Thanks to Back To The Future, the DeLorean is an international icon. But what if you want to travel back in time from the UK? Now, DeLorean Motor Company will build you a right-hand drive version. Here's the first shots.
Despite being built in Ireland, the DMC-12 was designed for the American market and therefore not mass-produced in RHD by the factory. There were plans to create such a version for other markets, but only 17 were ever produced and most of those were converted by an outside company. Existing examples are rare and retail for nearly twice the amount of a regular DeLorean at roughly $60,000.
Rather than attempting to track down one of these rare examples, a customer approached the Houston-based DeLorean Motor Company to build his own RHD version. As you'll remember from our recent visit, DMC is the biggest restorer of the stainless steel rides in the world and has approximately 150 years worth of factory-created parts. They also are making a limited number of Series II "new" DeLoreans out of all the parts.
Making the swap to the RHD model involved designing a new dash, cutting new carpet, modifying the controls and swapping in a new electric A/C unit. It all looks like it came from the factory in that form and, because the interior is new, actually looks nicer than the stock LHD model parked next to it.
Since the owner was having all this work done anyways, many of the parts have been swapped out from the 1981 donor car to create a near mint example. This includes the stainless-steel suspension and, most importantly, the "Stage II" performance engine, which ups power from the somewhat anemic stock 130 HP to 197 HP as John DeLorean originally intended. This is done with a free-flow exhaust, performance camshafts, ported/polished heads and other goodies.
After a few more detailing sessions the RHD DMC-12 hops on a ship headed for... well... it's not going to be registered under normal circumstances so we'll just say somewhere in the Pacific Rim.
And if you can't afford to buy a new DeLorean in any configuration, the DeLorean Motor Company teamed up with design crew The Hundreds for a line of new DMC-themed T-shirts available online or at retailers like Premium Goods in Houston where we checked out the latest DMC creation.
As always happens with DeLoreans, people immediately flocked to the cars after the doors were opened. A group of tourists stopped by to ask if they were "race cars." A family immediately changed their route to walk by the cars. Only one astute mom even noticed the wheel was on the "wrong side" of the car while her young son just stood there, mouth open, staring at the iconically shiny sports car.
Special thanks to James and Cameron of DeLorean Motor Company for inviting us to check it out.