The DeLorean DMC-12
is a really cool car
. But if you have a hard time finding one for sale
, try looking for a DeLorean snowcat
. Alas, the DeLorean sedan, bus, and all-terrain vehicle were never mass-produced, and it's unclear if his monorail patent
was ever monetized.
How in the world was there ever a DeLorean-brand snowcat
? In 1978, John Z. DeLorean purchased the snowcat division from Thiokol
. (You might know Thiokol as the manufacturer of the Space Shuttle's solid rocket motors
, but did you also know that their name is a portmanteau of the Greek words for "sulfur" and "glue"?) DeLorean's snowcat company was named the Logan Machine Company
, but in its early years it sold snowcats under the DeLorean Motor Company name. Marvel at this glorious VIN plate for a 16,000-pound DeLorean.
The snowcats were later sold under the Logan Machine Company (LMC) name. John DeLorean eventually sold his ownership stake, and in 2000 LMC ceased operations.
Of the DeLorean Motor Company's other proposed products, the DMC-24 sedan
came the closest to reality
. A wooden mockup was even built, but after the company's demise it was made-over as a Lamborghini concept
. In perhaps the saddest chapter of automotive history, cheap hubcaps on the recycled Lamborghini concept covered up the mass-produced DeLorean alloy rims.
The DeLorean bus, named the DMC-80, was more of a licensing agreement than an engineering project
The DMC-44 was envisioned as an affordable and practical all-terrain vehicle. The DeLorean Motor Company even made a sepia-toned promotional film
. The film was produced during the brief interval in American history when it made perfect sense to follow a plucky country tune with spacey synthesizer music. Although the DMC-44 never saw production, try renting a converted DMC-12 tow truck
to experience the top of the line in utility sport.
After the demise of the DeLorean Motor Company, John DeLorean attempted without success to bring a successor car to market
. In 1985 and 1986, the media reported on rumors of the "Firestar 500
", supposedly based on the DMC-12 design and evocative of a weird, insane, 1980s-style Plymouth Superbird.
The venture supposedly somehow involved Gordon Novel, who the press described as a "self-proclaimed counter-intelligence agent".
By 1987, DeLorean was denying that his automotive venture revolved around the Firestar 500. He described intense interest in his project, citing as an example a letter from "one of the wealthiest men in Canada".
A short report in 1997
said that John DeLorean had "emerged from obscurity and is planning new cars with aero space technology."
By the year 2000, DeLorean's new car was referred to as the DMC2. (previously)
"We're going to try to become the Dell Computer of the car business," explained DeLorean, referring to Dell's manufacturing process and not their design. The launching pad for this new venture was a stylish DeLorean wristwatch
. People who bought the $3,495 watch would receive a certificate entitling them to priority status for purchasing a new DMC2. The watch was made of stainless steel and had a hidden dial.
The car was to envisioned as "a lightweight gull-wing car made of structural composites with no metal frame, a 250-275 horsepower engine and priced under $30,000." It's not clear whether anyone actually bought or received one of the watches.
If you made it this far, congratulations. Now we get into the really wild stuff. Did you know that John Z. DeLorean was granted a monorail-related patent in 1995
? According to the patent application, "each of the passenger cars further includes a suction or vacuum generator for maintaining the respective propulsion mechanism in contact with the respective track."
DeLorean's other business ventures included an avocado farm and ski school
. He died in 2005. In 2012, another company introduced a $15,900 watch that made use of melted-down DeLorean components