Put down that calendar and close that app, it is not April 1st and you’re probably not a fool. John DeLorean’s alleged son says that the Taliban wants to buy his repainted Reliant “DMC-21" three-wheelers. He’d consider doing it, too, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s illegal to do business with the Taliban.
If you’re still scratching your head over this “John DeLorean’s son” thing, I’ll give you a refresher. In the UK is a man named Ty DeLorean. He claims to be the forgotten son of automotive legend John Z. DeLorean. DeLorean is turning what appear to be Reliant Robins and Rialtos into clones of the original DMC-12, complete with remote-controlled gullwing doors and replica props from Back To The Future. DeLorean even claims to have future models on the way from a “drone powered” one to one with a hot tub in it. Check it out:
As the UK’s CornwallLive reports, DeLorean has allegedly gotten an email offer from the Taliban to mass produce his Reliants for use on rural roads. The militant group captured Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul last year and overthrew the country’s government. CornwallLive got its hands on the alleged email:
The Civil Aviation of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan extends its compliments to you and your brilliant motor vehicle at Delorean motor company.
“Your amazing achievements were brought to my attention in your latest media interviews which has gone around the world and landed on my desk in a local newspaper.”
It goes on to say that the three-wheelers would initially be used for Taliban officials, then they would expand the operation from there.
Now, you’d think that given the Taliban’s horrifying record that DeLorean would want nothing to do with them. While DeLorean doesn’t approve of the Taliban’s actions, he thinks his repurposed Reliants could bring progress:
“In my ambition, which is sometimes bigger than reality, I’d like to see the vehicle as a peace symbol if you like like my father’s was. It could be used to negotiate with the Taliban and help get them to start dropping some of their hardline stances, and if they were to do that, maybe I could. Like a new beginning in the middle east peace negotiations.”
As of now, the email’s legitimacy hasn’t been verified. But even if it is real, the Independent reports that it would be illegal for DeLorean to do business with them. Still, he wants the option to be able to do so, saying other people do business with them.
This whole thing has somehow gotten even more ridiculous. And as we noted before, DeLorean is already being sued by the current owner of the DMC name and trademark: the DeLorean Motor Company from Texas. That company says Ty DeLorean is infringing on its trademark.
Yet, DeLorean remains hopeful, thinking someone will scoop up his Reliants for mass production and maybe even produce a four-wheeled version. Should that day ever come, hopefully it’ll be a different buyer.