In 1981, a unique automobile from a hitherto unknown company in Northern Ireland made its stunning debut.
The DeLorean Motor Company – started by a renegade General Motors engineer – launched its first car, the DMC-12. It had gull-wing doors that opened upwards, and a rear-mounted engine. The machine drew a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘wahs’ from auto-fans and techies worldwide.
But the greatest sensation was the use of unpainted, wire-brushed stainless steel panels for the body.
About 9,000 cars were made before the company went bankrupt in 1982 and production halted in 1983. An estimated 6,500 units are believed to be in existence today.
There is an ongoing effort to revive the DeLorean company and complete the unfinished dream of John DeLorean, the founder.