A parking lot is a parking lot—unless it’s the Summit Racing parking lot. On any given day or time, the lot outside a Summit Racing store can turn into an impromptu mini car show, depending on who’s stopped by the store. On Wednesday, we often share a notable parking lot find—another benefit of being powered by Summit Racing Equipment.
Few cars are able to transcend genres and become engrained in popular culture like the DeLorean DMC-12.
Seriously—whether someone’s a gearhead or not, who can’t immediately identify a DeLorean in a parking lot?
Unfortunately, the car’s fame has overshadowed its place in automotive history. That’s a shame, because it’s actually a pretty remarkable feat of vehicle design and engineering.
It was styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro (a guy who also has Ferrari and Lamborghini on his resume) and the chassis tuning was done by Lotus—the same shop that was building Formula 1 cars.
Out back, the rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive DeLorean DMC-12 is powered by a 130-horsepower motor designed in a Peugeot-Renault-Volvo joint venture.
And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the stainless-steel body and iconic gull-wing doors.
Unfortunately, the DMC-12 (and ultimately the DeLorean Motor Company itself) was an automotive flop akin to the Ford Edsel.
What went wrong? Though it certainly looked the part of a supercar, the DMC-12 didn’t boast the performance numbers.
Fit and finish also was not on-par with a car in its $25,000 price bracket—the equivalent of about $70,000 in today’s dollars. A host of other issues contributed to the DMC-12’s poor sales.
Fun Fact: DeLorean originally wanted to sell the car for $12,000, hence the name DMC-12.
Regardless of its initial reception, a DMC-12 now gathers a crowd any time it’s parked.
Which is why we ran out to greet this one as it rolled into the Summit Racing parking lot in Tallmadge, OH. Seeing a DMC driven in the wild is always a treat, but seeing one being driven on a less-than-sunny day is even more impressive.
We guessed that it was an early production version, given the fuel door flap in the hood (it was later removed). Our suspicions were confirmed—the owner came out to tell us it’s a 1981.
The owner was also kind enough to open the rear engine bay for us, showing off a seriously clean powerplant. (The owner tells us that he’s upgraded the engine and it makes the car really scoot!)
Check out more pics below.