First of all – THANK YOU! It wasn’t our plan to announce the introduction the DeLorean resurrection in this way – a simple little local news story got picked up nationally overnight on January 26th and before we knew what had happened it was worldwide! We have seen and read a lot of stories and comments and want to use this as an opportunity, again to say “thanks”, but also to keep everyone updated on what is happening here at DeLorean Motor Company and our plans in regards to the “Low Volume Vehicle Manufacturing Act”.
Next, we also want to give a shout-out to Congressman Gene Green (D-TX) and Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) who were the co-sponsors of the “Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act” (HR 2675). The Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) has been working with Congress since 2011 to create a reasonable and responsible regulatory structure to allow small companies (like us!) to produce a limited number of replica motor vehicles. These vehicles will be subject to equipment standards (think headlights, wipers, horns, etc) but exempt from vehicle standards (passive restraint, roof crush, side impact, etc). This legislation simply treats these vehicles the same as “kit cars” purchased and assembled by customers. Current model year, emissions certified, clean engines must be used. You can read the highlights of the law here.
A key part of the legislation is that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) have one year from the date of this law being enacted to finalize the rules for the Low Volume manufacturing program. Going forward, we’ll be putting this countdown timer on each post. Without these rules coming in as directed in the law, beginning production in 2017 is in jeopardy.
Low Volume Regulations Overdue For
For DeLorean Motor Company, this means that we can now assemble and sell a complete, “turn-key” vehicle, using many of the same parts that were used to create the original DeLorean car from 1981-1983. Since the mid-nineties, we have owned the remaining stocks of parts, engineering drawings and some of the factory tooling and equipment and now have all of this in our suburban Houston, Texas location. Want to see how much we still have? Take a virtual tour of our facility courtesy of Google Places (kind of like Google Street View, but inside our facility).
A DeLorean is made up of about 2800 or so individual parts – stainless panels, glass, seats, tires, wheels, brakes, carpet, seat belts, engine, transmission, nuts, bolts, washers and much more! We’re fortunate to have more than 95% of these parts still available to us as either original DeLorean parts, parts that we have sourced from new suppliers and many that we have had reproduced using the drawings mentioned earlier. That means that the exterior shape and design of the car that everyone recognizes and loves will be unchanged.
What will be different about the cars? Well, we mentioned engines, and that’s a big piece of the puzzle that we are working on! Since we must use a current model year, emissions certified engine in these replica DeLoreans, we’re already in talks with four engine suppliers – two domestic and two import. We’ve signed non-disclosure agreements with all of them, so we can’t say exactly who – yet. We can say that the engines we are considering are both naturally aspirated and turbocharged, four-cylinder and six-cylinder, and they produce between approximately 270hp (200 kw) and 350hp (261kw). We hope to conclude negotiations and be able to announce our engine partner very soon.
Many of you that are already familiar with the DeLorean know that the car originally came with 15″ wheels on the rear, and 14″ on the front. There are no performance tires in those sizes any longer, so we are looking hard at new, larger, wheels and tires. Larger wheels and tires means that we can use bigger brakes, too! We’re likely to stick with Eibach as our spring supplier, and have been in negotiations and had samples from a well-known German shock absorber supplier, too.
Another area that will see significant upgrades is the in-car entertainment and connectivity. The original DeLorean came with a four-speaker, AM/FM cassette player – standard fare for 1981, but not today. For years we have been upgrading this part of the car through our service and restoration work, and we’ll continue to push that envelope as much as we can. A modern, improved HVAC system has also already been tested and is planned for these cars, as well.
So, other than an engine, what’s keeping us from doing all this RIGHT NOW? In a word – NHTSA – okay, that’s really an abbreviation for five words – National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. Part of this new law says that they have 12 months (from enactment, December 4th, 2015) to issue any necessary regulations to implement the law. So, while we wait for them to finish that part, we are moving ahead – cautiously – to get the rest of the pieces lined up to allow to begin production as soon as possible these regulations are finalized.
As we head down this road (no pun intended), we’ll post periodic updates here to keep all of you abreast of what is happening. When we have an accomplishment (large or small), we’ll talk about it here. When we get stuck on something, we’ll also post it here – maybe one of you reading this can help or know someone/some company who can. Updates won’t come every day, but if you sign up for our newsletter, we’ll let you know when we do have an update posted. Got questions? Hit up our contact page and let us know – already we are behind in answering them, so we’re going to answer the most common questions here starting later this week! Once again, THANK YOU and stay tuned!