Stainless steel is typically a more expensive material to manufacture with due to its advanced properties, so it not a great surprise that not many production cars have used the material, beyond a handful of promotional vehicles for shows and new model launches.
There are however two very famous exceptions, the elder being the iconic DMC DeLorean of back to the Future fame, that had a production run of three years between 1981 and 1983. The newer exception was unveiled this year, and is the new Telsa Cybertruck, which could go into production in 2022.
That does beg the question, of why the gulf of decades between stainless steel production cars, and why stainless steel, with all its benefits of durability and corrosion resistance, hasn’t been used more often.
The difference is of course cost, with regular mild steel being considerably cheaper but that difference when the marketing need arises to capture the publics imagination. Marketing was surely a factor with the DeLorean, though DMC also pointed out that the stainless steel body work allowed the car to be completely re-polished at any time, instantly restore its factory lustre.
Marketing is undoubtedly at the forefront of Telsa’s decision to use stainless steel for the Cybertruck also, though its sister company, Space-X has also used the material extensively.
If the design of CyberTruck looks vaguely familiar, that’s also no coincidence, and James Bond fans will have flash backs to the Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me, with the unfortunate nick name of “Wet Nellie”.
Indeed Elon Musk was so inspired by that iconic design, that he purchased the exact car used in the movie for $997,000 for a very fortunate couple in Long Island that came to own it by chance after purchasing an unclaimed storage unit for $100! Musk tweested that the new EV CyberTruck’s sharp edged design was “influenced partly by The Spy Who Loved Me” – and as our composite image shows, the similarities are striking.
We think Elon Musk would love it here at DSM… he’s obviously a massive fan of Stainless Steel and has a passion for design and manufacturing techniques. www.dsmstainlessproducts.co.uk