Diecast: Autoart DeLorean DMC12

DeLorean still looks futuristic …

The tale of DeLorean automobiles and their brains and creator, John DeLorean, is a twisted affair that didn’t end well. Yet the DeLorean DMC12, the make’s only car, was quickly famous as the Back to the Future movie car used by Marty McFly to time travel.

Folks remember the DeLorean because of its stainless-steel finish, gull-wing doors and futuristic styling, courtesy of Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. This was a two-seat sports car with an edge, an attitude that hinted at where automotive design might go, but never did.

So, it’s not surprising that Autoart has perfected the finish and now creates a handsome 1/18 scale composite die-cast model of the flux capacitor touting sportster. The model sells at $220, but the extra cost is mostly due to the body being so hard to simulate. Autoart says it must scrap 40% of the bodies as they are prone to marring during this complex chrome plating and hand polishing process.

The History

After a several year build-up, the DeLorean began production in Northern Ireland in early 1981, and listed at $25,000, more than double its original target price. Ultimately nearly 9,000 cars were made between 1981 and 1983 when DeLorean ceased production.

Being a sports car, the DeLorean was small, featuring just a 95-inch wheelbase and a total length of 166 inches. The engine was in the back and did not provide supercar power. The rear-drive DeLorean touting a 2.85-liter V6 engine that made 130 horsepower. The car could be ordered with either a 5-speed manual (the wiser choice), or 3-speed automatic transmission. It also was light, weighing a svelte 2,312 pounds.

John DeLorean was a former General Motors Corp. executive who decided to go it alone and make the sports car that would make his name famous.  Unfortunately, the car was a mediocre seller and the company soon got into money troubles. Then DeLorean was charged with selling cocaine to try and keep the car company afloat and manufacturing was stopped. He was later acquitted.

The Model

Our sample’s wedge-shaped body was flawless and impressive looking. The texture is not chrome-plated shiny, but slightly textured like the real 1/1 cars, almost a satin-like appearance.

The gull-wing doors flip up and the black louvered rear hatch opens to reveal the engine …. . Even the hood opens, although there’s not much to see there but trunk space.

The DeLorean wasn’t long on seams and styling gewgaws, other than the gull-wing doors. There is a black vinyl accent stripe on either side that would help prevent door dings, and two slight hood accent creases.

The nose features a black grille carrying the distinctive silver DMC logo and headlights here show nice depth to create a realistic look and there are amber running lights in the black edged bumper that wraps around to black trim on the fender’s sides and display reflectors, same in back. Also the red taillights are covered by a black grid.

There’s a black louvered rear hatch that sort of serves as the rear window and covers the engine compartment. Atop that is a black mesh covering that you can flip up to reveal the sharply detailed V6 engine, which is wired and plumbed. A real window with defroster grid also separates the cockpit from the engine bay.

Side windows include a black-trimmed window within the window, something Subaru also tried with its SVX sports car in the 1990s. The windshield also is trimmed in black.

Inside is a well-detailed gray interior with good seat cushion definition and door panels. The dash features a tall hood over the instrument panel and a black three-spoke steering wheel. Some dash gauges also are visible and as is the facing on the center stack. The console features a black ball shifter and seat belt receivers are black and orange, as in many 1/1 cars. Shoulder belts are visible behind the bucket seats too and netting behind the seats to hold some gear.

Tires are treaded, but not branded and hubcaps reflect the original DeLorean styling.

A nicely executed model with a spectacular stainless-steel finish.

Vital Stats: DeLorean DMC12

Maker: Autoart
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: 79916
MSRP: $220

Link: Autoartmodels.com


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