Lakeland Motor Museum celebrates 40 years of the iconic DeLorean


Although we remain temporarily closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are celebrating the 40th birthday of one of our most iconic vehicles this week – the DMC DeLorean.

First rolling off the production line in a purpose-built factory in Belfast, Northern Ireland on 21 January 1981, and despite many mechanical and build-quality issues, the DeLorean became a favourite around the world. This was helped largely due to its iconic status as the time machine in the Back to the Future movie trilogy.

Until 2020, the example of the DeLorean on display here at the Lakeland Motor Museum had been on a long-term loan from the vehicle’s owners, before we purchased it, securing the classic car as a prime exhibit for years to come.

Despite delighting fans of the car thanks to features like the gull-wing doors and its brushed stainless steel body, reviews have been generally unfavourable over the years, with Time magazine famously including the car in its list of the ‘50 Worst Cars of All Time’ in 2017. In the first of the Back to the Future movies, Michael J Fox’s character Marty McFly even quipped, “You built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?”

Although with a commercial reputation widely known for its lack of power and performance, around 9,000 DeLoreans were sold over a three-year period in the early 1980’s but remain a rare sight on the roads today.

Such is the enthusiasm for the vehicle here at the museum, a New Zealand man made local headlines in 2020 after spending several years hunting for a DeLorean as a 50thbirthday present to himself, having been inspired by a visit to us several years ago.

Jennifer Cormack, our Sales and Marketing Director, says, “I can’t think of a better example of a car than the DeLorean which has captured the imaginations of both the young and old over such a long period of time. It’s instantly recognisable and is a firm favourite for photo opportunities. When the time is right, we can’t wait to re-open again so even more people can take a look at what is clearly one of our most popular and influential exhibits. While it can’t literally go back in time, we know that it certainly unlocks happy memories from the past.”

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