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Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

  • The Factory Had Separate Entrances For Catholic And Protestant Employees on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#7) The Factory Had Separate Entrances For Catholic And Protestant Employees

    The site of the DeLorean factory was near Belfast, a location called Dunmurry, and it opened squarely in the middle of conflicts between Catholics and Protestants. DeLorean feared conflict would break out among the workers, so he established separate entrances for Catholics and Protestants.

    From the perspective of residents, the different entrances weren't entirely the result of religious differences. Barrie Willis, former supplies director at the factory and eventual CEO, explained:

    It was misleading: the Catholic population lived on Twinbrook, and the Protestant population lived on Seymour Hill estate, on the other side of the railway line. So they came from different directions. Hence the two gates.

    DeLorean was concerned about his own safety and any actions taken by the Irish Republican Army, especially in light of the kidnapping and slaying of Thomas Niedermayer in 1973. Niedermayer had been the manager of the German Grundig electronics factory near the Dunmurry site.

    One additional concern for DeLorean was upsetting the spiritual order of the region. Fairy trees, located throughout the countryside, are to be honored and showed respect. They shouldn't be touched, trimmed, or cut down, but during the construction of DeLorean's factory, at least one fairy tree was said to have been upended by contractors.

  • DeLorean Divorced His Wife, Completely Made Over His Appearance, And Started Dating High-Profile Actresses And Models on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#3) DeLorean Divorced His Wife, Completely Made Over His Appearance, And Started Dating High-Profile Actresses And Models

    After the success of the GTO, John DeLorean underwent a transformation of sorts. The lifestyle that made his colleagues nervous wasn't representative of how DeLorean lived when he entered the automotive industry. Until the GTO, DeLorean looked the part of an automotive executive, donning suits and ties while going home to with his wife every night.

    As his position in GM rose, DeLorean began working out, wore shirts unbuttoned down to his lower torso, and grew out his sideburns. DeLorean spent an increasing amount of time in California, socializing with the likes of Sammy Davis Jr. and Johnny Carson. He divorced his first wife, Elizabeth Higgins, in 1968, more interested in trying to win the affections of models and actresses such as Tina Sinatra and Ursula Andress. 

    DeLorean, 44 years old at the time, married his second wife, Kelly Harmon, in 1968 or 1969. Harmon (sister of actor Mark Harmon and daughter of athlete and sportscaster Tom) was a 20-year-old model. The couple spent most of their time on the West Coast and divorced in 1972.

    The following year, DeLorean wed again, this time to supermodel Cristina Ferrare. DeLorean, 48, and Ferrare, 23, moved to New York, where they lived on Fifth Avenue until the early 1980s.

  • DeLorean Set Out To Start His Own Company And Make The Small, Sylish, Fuel-Efficient Cars That GM Was Against on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#5) DeLorean Set Out To Start His Own Company And Make The Small, Sylish, Fuel-Efficient Cars That GM Was Against

    In DeLorean's words, GM "had a moral responsibility to build smaller cars, especially in GM's case as America's major supplier of transportation equipment... We had a responsibility to do that - whether it was profitable or not. And what happened is that we didn't, and we left those cars to overseas."

    Where GM failed, DeLorean was determined to step in. DeLorean founded an automobile company, aptly named the DeLorean Motor Company, in 1975. By 1977, DeLorean, assisted by former collaborator at GM, William "Bill" Collins, and Italian designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro (of Alfa Romeo fame), had created an "ethical" sports car. Collins was soon replaced by Colin Chapman, engineer and founder of Lotus Motors in the UK.

    The DMC-12 was supposed to weigh less than all other sports cars - only 2,200 pounds - and get far better gas mileage. It had numerous features, including wing-like doors  - to "add sex appeal" - and, despite a smaller engine, could go from "0 to 60 mph. in less than eight seconds." According to DeLorean, the car would be made in a factory absent "spray booths and paint ovens" to protect employees from "[finding] out 20 years from now they have some funny lung disease."

  • Desperate For Funding To Keep His Factory Afloat, John DeLorean Got Embroiled In A Massive Coke Deal on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#12) Desperate For Funding To Keep His Factory Afloat, John DeLorean Got Embroiled In A Massive Coke Deal

    The DeLorean company continued to hemorrhage money. Cars were underselling, the British government denied John DeLorean additional funds when he made a request in January 1982, and the future of the entire enterprise was dire. As the British government placed the company in receivership, the Belfast factory got shut down, and some 2,500 workers were laid off, the depths of DeLorean's desperation became clear.

    On October 19, 1982, DeLorean was detained and charged with possession of coke. According to FBI Special Agent Richard T. Bretzing, DeLorean "expressed an interest in financing some operation that would return quickly on his investment." DeLorean had, with the assistance of his FBI-informant neighbor, agreed to a deal through which he'd offer up DeLorean stock in exchange for more than 50 pounds of coke. This amount was only a fraction of the 220 pounds he'd agreed to purchase.

  • DeLorean Burned Through The Money At An Alarming (And Highly Suspicious) Rate on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#9) DeLorean Burned Through The Money At An Alarming (And Highly Suspicious) Rate

    Even with the massive amounts of money put into the DeLorean factory and production of the DCM-12, it wasn't enough to prevent financial strife. Barrie Wills, former director of supplies and CEO, explained: 

    The biggest problem we had was that the first business plan that was developed once the project had come to Northern Ireland made it quite clear we’re going to run out of money the day we produced the first car... We always knew that. And that’s why we were constantly under pressure to try and persuade the British government to give us just a bit more money. But that wasn’t forthcoming.

    One of the hurdles to receiving more funding from the British government was Margaret Thatcher. Never a supporter of the factory, Thatcher was aware that DeLorean took roughly $18 million from company finances before the factory was underway. Wills confirmed: "Even before I had started - and I was employee number 12 - John had siphoned off around £18 million of investors' money."

    John Lisners published an article in 1981 revealing DeLorean's plans to restructure the company, a move that would enrich stockholders but leave stock-less investors in financial straits. Thatcher, by then Prime Minister, withdrew promises to provide DeLorean with additional funds, leaving DeLorean desperate to keep his company afloat.

  • The UK Government Offered DeLorean $100+ Million In Investment Capital, So He Built His Factory Outside Belfast - In The Thick Of The Troubles on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#6) The UK Government Offered DeLorean $100+ Million In Investment Capital, So He Built His Factory Outside Belfast - In The Thick Of The Troubles

    John DeLorean hadn't been lacking for support, enlisting private investors like Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis Jr., and he took out a significant loan to support his efforts. As he shopped for government funds, he reportedly pitted supporters against each other, "flirting with Canada, Spain, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and... Detroit."

    When it came time to put the DMC-12 into production, DeLorean opted to take the UK up on its offer for financial backing. Despite having made an agreement with the United States to develop a factory in Puerto Rico, DeLorean reneged and opted to build his factory near Belfast in Northern Ireland.

    In exchange for bringing 2,500 jobs to the region, which was deeply entangled in the conflict between Catholics and Protestants at the time, DeLorean received $77 million from the UK. The agreement was reached in 1978; with additional private investment money, loans, and grants, the factory pushed out the first DMC-12s three years later.

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About This Tool

DeLorean Motor Company is a mysterious automobile company in the United States. The special thing about the company is that it has only produced one model of car, called DeLorean.In the science fiction movie "Back to the Future", the car DeLorean that can travel through time and space, was mass-produced in real life, but the company went bankrupt before the movie was released. The founder of the company is John DeLorean. This Englishman was once known as the most daring car businessman in history, and may also be the biggest car liar in history.

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