You can still buy a brand new DeLorean, straight from the factoryThe original DeLorean factory in Northern Ireland may be long gone but you can still buy a factory fresh example of the most iconic gull-winged doored car of all time. XCAR went to Houston to find out more.
[MUSIC] Everything about a DeLorean impressed me. The stainless steel cuz it's so unique. The gull-wing doors. Even, even the rear engine's layout. It's a true grand touring sports car. I was a teenager when the car first came out in 1981 and it was just completely different from anything else on the roads here in America and it just caught my attention. This is the job that I wanted when I was sixteen years old, you know, had the original company carried on I'd probably be sweeping floors in a factory someplace, but just by happy accident I happen to be here. And it's, it's fun to be involved so intimately supporting the legacy that is John DeLorean. The car that bears his name. [MUSIC] I originally did my apprenticeship when I was in Liverpool. I grew up there and then came to the states in 1980. I opened up a shop of my own in Los Angeles, fixing English, French cars, Peugeot, Renault, [UNKNOWN] by 82 I had DeLorean owners coming to me, asking me if I would look at their DeLoreans. And then as the years went on, it seemed like it was the best way to go for business, so I just basically decided to concentrate on DeLoreans. [MUSIC] We opened up a facility in Houston which, originally we decided that it was gonna be more like a, a central depot to ship parts to owners to make it more convenient and quicker shipping time. And when we opened in '87, we invited what we knew from the mailing lists of local owners and, and we had about 50 cars show up and maybe 100 people show up and. And at the end of the day 30 cars stayed, and since then I've never been less than 30 cars in my possession here in Houston. In 1982, when the factory closed, they were still left with about 17, 18 hundred unsold cars, and a factory full, full of parts to build more. There was a company called Consolidated International which acquired all the unsold cars and all the parts. They were not car enthusiasts. It was just a business deal. Fast-forward to 1997, Steven was able to acquire all of that inventory of parts that remained, which was still enough to fill this 40,000-square-foot building here full of literally millions. Of brand new DeLorean parts from the factory. Nuts, bolts, washers, glass, stainless wheels are still available as new old stock parts from the factory. Here we are with this big warehouse, and, and I'm used to a parts room about the size of this. Jam packed with all these spares. No computer system, no staff. And that's when the fun began, of course. [MUSIC] Our primary business, here in Texas is the sale, service, and restoration of DeLorean cars. At any time we've got between. 35 and 45 cars here for service or restoration literally from all over the world. We own all the remaining stock of parts that came out of the factory in Belfast, and that comprises most of our inventory. So we do part sales to shops and owners all around the world as well. As we put the facility together, and then we started doing tours and people would come in and people would say man, you've got enough stuff here to make cars, and it's like Yup. And then it sort of evolved to why don't you make cars? Well, we will. And that's sort of were we're at right now. While there's about 2800 parts that make up a DeLorean, we have about 99.2-99.3 percent parts availability. Now with that .7, .8% it's, it's a thing's that can typically be fairly easily either reproduced or can be acquired as a rebuilt or in some cases a used part, if it has to be. By filling the holes in the inventory so to speak, there's about one thousand doors here in the building and the door of course being the most complicated part of the car to reproduce. They're almost evenly matched in pairs left and right. So about 500 cars would be the maximum. When we bought all the inventory we did get all of the technical specifications, all of the drawings. So over the years as, as things have run out, we, we've reproduced them from those DeLorean with cad cam and with scanning and with 3D modeling and stuff like that. Things that were so impossible just a handful of years ago seem to get better and better all the time. Most everyone who comes in knows the DeLorean from the Back to the Future series of movies. I think DeLorean had just as much of a starring role as Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd. You can't go to a gas station, you can't stop in a parking lot without someone asking "Where's the flux capacitor? What happens when you get to 88 miles an hour?", you've got people yelling "Hey, Marty!" as you're driving down the. On the road. So it happens all the time, and it's, it, it, it's one of the things that we just have to embrace. I fully believe that if the, if it weren't for the movies, this car would be no more remembered than a Bricklin, which was another gull-wing car that was made in very small numbers outside the United States and sold in the US. [MUSIC] obviously it's phenomenal for us for the brand. We have all this free marketing that's going on 24/7 around the globe. You watch Back to the Future, you see a DeLorean, you go to the internet and you find out that hey, DeLoreans are out there. We have had people that have come in here, that have been kids that have come in, in between their dad's legs saying, I want a DeLorean. And they've grown up and come and bought one. We've seen it happen so many times. Everybody's got a DeLorean story, and that's what's cool to hear. That the car made such an impact on people, you know. Not just 30 years ago, but even still today, having been out of production for 32 years, that people still recognize it and like it. [MUSIC]