Cram Your Hoverboards, They’re Bringing Back The DeLorean

The most expensive nostalgia tie-in ever?

Movie anniversaries pile up nowadays, but people really went bonkers for the 30th anniversary of Back To The Future last year. And with good reason: in a decade where nostalgia often clouds quality, BTTF is a bona-fide classic - a funny, smart, crackling yarn with heart. I will begrudge no one their Back To The Future nostalgia.

But the industry that built up around this nostalgia seemed to focus on the sequel, which is a tougher justification. Marty's 2015 self-lacing sneakers, those damn hoverboard replicas, Elijah Wood - people love all things Back To The Future II. I just can't get on board that train. (Yes I know the train is from Part III. Shut up.) Make mine original!

For the seriously devoted BTTF fan, something amazing is about to happen: DMC is resurrecting the DeLorean. Well, kind of. They WANT to resurrect the DeLorean. There are some obstacles. I'll paste their entire plight below, because it's pretty interesting.

For nearly five decades, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not distinguished between a company producing millions of cars and a small business making a few custom cars. NHTSA’s one-size-fits-all approach meant that these small companies were subject to the same regulations and paperwork burdens as the large automakers that mass-produce vehicles.

In December 2015, the language from the “Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act” (H.R. 2675) – which creates a reasonable regulatory structure allowing small companies to produce a limited number of completed replica motor vehicles that resemble the appearance of cars produced 25 years ago or more. – was inserted to the federal highway bill (H.R. 22) and signed into law.

The new law provides common-sense regulatory relief for small businesses that would otherwise be treated as if they were producing millions of cars. The companies are required to register with NHTSA and EPA, and file annual production reports. The replica vehicles will be subject to equipment standards, recalls and remedies.

The vehicles must meet current Clean Air Act standards for the model year in which they are produced. The new law allows the low volume vehicle manufacturer to meet the standards by installing an engine and emissions equipment produced by another automaker (GM, Ford, etc.) for a similar EPA-certified vehicle configuration or a crate engine that has been granted a California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Order (EO). This reasonable regulatory reform will also spur innovation, including advances in alternative-fuel and green vehicle technologies.

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. 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.

So the TL;DR version is this: DMC is planning to produce a small run of replica DeLoreans. If the government lets them. Anything can happen, but they seem optimistic enough to have produced a commercial already!

Would you buy one? Man, it's maybe the coolest car of the '80s, but so inextricably linked to this ONE movie that it sort of renders the car nothing more than a very, very expensive tie-in. I can't help but hear the faint echoes of my pal Noah Segan's words to me when I mentioned wanting to buy the distinctive vintage Hamilton Ventura watch worn by Elvis Presley and Rod Serling: "You can find them, but they're kind of hesher watches." On the other hand, I just showed Noah this news and he said: "I would totally buy a new DeLorean."

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