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DeLoreans To Go Back To Production (cnn.com) 276

An anonymous reader writes: The last time a DeLorean was built was about 35 years ago, but that is all about to change. Next year, you'll be able to buy a new 2017 DeLorean to satisfy all your deepest Back to the Future dreams. CNN reports: "The new production plan is itself something of a time warp. The cars will be built from an inventory of a million spare parts that have been in storage ever since the Belfast plant closed. Only the engine will be a creature of the 21st century."
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DeLoreans To Go Back To Production

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  • First... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jawnn ( 445279 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2016 @06:41PM (#51385055)
    "Great Scot!"
  • Nope (Score:5, Funny)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2016 @06:46PM (#51385079) Homepage Journal

    I'm not buying one unless it's powered by a Mr Fusion.

  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2016 @06:50PM (#51385101)
    The Studebaker Avanti? Or is it already being produced?
    • The Avanti name, factory, and design were sold and subsequently resold several times. Low volume production of Avantis continued until 2006. The factory has since been gutted and nothing remains.

      I saw one of them about 16 years ago; it has a nice luxury-sports type look except that the front is bit peculiar.

  • I have heard they were built so poorly that they are infamous as the only collectable car that you do not want to have original internals.

    • I have heard they were built so poorly that they are infamous as the only collectable car that you do not want to have original internals.

      Jaguar v12 - usually replaced with a north american v8.

      • Re:Infamous (Score:4, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 27, 2016 @09:06PM (#51385703) Homepage Journal

        Jaguar v12 - usually replaced with a north american v8.

        The big problem with that motor isn't the motor, it's all the stuff around it. The reliability went way up on the XJ12 for its last year of production, after it had been purchased by Ford. That's the only one you want. If I had an older one I'd want to throw away all the electrics and replace them completely. I'm starting to think that might be a good idea even in my Mercedes, which luckily has only a few wires going to the engine to monitor it and to run the glow system. The really fun stuff is everywhere else.

  • Good luck with the side impact regulations from 2007 that you need to pass:
    http://www.edmunds.com/car-saf... [edmunds.com]

    • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Wednesday January 27, 2016 @06:54PM (#51385129)

      Clearly you failed to actually read the article:

      Normally it would be impossible to make DeLoreans under current federal safety rules, according to Espey. But new regulations are going into effect later this year that will allow the production of replica cars without requiring them to meet safety guidelines involving air bags and crash tests.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        and on top of that

        The original DeLorean engines only have 130 horsepower, while the new V6's will have between 350 to 400 horsepower

        • by Defenestrar ( 1773808 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2016 @07:15PM (#51385243)
          400 horsepower and they don't need to meet modern safety regulations... What could possibly go wrong?
          • 400 horsepower and they don't need to meet modern safety regulations... What could possibly go wrong?

            Maybe we can nominate the company for a Meta-Darwin Award.

            • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
              It'd be no different than all those AC Cobras they sold way back when.
              • Except I would actually want the Cobra.
                • Except I would actually want the Cobra.

                  Except you can actually get a kit car that's even better than the real Cobra, because it has numerous refinements and you can get the same output out of a lighter engine today.

                  • by torkus ( 1133985 )

                    Oh, and the replicas are much, MUCH cheaper too.

                    You can buy a fully completed one that will beat the pants off almost any modern sports car for ~50K. Granted it has no roof and only seats two ... but to some that's a feature not a problem :)

                    I've toyed with the idea of getting a Factory 5 kit for a few years now. The lack of garage/build space in brooklyn makes it a bit less practical though.

      • by Megane ( 129182 )

        Great, now if we can just get rid of the Chicken Tax and the ban on most imports newer than 25 years old, then we'd have something. Getting rid of the dealer laws that keep Tesla out of a lot of states would be nice too, but let's not push our luck too much here.

        Without reading TFA (hey, this is Slashdot!), I'm going to guess that they had a run made of that one quarter panel (front right?) that they ran out of quickly because DMC hadn't ordered a fresh run of them for parts before going bankrupt.

    • I suspect this is why the dealer in Humble,TX (not sure about others), refurbishes existing vehicles. I've heard many of them required frame realignment due to lack of structural rigidity from the gal-wing design.

    • As long as they keep the production numbers low enough - a few hundred cars a year, they're exempted. Doesn't mean the car is safe.

      It's just that below a certain number they're considered 'custom' cars that there's not enough production to justify the full up testing that might destroy half of them. I think the current test set ends up being about 12 cars if you do everything - and it's not like they can do a rear-end crash test on a car that was previously tested in a front end collision, because the str

      • by penix1 ( 722987 )

        Doesn't mean the car is safe.

        Considering the "safety" of the cars with Takata airbags, this is no worse and can be considered far better since the driver doesn't have the expectation of that particular "safety" feature...

        http://blog.caranddriver.com/m... [caranddriver.com]

  • by smellsofbikes ( 890263 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2016 @06:57PM (#51385155) Journal

    The engine and transmission were underwhelming in the original, and modern engines with significantly higher power, and lower weight, are ubiquitous. If it had decent engineering -- as in, if they are using a modern differential and wheel bearings -- the stainless steel body could make for a car that lasts for decades. However, man, the dash design was seriously dated and would need a ton of updating to look even modern, much less futuristic.
    In other words, I'm dubious about the commercial viability of that car's design with only a new engine. A new engine, drivetrain, interior, and electronics, would make an interesting car... but that's not quite the same as "only the engine [will be changed]".

    • By the way, the fine article refers to this change in regulations [classiccars.com] which allows low-volume manufacturers to produce classics without things like airbags or OBDII. That's interesting because a ton of cars vanished from the landscape not from lack of consumer demand but because the design was unable to be economically and aesthetically updated to meet new regulations. The Jaguar XKE is a perfect example. Again, cars using modern drivetrains, fitted in classic bodyshells, would be a neat mix of beauty and du

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      It almost makes you wonder if maybe they shouldn't have found a modern car they could mount the body panels to.

      It's kind of too bad you can't very easily have a modular car system where parts could be relatively easily interchanged.

      • It's kind of too bad you can't very easily have a modular car system where parts could be relatively easily interchanged.

        You do, though. The motor and transmission are held in with mounts which can be redesigned for other powerplants. The front suspension on all modern vehicles is attached to a subframe, if there is clearance for the various suspension bits then a new subframe can be made to hold the old bits on a new vehicle. Automakers do this all the time, for example the Chevy Astro front suspension was lifted from the Caprice, although it has different hubs.

        The problem is that it usually doesn't make sense to reuse the s

  • by dfn5 ( 524972 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2016 @06:59PM (#51385171) Journal
    In what timeline would anyone pay that much?
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's a toy, not a practical every day drive. Aside from looking cool and being in a classic movie, the DeLorean has very little going for it. It's heavy, not very quick even with the new engine, poor handling, uncomfortable, heavy controls, the parts weren't exactly well made with precision...

      If it came with BTTF trim it might be worth $100k, or if the electric one had an 85kWh battery...

      • It's a toy, not a practical every day drive. Aside from looking cool

        I thought the DeLorean looked cool until I finally saw one in person. They look great from every angle but the front... from which they look like a boat. The front of the body is so high that the styling falls down completely. From the back to the front it's sports car, sports car, sports car, volkswagen sedan. There's no good reason for the hood to be so high on a mid-engined car, but it is anyway.

        People who bought a Pantera got a much better deal. At least it's worth fixing.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          I think it looks cool in person, and you can drive with the doors open... It's a classic British sports car, slightly odd looking from some angles, doesn't quite fit together properly, and underpowered. The joke was that a real Delorean could barely do 88 MPH. In fact, some models had a speedo that only went up to 85.

          That's what made it an ideal time machine. It looked like it was built in some bloke's shed from a kit anyway, so anything you added to it looked pretty much factory fit.

    • Which was mediocre even in its day.

      I bet they could find some cute little 8 to put in there, that's what I would do. Hell, I wonder if there's room in Deloreans to retrofit an Audi V6 and transaxle. That would pep them right up. You could stuff it into a tree in no time.

  • they talked about a few years ago?
    • by Megane ( 129182 )
      I'm pretty sure I've heard that they've been doing this as a refit on existing DeLoreans for a few years now, and it's probably not a bad idea to replace the original engine anyhow. But that's done on demand only. This new run is going to have a decent gasoline engine, so you probably don't want to get one of these and then put in the electric mod.
  • by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2016 @07:46PM (#51385411)
    Delorean, snort started and would follow a white line anywhere.
  • "Only the engine will be a creature of the 21st century."

    The engine definitely needs to be.

  • In 1981 the DeLorean costed $29,825 based on CNN inflation app that would be $76,681. They're selling them at $100,000. I guess they'really making up for that storage costs n just taking advantage of enthusiasts. Or maybe that new engine gonna cost the extra.

    I just wonder if the new engines will make the car actually able to reach 85mph.

  • by kriston ( 7886 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2016 @08:12PM (#51385531) Homepage Journal

    It was widely reported at the time that the government (who were very unhappy) had the body dies destroyed. None of the articles mention how they will build new cars after the legacy stock of body parts is depleted.

    But there's evidence that they're at the bottom of Ards Bay, Connemara, being used as fish net anchors.

    http://www.dmcnews.com/Resourc... [dmcnews.com]

    • How big of a deal would it be to just make new dies? Or, perhaps, is there some alternate process they could use to make the panels?

      I don't know enough about that sort of manufacturing to have a good idea. But it *was* the early '80s. And they didn't do much in the way of "curvy", "aerodynamic", or "low coefficient of drag" back then. The DMC-12, like most cars of that era, is predominantly a collection of nearly flat surfaces and straight lines, with some minor curves at the wheel wells and corners.

      • How big of a deal would it be to just make new dies?

        It is a huge deal. Making the tooling to stamp out cars is probably the biggest percentage of the cost of preparing for their production, assuming an existing assembly line.

        Or, perhaps, is there some alternate process they could use to make the panels?

        Stamping is the cheapest way to form sheet metal, especially stainless. Stainless is harder, so you can't work it as much and working it is harder. If you tried to do it by hand with an air hammer and english wheel, you'd have a bad time. A lot of the shapes used on body panels are difficult to make without stamping, when you get to the

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's much cheaper to make new dies these days, using either the original plans or by laser scanning existing parts.

  • by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2016 @08:31PM (#51385587) Homepage
    Horrid car. If it hadn't been picked randomly to be the centrepiece of a cultish film, no-one would remember them now except possibly as the reason for an infamous downfall. And being part of a cultish film might be a good enough reason to want to own an original one as a conversation piece, but who in their right minds would want to own a new one, to be used as an actual car?
  • by Mike610544 ( 578872 ) on Wednesday January 27, 2016 @09:41PM (#51385837)
    They're talking about putting in an engine w/ 300-400 hp, which doesn't sound like a huge number, but the original car weighed 2700 lb. If they're close to that weight with a decent transmission it will be damn fast.

    I can see a few problems though. The original frame/engine mount only had to deal w/ 130 hp, so probably some modifications needed there. The weight distribution was 35/65 front/rear. With a presumably heavier engine/transmission and anything else needed back there that ratio could get problematic.
  • When the (by then diversified) Studebaker Corporation pulled the plug on automobile manufacturing, a couple of Studebaker dealers hui'ed up to create a company to keep making Avantis. Among other things, they bought the existing stock of Lark convertible sedan frames the Avanti body sat on. From '66 through '83, they cranked out about 3000 Avanti II's, basically Studebakers with Chevy engines and transmissions.

    When the company ran out of Lark frames, they reworked the car to use the Chevy Monte Carlo chassi

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