A cult icon it may now be, but by the time DeLorean's DMC-12 appeared in the first Back to the Future movie, production of the car had already stopped and the company had gone into liquidation. In 2017, though, it may start rolling off the production line again.
The current DeLorean Motor Company was formed in 1995 and, like the original (though unrelated) firm, is US-based. As such, it is subject to regulation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In an update on its website, Delorean explains that up until recently the NHTSA had not adequately distinguished between companies producing millions of cars and smaller companies producing only a few.
"NHTSA's one-size-fits-all approach meant that these small companies were subject to the same regulations and paperwork burdens as the large automakers that mass-produce vehicles," the company writes.
It says the new Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, however, passed in December last year, allows for a more liberal regulatory structure and one within which it can work. The act makes it easier for companies producing limited numbers of replicas of cars that were produced 25 years ago or more to operate.
DeLorean says that, in anticipation of the legislation, it has been working for some time to identify suppliers for engines and other parts with a view to restarting production in 2017. While the news is encouraging, it points out that it is still early days and any move to restart production will still face a "number of hurdles."