Production of the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 is to start up again after a 33 years.
The move comes after the US federal government approved a low-volume manufacturing bill. DMC (DeLorean Motor Company) a company not affiliated with the car’s original manufacturer but one that repairs the 9,000-strong original DMC-12 out there, can now go one step further and build full DeLorean replicas.
The last DMC-12 rolled off the production line in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, in 1983 but has gained a cult following after starring in the Back to The Future films of the 80s.
For nearly five decades, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not distinguished between a company producing millions of cars and a small business making a few custom cars. NHTSA's one-size-fits-all approach meant that these small companies were subject to the same regulations and paperwork burdens as the large automakers that mass-produce vehicles.
In December 2015, a ‘Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act’ allowing small companies to produce a limited number of completed replica motor vehicles that resemble the appearance of cars produced 25 years ago or more was inserted to the federal highway bill and signed into law.
The vehicles must meet current Clean Air Act standards for the model year in which they are produced, with DMC yet to confirm who the new engine supplier would be. The new law allows the low volume vehicle manufacturer to meet the standards by installing an engine and emissions equipment produced by any modern day manufacturer.
In anticipation of this legislation, the DeLorean Motor Company says it has been working for some time to identify a supplier for engines and other parts that must be reproduced to facilitate the production for 2017. A number of hurdles exist before production can begin, with the Texas based business still in an early stage of determining the feasibility of moving forward.
It’s thought the company plans to produce a small production run of around 300 cars, with prices expected to be around the $100,000 mark (around £70k).