De Lorean DMC 12

 
 

 

Pictured above; A DMC 12

 
 
 
 

John DeLorean was a flamboyant automobile industry executive, that spent many years at General Motors. he was responsible for bring the Pontiac GTO to production, which was their most popular sports car produced. Some people inside GM predicted he would even become CEO one day after his successful stints at both Pontiac and Chevrolet.

John DeLorean left General Motors to pursue his dream of staring his own car company and in 1975 work started,
to make the sports car of his dreams. The company was founded in Detroit, Michigan, and later moved to a Park Avenue skyscraper in New York City.

The car that was to be later called the DeLorean DMC-12 was to have a rear engine with a distinctive top-hinged gull-wing doors and stainless steel skin. He enlisted the help of Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro to design
its unique shape. Its engine was sourced from a joint V6 design that Renault, Peugeot and Volvo were working on at the time, while the engine may have been adequate in the cars they were intended for, many people criticized it for its lack of power in such a heavy car as the DMC-12.

Challenges presented themselves all the way along the cars life, the initial expected release date was pushed back from 1979 to 1981, the expected price of the car doubled and several quality issues affected the early built cars. As well as all this the company struggled financially despite good early sales of the hot sports coupe.

When looking for a factory to produce the cars John De Lorean contacted several international governments to see what deals could be struck to help the company get established, the best deal come from the British government who were keen to have a large factory set up in Northern Ireland, a spot that had large unemployment at the time.

There were about 8,000 cars made between 1981 and 1983 in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, of which 6,000 are still on the roads, mostly in the USA. The car got very bad press from many motoring magazines at the time, it was often considered too heavy and slow with poor handling when compared to other cars of the time like the corvette. John DeLorean often laughed this bad publicity off as the car magazines favoritism for the big
companies. John De Lorean pressed on with work to create a 5 passenger sedan similar to the DMC-12 to be called the DMC-24 as well as bus that saw one prototype being built the DMC-80. Many criticize John DeLorean for trying to do too much too quickly as by 1983 the company was in serious financial difficulty. The factory in which the DeLorean cars were built was put into receivership by the British government, who many people also blame for the downfall of the company.

John DeLorean Spent countless hours in the final year of the company trying to gain more financial backing to keep the company afloat and in 1982, DeLorean was charged with selling cocaine to undercover police. DeLorean always claimed he got involved with drug deals by accident and DeLorean was later acquitted of all charges (due to entrapment). At the peak of DeLorean's success he personally owned two large estates and a 20 room Fifth Ave Apartment in New York, by 1999 he filed for bankruptcy. John DeLorean died on 19th March 2005 after a stroke at the age of 80, the final years of his life were spent in retirement in the New England area.

In 1983 the Dunmurry factory closed with the loss of 2,000 jobs and taking over $100 million in British government subsidies down with it. The last cars were made with the final parts found around the factory, the
very last one was gold plated which was a special order for an American Express campaign. Every thing in the factory was auctioned off from the parts that were sold to an American company who now provide support for the 6000 DeLorean's still on the road to the dies and tooling that were used as weights at the bottom of the Atlantic.

The DeLorean cars now have a large group of enthusiasts who cherish their prized possessions, some cars are now selling second hand for around the same price they were over 20 years ago, something that may not have been achieved if not for the hit 1985 movie Back to the Future which used a De Lorean as the basis for a time machine. In actual fact 7 cars were used for all the stunts and filming in the movie, some can still be seen lying around at LA's Universal Studios.
 
 

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Did You Know?

Although the De Lorean car had a skin of stainless steal that never rusted the frame and underbody were not, and are prone to rust. Something the average car buyer may not see when buying a second hand De Lorean.

 

 

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