Many movies and documentaries have told the extraordinary story of John Z. DeLorean. Critics gasped when he left General Motors to set up his own company, but the futuristic designs for the stainless steel, gull-wing DeLorean DMC-12 were a sensation.
British government subsidies financed an unlikely factory in Belfast, in conflict-hit Northern Ireland, but the dream was dead within a couple of years. DeLorean himself was even arrested—and acquitted—in an FBI drug sting as he tried to find any money to keep the company afloat.
Today Humble, Texas, a town of just 16,000 people, is the location for the main DeLorean facility.
Texas is second to California as the U.S. state with the most DMC-12 owners, and this facility does repairs and restorations, and ships parts to other DeLorean garages in the United States and beyond. It is also home to a small and barely known DeLorean museum.
The museum is rather off the beaten track, but arriving at the anonymous-looking building you’re likely to be rewarded with a stunning sight: a row of the unmissable sportscars lined up outside.
Inside, the museum features a gorgeous showroom-ready DeLorean alongside a rusty, dilapidated “barn find” from Louisiana, an architect’s model and brick from the Belfast factory, plus the last right-side door manufactured there, complete with a message written by the workers.
There are also posters, pictures, magazines, blueprints, artifacts, a Back to the Future pinball machine, DeLorean merchandise, and, if you’re an owner or driver, car parts you might well need.
Liverpool-born auto-mechanic and DeLorean fan Stephen Wynne is the man behind it all. He spent many years in the U.S. selling, buying and working on the cars in the 1980s, and in 1996 he bought the remaining 1,800 unsold vehicles and the inventory of parts and tooling.
Wynne is hoping that the much-delayed government approval for the manufacture of new cars (complete with all modern features) will come soon, and drivers who weren’t even alive in the 1980s can have their own DMC-12.
Know Before You Go
If you’re lucky, Wynne might lead you around for a personal tour.