A British man that claims to be John Z. DeLorean’s son is building a pint-sized successor to the DMC-12 called the DMC-21. The DMC-21 is a three-wheeled Reliant with gullwing doors and a flux capacitor — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of weirdness.
The story of John Z. DeLorean and the DeLorean Motor Company is a wild one. The man was responsible for heart-racing muscle cars before launching his own automaker, where he built a futuristic stainless steel sports car with gullwing doors and a polarizing engine. And, of course, who can forget his charges of conspiracy to distribute a load of cocaine.
Long after his death, the DeLorean story is getting even weirder as a man named Tyler DeLorean from Newquay, Cornwall, UK is claiming to be John DeLorean’s son. He could have stopped there, but now he’s building a three-wheeled “successor” to the DMC-12, and it’s sparked a lawsuit from the rebirthed DeLorean Motor Company.
If you’ve never heard of a Tyler DeLorean before, you’re not alone. He’s offered this explanation to the UK’s Daily Mail for why nobody knows about him:
‘I’ve got to be careful what I say as I have people to protect, but the basic outline is that when he was in Northern Ireland my mother briefly met him and that’s where I was conceived.
‘My mother’s decision was that no one needed to know. It’s my choice to do what I want with the name - it’s my legal name, the name on my passport - so the court case will be DMC v DeLorean in court, which is an interesting one.’
‘I’ve been offered a DNA test by the Back To The Future crew but that’s down the line after the court case. There is nothing to do with me being his son in the case, but I aim to prove I am during that case or at a later date.’
DeLorean’s creation is a sight to behold.
Starting with what appears to be a Reliant Rialto, DeLorean gave the little three-wheeler DMC badges, remote-controlled gullwing doors, some LED headlights, and a flux capacitor inside. The vehicle is said to come in eight different metal and paint finishes.
On his website, DeLorean claims that this vehicle was originally designed in 1981. After some hours of digging, I haven’t been able to uncover anything suggesting the sort. Autoblog notes that the original DeLorean Motor Company hired Barrie Wills, supplier manager for the Reliant Rialto to be managing director, but even then, they couldn’t find any evidence of a planned three-wheeler, either.
Speaking of that website, clicking through it is an absolute adventure.
Most of the site’s pages feature grainy images that aren’t even in the correct orientation. It reminds me of the Freewebs website I made as an elementary schooler. Also, it hilariously includes negative comments made about the car
Don’t bother trying to learn more about the car’s history because the site’s history page includes no useful information. But you do learn a few things about DeLorean and his vision for the car. For starters, it’s easy to see that he’s a big Back to the Future fan with lines like:
WHERE WE ARE GOING WE DON’T NEED ROADS OR FOUR WHEELS
And the fact that every DMC-21 comes with the aforementioned flux capacitor and a hoverboard.
Oh yes, the site says that these are available for preordering right now. For the sum of $25,000, your DMC-21 also comes with road-legal slicks, an 850cc engine offering a 100 mph top speed, courtesy lights and DMC branding on much of the interior surfaces.
That engine, presumably still from the Reliant donor, is good for a ferocious 40 HP, and DeLorean’s site claims that it’s legal to drive everywhere. DeLorean says that had this car released in 1981, it would have saved the original DeLorean Motor Company.
He already has some future models planned, too. There’s the DMC-22, which has no description and uses a image clearly taken from Italdesign’s gullwing teaser. There’s also the DMC-1.21 electric, which appears to be a simple EV conversion. The site also claims that there will be a “drone powered” model coming out in 2022, offering no explanation of what that means. Maybe it has, like, 100 motors from a DJI?
DeLorean also has a DMC-21 with a hot tub in the back supposedly in the works.
This whole thing is pretty ridiculous and also a little funny, but apparently it’s no laughing matter for the DeLorean Motor Company. As Carscoops notes, the current owner of the DMC name and trademark, DeLorean Motor Company of Texas, is suing Tyler DeLorean for trademark infringement.
DeLorean Motor Company is unaffiliated with the original DMC and provides parts and services for DMC-12 owners. It also wants to build a modern version of the DMC-12. Tyler DeLorean plans on fighting the suit to the bitter end, hoping to win the trademark in the end.
Regardless of DeLorean’s legal fate, I sort of love everything about the little three-wheeler, including its website. It’s absurd in all of the best ways.