Welcome to the first edition of a new series here at Lifeline 24 where we look back at historical moments from the past and share them with you on the day they happened.
January 21 is the first entry in the series and it was on this day in 1981 that the first DeLorean vehicle rolled off the production line in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland.
Here is a little look at the iconic car which was made famous by a certain movie trilogy.
About the DeLorean
The DeLorean DMC-12 is a unique car, both in the way it looks and in the way it was built. The stand-out feature for many is the gull-wing doors.
Unlike a regular car door, the doors on the DeLorean would open upwards with the hinges located on the roof of the car. This made getting in and out of the car much easier when in a crowded space or car park – and at the time of course they looked really cool.
The DeLorean wasn’t painted during the process and was finished with stainless steel body panels – barring a few models which left the factory in 24-carat gold!
The original plan was to sell the DeLorean for $12,000 (hence the DMC-12 name) but when the car launched there was a suggested retail price of $25,000 – which is around $65,000 in today’s money.
Back to the Future
Of course the real reason why everybody recognises and knows about the DeLorean is because of the Back to the Future trilogy.
In these movies the car was in the hands of Dr Emmett L.Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) as a time machine. Six DMC-12 chassis were used in the filming of the movie which turned the car into a worldwide star.
The interior of the car was completely transformed with all of the mad-scientist’s time-travelling equipment, including the main ‘computer’ where you would input the time, day and year in-which you wanted to visit. On the exterior there were huge exhaust vents added to the back of the car – you know, to help it cope with the speed of traveling through time!
In the movies, released in 1985, 1989 and 1990, saw the two main characters and the DeLorean travel back to 1955 before travelling forwards to 2015 (although it looked a lot different to the eventual reality) and finally going even further back in time to the Wild West in 1885.
Only three of the cars used in the movies remain today with two of them belonging to Universal Studios.
Unfortunately the DeLorean was only in production between this day in 1981 and December 1982 as the company went bankrupt.
During this time around 9200 cars were produced with around 6000 still believed to exist today. Despite it’s short production life the car is one of the most easily recognisable and celebrated cars ever made.
Some of the cars which remain today have been transformed by their owners into replicas of the famous Back to the Future time machine – ensuring that every panel is the same as the movie edition.
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