Without a doubt, one of Back to the Future's unsung heroes is the DeLorean time machine. Built over the course of nearly thirty years and using his entire family fortune in order to fulfill his vision of the "Flux Capacitor", Doc Brown selected the DeLorean DMC-12 as his vehicle of choice for traveling through time.
Thanks to the stainless steel construction of the DeLorean, flux dispersal is generated at an optimum level from the Flux Capacitor, providing the entire vehicle and its passengers a smooth passage through the space-time continuum during temporal displacement.
The DeLorean DMC-12 was the brainchild of automotive engineer John Z. DeLorean, a former executive at General Motors who's most notable contribution was the Pontiac GTO. He founded the DeLorean Motor Company in 1974.
Designed by Italian automobile designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, and engineered by Lotus Cars of England, the DMC-12 consisted of stainless steel body panels, a rear-mounted 2.85 litre V-6 PRV (Peugeot, Renault, Volvo) engine, and stylish gullwing doors, which only require 14-inches (35.5cm) of side clearance to open.
The car was built in a brand new state-of-the-art factory located in Dunmurray, Northern Ireland, just outside of Belfast. The first DMC-12 rolled off the assembly line in January 1981. All DeLoreans came from the factory in bare stainless steel (there were no factory painted cars), and were available with either a five-speed manual or three-speed automatic, all with standard interior colors of either black or grey.
DeLorean Motor Company filed for bankruptcy in 1982, and the factory was closed. The last car was manufactured in December 1982. Approximately 9,200 cars were built, consisting of three model years, 1981, 1982 and 1983.
Even after the company's closure, vast quantities of brand new parts were still available and sitting in storage. The new privately-held DeLorean Motor Company (Texas) was established in 1995 and acquired the remaining warehouse of new-old-stock parts which they use to service and restore the 6,000 remaining DeLoreans still on the road today. The DeLorean Motor Company has facilities located across the United States and Europe.