DeLorean Concepts Go Back to the Future

Share Article

Prime examples of DeLorean influenced classics can be found this weekend at the Toronto Fall Classic Car Auction, Oct. 21-23 at the International Center.

Automotive legend John Zachary DeLorean began his motoring career at Chrysler and Packard, eventually joining General Motors in 1956 and rising to the vice president’s chair in 1972. Aside from his namesake DeLorean sports car of later years, his greatest contribution to the automotive industry were his conceptual ideas which included the Bonneville, Tempest, Firebird, Chevrolet Vega and the venerable Pontiac GTO. Prime examples of these DeLorean influenced classics can be found this weekend at the Toronto Fall Classic Car Auction, Oct. 21-23 at the International Center including one of the finest DeLoreans in existence.

After leaving GM in 1973 to pursue his own ambitions, Delorean culled investors and resources to build the ultimate sports car. In 1981 he introduced his vision to the automotive world with the DeLorean DMC12 - a gull-winged, stainless steel skinned, supercar designed in Italy, assembled in Ireland, and destined for America. The DeLorean's fancy price tag in a tight economic period contributed to the vehicle's market failure. In 1982, (actually 23 years ago today) he was arrested on charges of attempting to broker drugs in a last effort to save his venture, but was eventually acquitted.

A little too late, DeLorean’s dream car became a star on its own as a “time machine” in the 1984 blockbuster movie “Back to The Future” making the car an instant classic. Ironically, DeLorean’s last business venture before his death in May of this year was selling expensive timepieces over the Internet. Unfortunately, time was something DeLorean ran out of.

One of best surviving examples of DeLorean’s automotive legacy is up for bids this weekend at the Toronto Fall Classic Car Auction - an appreciating original 1983 DeLorean DMC12 with only 6,350 kms - one of only 100 built for the Canadian market with a 240 km speedometer, V6 with five-speed transmission, 4 wheel disc brakes and grey leather interior. Styled by Italdesign's Giorgetto Giugiaro who also designed the familiar Lotus Esprit.

Regarded as the father of the muscle car, DeLorean convinced GM in the early 1960’s that an affordable high performance sports model was needed for the “youth market”.. Dropping a 389 cu. in. into Pontiac’s Tempest with GTO designation was a surefire hit for GM, selling all 32,000 models. The GTO’s initial 10 year run ended unceremoniously in 1974. One of these cars from that era is up for auction this weekend - a Cameo White 1967 Pontiac GTO Convertible featuring a 400 cu. in. V8 with three-speed automatic including his/hers Hurst shifter, power steering, power brakes and power top. Looking to capitalize on the retro craze GM went "back to the future" with the introduction of the 2004 Pontiac GTO which offered a very different style and performance for a different generation of enthusiasts.

Other influential DeLorean creations up for bids include:

1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – This matching numbers, L-74 Ram Air III, 400 cu. in., four-speed Trans Am has received a complete rotisserie restoration. Finished in Cameo White with Lucerne Blue racing stripes and complete with documentation and full history back to the original owner. One of only 689 built and increasingly rare.

1960 Pontiac Bonneville Coupe – Includes a professionally rebuilt 389 cu. in. and automatic transmission. Equipped with dual exhaust, power steering, power brakes, AM radio with power antenna and wide whitewall tires.

1976 Vega Kammback Station Wagon - Original, rust-free Arkansas economy car. 140 cu. in. in-line four cylinder, with a turbo Hydramatic transmission, factory air conditioning and copy of original window sticker.

RM’s Toronto International Fall Classic Car Auction kicks off Friday, Oct. 21st at Noon, with a first-day vehicle preview. Friday’s auction action begins at 3:00 p.m., and ends at 9:00 p.m. On Saturday, doors open for preview at 9:00 a.m. with the auction starting at 10:00 a.m. and continuing until 9:00 p.m. On Sunday, doors open for preview at 9:00 a.m., with the auction starting at 11:00 a.m. and continuing until 6:00 p.m.

Celebrating more than 25 years in the collector car industry, RM Classic Cars and its sister companies are responsible for acquiring, restoring and selling the world’s rarest and most desirable vintage automobiles including Best of Show winning cars at the prestigious Meadow Brook and Pebble Beach Concours. For the latest information on this event or these automobiles please call toll-free (800) 211-4371, or visit the company’s web site at


Terrance D. Lobzun

TEL: 519-352-3390 ext. 288


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

T. D. Lobzun