For DeLorean lovers, the distinct ’80s sports car lives on

Toby Peterson hears all kinds of questions when it comes to his car, a 1982 DeLorean.

The DeLorean

Toby Peterson hears all kinds of questions when it comes to his car, a 1982 DeLorean.

“It’s always positive,” said Peterson, owner of the DeLorean Motor Company Northwest in Bellevue. “They ask all kinds of things, like where is the Flux Capacitor.”

In many people’s minds, the DeLorean is forever tied to the 1985 movie, “Back to the Future”, in which Michael J. Fox travels in time, courtesy of a heavily modified DeLorean powered by a nuclear reactor and the fictitious Flux Capacitor, the component that enables the car to pass through time.

Last week, the car was featured heavily in the third installment of the Auburn Parks, Arts and Recreation Department’s Shades of Summer and Comcast Cinema concert and movie series at Les Gove Park.

Peterson, along with other members of the Pacific Northwest DeLorean car club, was on hand for the showing of the movie on an inflatable screen erected at the park. Despite little rain, the audience was treated to the movie, as well as live music from the band, No Rules.

But it was the three DeLoreans’ cameo that stole the show.

Peterson, resplendent in a tie-dyed Auburn Farmers Market shirt, stood by one of his cars, a 1983 model on sale for $33,700, answering questions from the crowd.

“It’s more of a working man’s sports car,” Peterson said of the car’s appeal. “People look at Ferraris and Lamborghinis and think excess. They like the DeLoreans, though.”

Peterson said he has owned his current DeLorean for 22 years.

“I kind of got into them in 1988,” he said.

Now he restores and sells them from his shop in Bellevue.

The DeLorean made its debut in 1981 as the brainchild of John DeLorean, a former General Motors engineer responsible for the creation of the classic muscle car, the Pontiac GTO.

The DeLorean DMC-12, which was built in Northern Ireland, featured a distinctive stainless steel body with gull wing doors that set the car apart from many of its counterparts in the early 1980s.

Production of the car was short lived, however.

In 1982, John DeLorean was charged with trafficking cocaine, nabbed in a sting operation set up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Although he was found not guilty due to entrapment in 1984, the company that bore his name declared bankruptcy in 1982.

John DeLorean died of a stroke in 2005.

The car lives on, however, both on the screen and in real life.

In addition to many used DeLoreans, fans also can buy a newly built DMC-12, manufactured by the DeLorean Motor Company (Texas) starting at $57,500.


For more information on the DeLorean, visit the Pacific Northwest DeLorean Club’s site at or Peterson’s Web site at The DeLorean Motor Company (Texas) site is available at

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