The speedometer climbs as we race down a straightaway in Humble, Texas. As the needle edges to 60, 70, then 80 miles per hour, the 36-year-old automobile rattles and the wind whistles through the windows. Finally the DeLoreaon zooms up to 88 miles per hour and we feel, just for a moment, like we’ve gone back to the future.
Then, a series of loud honks from the other side of the road, followed by animated waving, awaken us out of our speed spell. “We get that all the time,” says DeLorean Motor Company CEO Stephen Wynne, sitting shotgun. “That doesn’t happen with any other car.”
After our speed reverie, we pull back into DMC’s Texas headquarters, located in this Houston suburb. It’s a wet November day and DeLoreans line the parking lot. “It’s the only lot in the country where you see this many DeLorean at any given time,” Wynne says.
The open garage door reveals cars in different stages of repair, some exposing their rear engine and others with their gull-wing doors open, steel birds ready to take flight. In all, three dozen DeLoreans are scattered in and out of Wynne’s DMC headquarters, all in the midst of being repaired and restored to their former glory.
The DeLorean DMC-12 is more than a movie prop or simple automobile; it’s a long, strange legacy wrapped in stainless steel. That legacy, buoyed by the ongoing love for the Back to the Future films, keeps the car in the public imagination, and gave Wynne the ammunition to pursue a plan that’s much more ambitious than simply getting a 36-year-old car back on the road. He wants to build a brand new DeLorean, one created in the present using the roadmap of the past.
“I’m fiercely proud of DeLorean, but the car they put out could have been better,” says Wynne, “We’ve had thirty plus years of [research and development] and nine thousand prototypes that were made, all so I can make 300 really nice cars a year.”
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