If you’ve always had a dream of owning a DeLorean just like the one Doc Brown and Marty McFly use to travel through time in the Back to the Future franchise, you’ll soon have better odds of getting your hands on one: DeLorean Motor Company says it’s restarting production to make about 300 replica DMC-12 cars, which it hopes to sell for less than $100,000.
It’s been 34 years since the last DeLorean was built, but the company’s factory in Humble, TX will soon start rolling new DMC-12 cars off the line. DeLorean CEO Stephen Wynne tells KPRC-2 the company is hoping it has enough supplies in stock to build about 300 cars, and wants to start building one a month, then move up to making one a week.
The goal is to have the first car completed by 2017, with the new cars selling for less than $100,000. The price will depend on which modern engine the company chooses to use. Refurbished DeLoreans cost anywhere from $45,000 to $55,000.
“It’s huge for us. It means we’re back as a car company again,” Wynne said.
So why now? Until recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration treated small companies and large ones the same, whether they were making millions of cars or only a few, making it harder for businesses like DeLorean to just make a limited amount of vehicles.
New language was recently added to the federal highway bill that was signed into law in December 2015 that allows small companies to produce a limited number of completed replica motor vehicles that resemble the appearance of cars produced 25 years ago or more, DeLorean explains on its company site.
“It’s fantastic. It is a game-changer for us. We’ve been wanting this to happen,” Wynne said of the new regulations. “That was a green light to go back into production. That was prohibited. It was against the law to do it.”
Under the new law, the vehicles have to meet current Clean Air Act standards for the model year in which they’re produced, and any replica vehicles will be subject to equipment standards, recalls, and remedies. The companies that make them are required to register with NHTSA and EPA, and file annual production reports, as well.
DeLoreans have never been made at this particular Texas plant before: as the Detroit News notes, the company was founded by John DeLorean in 1975, and declared bankruptcy a short time later. Wynne started a new company in 1995 with the DeLorean Motor Name, and purchased the parts and logo of the original company. Since then, it’s been restoring original cars and has a few authorized dealerships.