RDP Motorsport is overjoyed that the classic DeLorean sports car has seen a new resurgence in the sphere of elite automobiles. The car, made famous by Robert Zemeckis’s ’80s hit Back to the Future, has forever remained a staple of collectible automobiles. However, as the Washington Post recently reported, people are once again spending thousands to have DeLoreans outfitted like Doc Brown’s. No one has gotten their hands on a flux capacitor, but countless owners have taken other remarkable measures.
More specifically, the DeLorean model DMC-12 is the easily recognized classic. Approximately 9,000 units were produced between 1981 and 1982, but the original company failed rather quickly in the early ’80s. At present, market analysts believe somewhere around 6,500 still exist. The boxy, monochromatic, stainless-steel bodies and rare gullwing doors make the vehicle stand out even for people who have not seen Back to the Future.
The brand owner is currently known as DeLorean Motor Company, based in Huntington Beach, California. The facility, not unlike RDP Motorsport, handles any job from oil changes to full reconstructions. Fortunately for DMC-12 owners, DeLorean Motor Co. staffs a number of specialists trained in the art of this unique movie-mobile.
The 30th anniversary of Back to the Future is coming up sooner than many may realize, in 2015. In part, the anniversary has caused the resurgence of customization jobs and other sorts of detailing. The scale of mere requests, however, has astounded many devout followers in the industry.
Many DeLorean owners simply want to recreate the iconic car from the movies. According to the Orange County Register, some people have gone so far as to outfit the dashboard with identical buttons and digital screens.
The current general manager of DeLorean Motor Co., Cameron Wynne, weighed in on the latest upswing in customization requests. He said, “I’ve grown up around DeLoreans my entire life. I was dropped off to kindergarten in the actual ‘Back to the Future’ car. A DeLorean was my first car at age 16 … ‘Back to the Future’ has been a huge part of the business. The car is so well known, from a 90-year-old … to a 4-year-old because of that movie. That shows how timeless the car and the brand is.”
Timeless is right. For almost 20 years, people around the world have found some uncanny ways to bring the car into their lives. DMC has fulfilled requests for replicas so movies can feature the car in cameos. DeLorean DMC-12s have also made corporate appearances. A newlywed couple even used one for their first ride.
Danny Botkin works as a mechanic for DeLorean Motor Co. He actually helped restore the original car used in the movie. Since then, he has built a total of six movie replica cars. Fortunately, he took photos when he worked on the original.
Botkin said, “Back to the Future is getting bigger and bigger, especially among kids who watched the movie in 1985 and now have enough money to own a piece of it.”
According to RDP Motorsport, a DeLorean replica costs approximately $45,000. The duplication models allow passengers to enter an actual “destination time” on the control panel. Is that not enough? Replicas are also equipped with levers passengers can pull in order to activate the time circuit’s pulsing lights.
Among other odds and ends, DeLorean mechanics recreate the traditional parts of the DMC-12 with military surplus. Jet engine oil coolers have even been used. Botkin added that the company has never spent a dime on advertising recreation or reconstruction services. “We’ve never advertised that we build these … It’s just been a side thing we do. If people ask us to do it, we’ll do it.”
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Remember that DeLorean Motor Co. went bust in the 1980s. Current GM Cameron Wynne succeeded the company’s original founder, Stephen Wynne. Cameron’s son told the Washington Posta little bit about his father’s ownership. Apparently, Cameron bought the original parts DMC had leftover. In sum, 1,000 gullwing doors fill 40,000 square feet of warehouse space in Houston, Texas.
DeLorean began remanufacturing new units of the sports car just seven years ago. Mechanics use stripped donors and outfit them with any remaining or remanufactured parts. Don’t worry, though; at $45,000, DeLorean maintains a reputation for excellence.
Cameron Wynne said, “We constantly have customers calling us that have had their cars in storage for 10, 20, 30 years, and they want to get rid of it.”
Still, the DeLorean Motor Company does not rest on its unique triumphs in the sports car universe. The company has expanded over the past few decades, reaching places even Doc Brown and Marty McFly did not. DMC maintains several locations across the United States and one in the Netherlands.
Cameron Wynne is currently spearheading an all-electric version of the DMC-12. The goals of the project include a 100-mile travel time on a full charge, and a 5-second acceleration time from 0 to 60 miles per hour. The more important catch, according to RDP Motorsport: the all-electric DeLorean will not need anywhere near 1.21 gigawatts.
RDP Motorsport first opened over two decades ago. However, starting the business in Australia with a limited market came with a lot of restrictions. The country simply did not have a viable market for sports cars and performance vehicles. That fact got Steven Leerentveld excited and his RDP Motorsport Business growing in leaps and bounds. Leerentveld had taken numerous trips to the U.S. for his RDP Motorsport Business, so he decided to transport the company to Ohio.
RDP Motorsport remains small and family-run. Leerentveld’s wife also works at the company, which is dedicated to personal and considerate customer service. The new version of the company is six years old. Leerentveld also professionally races automobiles.