Wednesday, 21 January 2015

On This Day in History... A Time Machine was born!

On this day in history, a time machine was born. Seriously. On 21 January 1981, the first De-Lorean car rolled off the production line in Dubmurry, a suburb of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Making the De-Lorean a British car... sort of. Only about 9,000 were ever made before the company halted production in 1983, and so it would have remained an obscure car only known to die hard motor fanatics, were it not for its starring role in one of my favourite films, Back to the Future. So for Back to the Future fans, this is a day worth celebrating.
BTTF DeLorean Time Machine" by Terabass 
The car retailed for about $25,000 (about $60k in today's money) but was so popular that there was a waiting list, and many people were willing to pay over the odds for the car. The company went into liquidation during a huge slump in the US car market, and after the creator, John DeLorean, was arrested on drug trafficking charges. He was later found to be not guilty but by that point it was too late for the DeLorean.

The car had several production runs, but with only very minor differences, and all the production cars were left hand drives as they were made for the American market, although 16 were subsequently modified to be right hand drive. Then there was the pilot test cars, all thought destroyed, until one turned up in a barn in Northern Ireland in 2003. How someone had one of these all this time and no-one noticed I've no idea...

Interestingly there are also three gold DeLoreans, covered in 24 carat gold plating. These were made for American Express, who were planning to sell 100 gold DeLorean's as part of a sales promotion. Only two were made initially however, and one was made later from spare parts which had been ordered by American Express in case of any faults or damage to the cars. A gold DeLorean just isn't the same though, it wasn't in Back to the Future after all, was it?

That's enough about the DeLorean, but I'll be coming back to Back to the Future later in the year as 2015 is a very important year. It is 30 years since the first film came out, but much more importantly, it was the year Marty McFly travelled to in Back to the Future 2. You know, the one with the hoverboards and flying cars...