The iconic 1982 DeLorean car best known from the "Back to the Future" film trilogy is coming back, thanks a new federal highway bill that was signed into law in December.
DeLorean Motor company announced that it will be making about 300 replicas of the 1982 DeLorean that has not been in production for 34 years, and plans to to have the first car completed by 2017.
Based in Humble, Texas, the company got the green light after the government signed into law a federal highway bill that included the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015 in December. The new law allows small manufacturers in the US each year to construct as many as 325 replica cars that resemble production vehicles from at least 25 years ago.
“It’s fantastic. It is a game-changer for us. We’ve been wanting this to happen,” DeLorean CEO Stephen Wynne said, according to USA Today. “That was a green light to go back into production. That was prohibited. It was against the law to do it.”
Before the new measure, the US had just one system for regulating production of vehicles that was established in the 1960s and it was designed for major automakers that mass produce vehicles.
Under the new laws, replica builders are still required to register with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency, and file annual production reports. The replicas they produce are still subject to equipment standards, recalls, and remedies. The cars also have to meet current Clean Air Act standards for the year in which they are produced, but they don’t have to meet the latest crash safety standards, according to the company website.
The DeLorean Motor Company was founded in Ireland in 1975, by John DeLorean, but declared bankruptcy a few years later, despite DeLorean’s efforts to revive it with drug trafficking money, creating a scandal that was caught on film. DeLorean was later acquitted of the charges.
DeLorean CEO Wynne started a new company in 1995 with the DeLorean Motor name, purchasing the parts and logo of the original company. Since then, DeLorean has been restoring original cars and has a few authorized dealerships.
This would mark the first time that the brushed-steel luxury vehicles will be manufactured in the United States.
“In anticipation of this legislation, DeLorean Motor Company has been working for some time to identify a supplier for engines and other parts that must be reproduced to facilitate this production for 2017,” the website states. “A number of hurdles exist before production can begin, and we're still early on in this process of determining the feasibility of moving forward.”
The company says the new DeLoreans will cost less than $100,000, while the refurbished models will sell for around $45,000 to $55,000. The cars will not be modern takes on the classic design, as the company plans to reproduce the 1982 DeLorean model. Wynne said that the company has been refurbishing and repairing DeLoreans and has enough stock and supplies to build up to 300 vehicles.