The DeLorean Motor Company was the vision of John DeLorean. An American based company that only produced one model from 1981-83, the DMC-12. The car featured gull-wing doors, fibreglass chassis and under-body structure, along with the brushed stainless steel exterior. The car hit popular iconic status for its appearance in the hit movie and related sequels ‘Back to the Future’.
Until today, Sun Star’s 1:18 replica was the most appropriate option for collectors. AUTOart unveiled their model at last year’s hobby show and anticipation for it has been somewhat sublime. The key for the AUTOart replica was the crafting of the exterior brushed stainless steel finish. They went as far as releasing a press article highlighting the complex dynamics and challenges producing the delicate finish. You can read the article HERE.
Fast forward to release month, September 2015. Our insider source tipped us off with an exclusive, the finish was so challenging that the original production run of 5000 units was now only 1000 (that’s an 80% failure rate folks). And if the model would ever go into production again it would not be in traditional diecast form. From a collector’s standpoint that equates to instant classic! So how does the AUTOart replica hold up?
Unpacking the model is challenging as to not get finger prints on the exterior. I highly recommend you take out your collector gloves. All the hype behind the exterior finish work is valid; AUTOart definitely hit the mark and more! I love how they captured the transition colour differences of the front fascia and rear bumper – exceptional transition. Ride height and stance mirrors the original DMC-12 nicely. Panel gaps and shutlines are excellent throughout the entire model.
The front fascia – AUTOart wasn’t messing around here, the craftsmanship is spot on. Lower grilles are perforated as we like to see. Headlights and turn signals are fabricated with quality materials. Fit and finish is excellent. The rear follows suit. The taillights are replicated nicely and follow the transitional colours. Bumper features embossed DeLorean name and exhaust/tips are crafted to original standards.
The wheels are beautifully executed. The multi-fin wheels are matched to 4-bolts and DMC logo in centre. You don’t see much is terms of braking and suspension bits from the standard view but when you flip the model over you are treated to a plethora of detail. This is something that wasn’t expected, well not in this abundance. There is front and rear suspension components, drive shafts, transmission bits, motor, exhaust working front to rear and a whole lot more. The best part, nothing is done half-ass it is all quality work. Well done AUTOart!
The front storage is accessible, hood is front sweeping. The hinge work is well executed and the addition of struts left and right add to the overall realism. The hood featured on the AUTOart model is from the early initial releases form DeLorean, the later models featured a slightly cleaner look and DeLorean emblem on the front right.
The rear section houses the motor. There are two covers to open here; the first is a grille style hatch. AUTOart used diecast metal to replicate not plastic. The second cover encloses the motor. Each works as advertised. The DMC-12 motor is Frankenstein like, featuring bits from the likes of Peugeot, Renault, and Volvo (PRV 2.85 litre V6). The execution is excellent in my opinion, the various layers and materials work well in aiding to a beautiful finish and life-like look.
Inside the interior is a treat, nothing flashy, definitely all eighties… The gull-wing doors operate without issue but my particular model had some challenges in keeping them up in the open position. Inside the interior finish is monotone. Materials and finish work is excellent. This includes all areas on the interior: doors, dash, centre console and more. If I had to criticize something here it would be the somewhat bulky manual shifter boot and the lack of rubber kick plates within the foot well area.
The replica from AUTOart is top notch, nothing more nothing less. I personally don’t see anything wrong with the model other than the price. The exterior finish work is truly unique. Being a limited production piece due to unforeseen manufacturing challenges this can only call the model into “true collector” status sooner than expected. AUTOart has ignited the DeLorean brand with their rendition of the DMC-12, and it was a pleasure to review. The DeLorean DMC-12 is one of those cars that should be in your collection if you consider yourself a fan of automobile history. Now be it a Sun Star or AUTOart edition, I’ll leave that up to you to decide. Enjoy the pics!