In Newquay, Cornwall, UK, lives a man named Tyler DeLorean, and he’s been claiming to be DeLorean’s son for a very long time. As of this year, he’s doing a little more than just tell tall tales: he’s also gotten into designing and building DeLorean DMCs that have only three wheels instead of four. He calls the vehicle a DeLorean DMC 21, and proudly states that it is “the future.”
Speaking with CornwallLive in a recent interview, Tyler DeLorean claims that his car is based on original plans from 1981 and that, had it gone into production back then, it would have probably saved the company from ruin. He also calls the car a pure DMC, “the new” DMC, which makes it sound as if it’s built from the ground up. It is not.
To DeLorean junior, it’s the perfect base for the car of tomorrow. After two years of tinkering with Rialtos and developing no less than five prototypes (one of which was called, at one point, the Rialto DeLorean, by the way), he believes he discovered the perfect, scaled-down DeLorean vehicle. It comes with a brushed aluminum finish, remote-controlled gullwing doors, waterproof stereo, a mini flux capacitor, DMC courtesy lights on the doors, and DMC branded carpets, steering wheel, gear knob and wheels. Lots of DMC branding, lest you forget what you’re driving.
Power comes from a 3-cylinder 850cc engine that takes the three-wheeler to a top speed of 100 mph (161 kph). At 88 mph (142 kph), “things are gonna start happening” anyhow, DeLorean says laughing, in reference to the Back to the Future movies. But at least you know for a fact that you can hit that speed with no problem.
DeLorean took the three-wheeler on display at the British Motor Show in August, where he claims it was met with such warm feedback that organizers asked him back with three more cars at the next edition. Meanwhile, he’s taking pre-orders on the vehicle and has plans to start a production line. He will ship internationally, too, so the price is either $25,000 or £20,000, depending on the area of delivery.
The DeLorean Motor Company, once based in Northern Ireland, where John DeLorean supposedly had a one-night hookup with DeLorean junior’s mother, still exists. It’s now based in Texas, where Liverpool car mechanic Stephen Wynne moved after he bought off all DMC trademarks and remaining inventory. He never gave up hope of bringing DMC back and, as we speak, there is serious indication that the iconic vehicle is poised to return, in some form of another.
Whatever form it will take, it won’t be that of a three-wheeler, let alone one based on the much-ridiculed Rialto. So the actual DMC has sued the alleged lovechild and his replica DMC for copyright infringement and passing off. He is free to claim to be the son of whoever he wants to be, attorneys for the company say, but he can’t take trademarked elements and used them on his products as if he owned them.
DeLorean junior says he will fight the DMC in court and win, so plans for an electric version of the DMC 21, a hot tub DMC 21 (you read that right), and a drone-operated DMC 21 still stand. Plus, every pre-order gets a free hoverboard, can you believe your luck?! Meanwhile, he’s launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for his legal expenses and, because he tells such a convincing story, he’s gotten exactly zero backers as of the moment of press.
Everyone’s game for innovation, until you shamelessly rip off a classic to get there. That’s where the fun stops.