You probably know what a Delorean car is if you’ve seen Back to the Future. However, what you may not know is the story behind John DeLorean! Keep reading to learn about John Z. DeLorean’s life!
Delorean’s Early Life
John Z. DeLorean was born in 1925 in Michigan. When DeLorean was a young man, he was mechanically talented and tinkered with just about anything. After high school he went to the Lawrence Institute of Technology and eventually received a master’s in engineering from the Chrysler Institute. After graduating, he worked at the Packard Research and Development group for a while but later left to go to work at General Motors. It didn’t take long before Delorean was thriving and was moving up the corporate ladder.
Some Tough times for Delorean
The early 1970s were hard times in Detroit and Delorean in his autobiography, DeLorean, said that the business and ethicalissues he had with General Motors had become so substantial, that he wanted out. Truth be told, this let him become a well-paid independent consultant whereby he could obtain funds build his own dream car.
In the mid 1970s Delorean founded two companies: Composite Technology Corporation (CTC) and the DeLorean Motor Company (DMC). He developed CTC to research and develop new, automotive construction materials. Many of those materials were projects of DeLorean’s at GM and involved exotic composite materials and construction techniques. Many of the CTC products found their way into DeLorean vehicles!
Delorean Tries to Reach His Dream
To build his first dream car, the DMC-12, DeLorean hired Giorgetto Giugiaro (yes, for real). For a location DeLorean settled on Northern Ireland, which offered him the best business deal. The factory’s opening was in 1981. As the story goes, the first 80 or so cars to roll off the assembly line were so bad they were not finished and then parked along the factory’s fence for weeks. DeLorean had to set up rebuilding facilities on the East and West Coasts of the U.S. just to fix completed cars before they could be brought to dealers!
Despite those setbacks, though, there were orders for thousands of DMC-12s. DeLorean attempted to ramp production up to 14,700 a year to meet demand, however, cash flow problems developed. In 1982, the DeLorean Motor Company was put into receivership by the British government in and in his desperation, Delorean pursued “questionable sources of funds” to keep his company floating. He ended up in a serious DEA cocaine bust in October 1982 that became a news event. The Sales manager at Wolfchase Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, a full-service car dealer in Bartlett, TN, tells us that by 1984, he was found not guilty of all counts against him, but his company had disappeared by then.
Delorean’s Dream Lives on in the Modern Day
Today, the DeLorean Motorcar legend is still living because of the DeLorean Motor Company in Humble, Texas. They bought the DeLorean trademark and most of the original parts left behind when Delorean’s company collapsed. Today, you can buy fully remanufactured Delorean automobiles from the DeLorean Motor Company.