Y-frame of the Lotus Esprit means that the driver’s seat is far away from the passenger seat in the interior. In between, a frame tunnel runs through the interior. The heavy double doors are easy to open and close, but were also often a cause for complaint because they were not really tight or jammed.
Famous movie star
The DeLorean became particularly famous for its appearance in the US film “Back to the Future”, in which the vehicle was converted into a time machine. This gave the DeLorean cult status.
With a new price of around DM 75,000 in 1982, the DMC-12 was very expensive. There were also technical defects and problems that made sales more difficult. DMC had to retrieve and maintain the customer vehicles. At the same time, stockpiles were produced to meet increased demand.
In the United States, however, there was a sales crisis for luxury vehicles in the early 1980s. DeLorean therefore faced bankruptcy in 1982 and had to close in the same year. A total of around 9,000 copies of the DeLorean DMC-12 were built.
A little dusty and apart from the DeLoreans at Gulf Coast Motorworks there is still a rarity: The DeLorean Pilot 21. It is to be restored. It is one of the best-known stages of development of the DMC DeLorean and differs in small details from the series models.