Back to the Future car maker’s ‘son’ in hot water for making three-wheel replica

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Ty DeLorean, who claims to be the son of eccentric car manufacturer John DeLorean, has been creating his own version of the DMC-12 out of Reliant Robins – and has now landed himself in hot water

A man who claims to be John Delorean’s son has landed himself in hot water after making his own version of the legendary DMC-12 – out of Reliant Robins.

Ty DeLorean, 40, did a pretty convincing job with his replica of the time-travelling car from Back to the Future, as it comes with gullwing doors, Delorean Motor Company branding, and even has a flux capacitor.

But the DMC 21 is built on the three-wheeled Robin Reliant, which unfortunately has a top speed of just 85 MPH – nearly four MPH slower than necessary for the car to travel through time, as Cornwall Live reports.

Ty’s problems don’t stop there, as his creation has landed him in hot water with the DeLorean Motor Company’s lawyers for trademark infringement – but he insists he is willing to fight the case in court.

Ty, from Newquay, Cornwall, said: “We believe that if this car had been released as planned in 1981 it would have potentially saved the DeLorean factory, so it needed to be built. We believe it would have sold millions then and they still will sell millions today.

“I took the car to the British Motor Show where it was a massive hit and everyone loved it. They’ve invited me back next year with three more cars.

“While I was at the show I was hand-served papers by the DeLorean Motor Company from Texas stating that they were pursuing me in court for trademark infringement.

“Now me and the car are at the centre of a billion-dollar legal case which I have full intention of fighting and winning the trademark.

“Due to the success of the movies, the trademark is worth billions of dollars. There has been a lot of contested history with this trademark. Despite that I took the car out around the track with the badges on – I thought, ‘I’ll see you in court’.

Law firm Shakespeare Martineau has written to Ty on behalf of its client DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) concerning “trademark infringement and passing off”.

In the letter, seen by CornwallLive, the lawyers state: “Whilst our client notes your claim to be the son of John DeLorean, being the son of John DeLorean does not give you the right to use our client’s UK registered trademarks without its permission, or to pass your business off as being in some way connected to or endorsed by our client’s business.

“Our client cannot and will not sit by and allow any third party to infringe its intellectual property rights, and if this dispute is not resolved by the signing of undertakings as requested by the end of Friday 27 August 2021 we expect to receive our client’s instructions to issue proceedings, which may include seeking urgent relief from the court.”

Ty says he is prepared to go to court and, what’s more, believes he can win the case.

He added: “I don’t want the scandal side of this, I want something amazing in Cornwall – a brand new car which was a real hit at the motor show.”

He added that people he’s employed to help build the cars have “scarpered” because of the likelihood of a court case.

Ty has long insisted he is the son of the disgraced American automobile mogul who lost his company and was hit by scandal after being charged with, but later acquitted of, conspiracy to obtain and distribute £17.6 million ($24m) worth of cocaine.

Ty continued: “I’ve got to be careful what I say as I have people to protect, but the basic outline is that when he was in Northern Ireland my mother briefly met him and that’s where I was conceived.

“My mother’s decision was that no one needed to know. It’s my choice to do what I want with the name – it’s my legal name, the name on my passport – so the court case will be DMC v DeLorean in court, which is an interesting one.