1981 DeLorean DMC-12

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1981 DeLorean DMC-12
RCR DeLorean DMC-12 Thumb.jpg
Car Details
Make DeLorean
Model DMC-12
Year 1981
Owner ?
Episode Details
Episode Link Watch
Season YouTube Partner
Air Date February 10, 2014
Credits Nick B.

A car that gets you precisely in the way you wish to be gotten. Special thanks to Ted Stoltz for serving as our 3rd videographer.


Oh man, oh man, oh man. I can-aaaaaaaaaaaah!


Roman (in a holy choir tone):


Is it possible to feel nostalgia for something you've never experienced? Is it possible to return to a moment of artless joy, the likes of which you've never experienced? Is it possible for an unknowable place to feel like home? Can one ever be truly worthy of this? 1981 DeLorean DMC-12. When I was in fifth grade I sawed a crude DeLorean out of scrap wood using a hacksaw, it was about the size of an original GameBoy. The only silver paint I had in the house was a rattle can of Rust-Oleum my dad used on the pool fence. I would hold my little wooden car while watching... the movie. I was in a wood paneled basement, watching it on an old RCA color TV with VHF and UHF knobs. Once a car is a star, it moves beyond reproach, you can't touch it. Ask anyone with a Knight Rider KITT conversion, an Ectomobile, Jurassic Park Wrangler, A-Team Van, Herbie, General Lee, Bullitt Mustang, Mirthmobile. I have an imagine relationship with this car, but I've never touched one until now. And let me tell ya, standing next to a real one, it's as good as you think. 

I now measure my automotive history as BD and AD. What's- what's it like to be in the presence of this? Well, a DMC-12 is smaller than you think. It's about the size of a Mitsubishi Eclipse from the nineties. Yeah, that's it, a Mitsubishi Eclipse, but a lot lower. 

The doors. Ungnnngnadaoooors.

The Doors in real life don't don't make the space station hiss sound. They just go 'clunk' like any other car door. Oh, but when you open them, they do rise up all by themselves. Then they stop around here, and you have to nudge them up the rest of the way. 

Here's something the owner uses at car shows, it's a length of hard plastic tubing that he can jam into the car doors so people won't sit in his car at car shows. He tells me this behavior is a thing. Most car show spectators are respectful, and approach cars with their hands behind their back as a sign of respect. The message they're conveying is "I'm not going to touch your car. See? See my hands? They're behind my back, nowhere near your car." Oh but if they see a DeLorean, "Oh, dude dude dude! DeLorean! DeLorean! DeLorean! Touch touch touch touch touch touch touch. Sit sit sit sit. Grab grab grab. Steering wheel, move around. Touch everything, touch all the buttons!" So, the owner had to put this bar here to say "Hey now, I know you're excited. But, take it easy."

Speaking of the doors, you've heard hot wind from buffoons who insist that DMC doors wreck adjacent parked cars? Check this out. I parked my Echo like king dick, right next to this guy's D, and watch this. He has to turn a little bit to get past my side mirror aaaand, uh, uh, no problem. 

*Heavy Breathing* Is it time? It is time. It's time for real? I-I am not worthy of this. Oh, this is happening, this is happening. Oh thank you, thank you, thank you so much. Thank you.

What's it like to drive a DeLorean for the first time? 


(Camera Audio) 

Regular (Driver's Seat): Oh, where's the seat belt? Whoa, this is a-this... this is something no one ever says. 

Ted Stoltz (Passenger): I know, it's like a penis.

Regular: This is weird. It is like a penis..... Ooooooh, alright. All the-all the dials jump when you do that.

Ted Stoltz: I need a wide-angle lens. (Laughs) That's fun.... Look how big the switches are. It's really surprising.

Regular: I know its-its huge. 

Ted Stoltz: They're absolutely massive.

Regular: What does this do, what does this do, what does that do? 

Ted Stoltz: (I know right) I know right! Like... I'm going to roll the window

Regular: Alright, drive. I'm in drive, I'm driving a DeLorean. (Laughs) Holy wow this is heavy steering! This is like a tractor.


This is weird, you know how every car has the blue light on the dash to tell you your high beams are on. But, a DeLorean has one too, but it also has a green light for you low beam that's on when your low beam is on. So you have a green light shining at you for low beam or a blue light shining at you for high beam. Why do you need that?

The DeLorean's horn is on the turn signal stalk. You sound the horn by pushing the stalk in, like a plunger, and MGBs are kinda like this. 

This DMC-12 had a four speed auto, which feels like a driver's ed Chevy Corsica. Modern slushboxes at least learn your driving style, but an auto DeLorean shifts whenever it's in the mood. Oh yeah, you can click the automatic down, but the tall gearing makes the V6 go huaaaaaaaaaaaaa. 

This is the first DeLorean I've ever touched and I'm still driving it! *sexual grunts* Uh oh! *sighs* THIS IS BETTER THAN MY DOUBLE D MOTORBOAT WITH THAT GIRL WHO LIKED TO CUT HERSELF. TOO DARK. 

So I don't know where on he podium this DMC falls. It's not quite a daily driver, but the presence of a modern head unit, period correct map light, and patina, does means this does get around. This is used as a regular car. The DeLorean offers no greater proof of the ontological argument, for this is what is meant by 'Deus Ex Machina'. Delorean, unmolested by time, or the mercenary aesthetics of modernity. DeLorean, it looks the way love feels. It;s like making out with a high school girlfriend, and going for second base, only to suddenly realize she isn't stopping you this time. Why isn't she stopping me? She always stops me. Maybe it's her sudden, inexplicable fondness for my FULLY ENGORGED BLOOD-FILLED SIN SWORD. Maybe it's the car. It's definitely the car, definitely the car. But who cares, WHO CARES. WHO GIVES A BEAVER'S DAM WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR HAND RESTING COMFORTABLY ON A TIT. 

The driver's seat is low, like the Maxell Cassette guy. But the DeLorean is closer to godliness than cleanliness has ever been or ever will be. Yes, I know the DeLorean ends up being a case of ""never meet your heroes"" somewhat, and if this car were a person, it would tip strippers with twenties and be the governor of a blue state in the North East. Look, I know you're never supposed to meet your heroes, but the DeLorean's functionality overcomes modern cultural cynicism. It's fairly uncomplicated, anybody can drive this thing, even the most novice of drivers. Seriously, go, try it, get the automatic one, look. I know it looks alien, and I know it looks weird, but even with this heavy steering it's much more responsive in its handling than most modern cars. besides, more than a fair share of modern cars respond like a gas station attendant who only selectively understands English. 

But the DeLorean is a car that gets you precisely in the way you wish to be gotten. The glory or gloom of this car is almost entirely the product of what the owner brings to it. You may never get the chance to restore an old DeLorean in the way some get to restore Chevelles or Honda Elsinores, but driving a DeLorean isn't that different from rebuilding those old stall warts of class and function. You get out of it whatever you put into it. A DeLorean is not a slave to the moth eaten fabric of time. They will be built and re-built forever. It's a car that doesn't force terms upon you. A DeLorean is as majestic or antiquated as you decide. 


(Camera Audio)

Regular: Oh that is surprising how easy that is.

Ted (?): Yeah, its...

Regular: I was not expecting these to be so easy to close.

Ted: Yeah, it's a great system. 

Regular. This... look this is one finger. Alright this has to go in the video no-no one has explained how easy this is to close. This is one finger and I'm bringing it down. Alright now it's getting a little bit tough. Okay, from here I need a whole hand. Ho, ho that is so freaking cool. Alright, alright are you gonna get a shot of it? 

Ted: Yeah.

Ted: Look at the old school 1980s clock. It's like glowing green LEDs right out a William Gibson novel.