Sunlight streaked off the flat panels of stainless steel.
“Is that what I think it is?” The lady standing next to me asked in an awed whisper.
“Yes.” I answered, “It’s a Delorian.”
“I want it!” She replied, excitedly. “It matches my kitchen appliances.”
I laughed while imagining the car as some sort of artistic island in the middle of a kitchen. Stainless steel appliances surrounding it the proper triangle position with concrete counter-tops and white, modernistic cabinets completing the look. With stainless pulls, of course.
Then I thought again of the car. Here was one man’s dream come to life. How often can a person say that? True, the finished product was not the car he had dreamed of when he started; but John Z. Delorian took that dream and chose to run with it. Along the way, he ran into the unyielding crash wall of reality. The engine that wasn’t his first choice. The recreating of the chassis from the original. The use of stainless steel for the body instead of the polymers that he wanted. Through all that, he still made the car. It was a triumph.
Too bad, John Z. focused more on his presence than the company. As much as he spent on Delorian Motor Company, he spent just as high a percentage on his office and lifestyle. He wanted to start big. He wanted to compete against the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini both in cars and presence. If he had just focused on the cars, he might have made it. Instead of going head to head with Ferrari, he could’ve slotted his car between Ferrari and Corvette. This would’ve given him the entrance he needed for success.
There is another car company out there that shows how an exotic dream can be made into reality and survive the harsh world of reality. The company is called Morgan and it is every bit the exotic that Delorian wanted his cars to be. The way they achieved this is in direct opposite of Delorian. Instead of exotic polymers and unique metals, Morgan has a frame made of wood and is clad in regular steel. Instead of high tuned suspensions, the Morgan has tried and true technology. Instead of gull wing doors and computers, there are needle dials and pull tabs. But most of all, where Delorian focused on his image to bring in more money, Morgan focused on their cars. They slowly evolve while the people who build them by hand sweat the details.
True the Morgan will never out run a Ferrari or Lambo; but it is the physical embodiment of a dream. That alone should inspire us to follow ours.