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'New' DeLorean DMC-12 should be ready by fall 2021, exec says

DeLorean Motor Company's vice president says it's the realistic timeline.

DeLorean DMC-12
Great Scott! It may be finally happening.

DeLorean is perhaps the most famed extinct car company on the face of this Earth, largely thanks to its starring role in Back to the Future... and probably because of the way the company came crashing down. But, from the ashes came hope. Almost four years ago, DeLorean Motor Company made a splash and said it planned to build "new" DMC-12 models from new and old stock.

Well, that was four years ago and nothing's happened. But we may finally have seen some movement. DeLorean may soon be able to kick off production, Hagerty reports. You see, it wasn't because DeLorean didn't want to build the cars, or didn't have the means, it was simply still against the law.

I'm sure you'll recall the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015, which gave companies the green light to build up to 325 cars per year without needing to adhere to modern safety regulations. Except the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration never did its part to create regulations they would have to follow.

The Speciality Equipment Market Association, better known as SEMA, finally got the feds to kick things into gear after the group filed a lawsuit this past October. Now, NHTSA has released guidelines for the law.

There are still a few hurdles, but DeLorean is closer than ever, the company's Vice President James Espey told Hagerty. There's a 30-day comment period companies need to wait out, and then things need to go through the Office of Management and Budget for a review.

DeLorean's Espey told Roadshow that "Realistically, I wouldn't expect to see production begin until at the earliest this time next year." He added summer or fall of 2021 is an even better timeframe for when we'll see the "new" cars hit the road. Sorting through the public comment period for the regulations and OMB review will likely take the entire year, especially with an election on the horizon, Espey also noted.

Plans for a reborn DeLorean DMC-12 include a new engine and modern amenities, but the same iconic looks fans know and love. The company has floated a price tag of around $100,000 in the past for a modern DeLorean, but for some, it's hard to put a price on such epic nostalgia.

Originally published Jan. 23.
Update, Jan. 27: Adds comments from DeLorean's vice president and provides more detailed timeframe for production.

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