From a writer’s perspective it is difficult to form an opinion of a car by driving it one time. Unfortunately that is often what writers have to do in order to meet deadlines or scoop the next guy. What does this mean? Writers have a short amount of time to experience a car. The need to write confidently leads them to write hautily; the thought that driving one once qualifies them as an expert. Every miniscule flaw is exaggerated and assumed to be present on every other car regardless of its age, condition, or maintenance history.
Compounding the problem is the DeLorean’s generational popularity, making it oft-compared to modern cars instead of its contemporaries with, unsurprisingly, negative results. This kind of behaviour can be good-natured and fun, but in many instances it’s simply an unprofessional and unnecessary attack on the car. So why do it? It’s trendy to knock DeLoreans simply because they, like Back to the Future, are so prominent in 2015. They’re the hero car of 2015, and as the Green Goblin said in another Hollywood blockbuster, “The one thing they love more than a hero is to see a hero fail.” Unfortunately this practice hurts car enthusiasts and collectors, as facts become muddled among the pervasive untruths and exaggerations.
Writers and editors are in a position of power. When car-centric websites regurgitate imaginary or incorrect information they’re potentially jeopardizing their own credibility, but more importantly they negatively impact car values and collectability. The demand for higher web traffic drives writers to review cars quickly and carelessly, scraping together anecdotal information and adding their own dramatic adjectives. Hot Wheels designer Manson Cheung puts it so concisely: “Restating misinformation and popular opinion does not make it fact.”
The concept of the DeLorean being terrible isn’t new but it is perpetuated by lazy writers, unreasonable comparisons and irrational expectations. Any sensible DeLorean owner won’t deny its quirks (horn on the stalk), faults (too high front springs) and flaws (weak trailing arm bolts). But the assumption that the very earliest 1981 cars’ flaws (I.e. Johnny Carson’s) are current, or the extrapolation made from test-driving one poorly maintained example is unacceptable in responsible journalism.
In my experience, when writers and editors can’t back up their claims or don’t want to engage in genuine conversation, (or suddenly discover you are an owner with more knowledge/experience) they’re quick to shut the conversation down. All other arguments aside, if my 121,000 miles cannot attest to the DeLorean’s reliability, surely Dan Harris’s (VIN 1150) 250,000+ mile daily driver, or Terri and Oliver Holler’s 500,000+ miles – can.
**(To be fair, after the Twitter argument the original post was edited to state that parts were in fact available.)