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  • When The DeLorean Was Finally Unveiled, It Was Loaded With Problems And Didn't Live Up To The Company's Lofty Promises on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#10) When The DeLorean Was Finally Unveiled, It Was Loaded With Problems And Didn't Live Up To The Company's Lofty Promises

    Car and Driver magazine had an "overwhelmingly positive" first impression of the DMC-12 but was well aware of the hiccups that went into production. The first five cars the publication saw "were abysmally short of any commercial standard of acceptability: switches popped loose, parts fell off, the rattles had squeaks, doors jammed shut, doors refused to latch, and windows fell out of their tracks."

    The problems characterized most of the first DeLoreans that hit the market. Many investors had pre-ordered their cars, including Johnny Carson, who'd invested $500,000 into the company.  Unfortunately, when Carson took his new car for a spin, it broke down just a few miles from the lot. A rescue vehicle sent to retrieve Carson also broke down. 

    The earliest DeLoreans were subject to a recall in November 1981 due to faulty suspensions - not to mention the features that had failed to deliver. The car didn't achieve the promised speeds and, in spite of being heralded as a car that would cost the same as a Corvette - roughly $14,000 - it ultimately ran about $25,000.

  • John DeLorean Was An Eccentric Engineer Who Soared Up The Ranks At GM on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#1) John DeLorean Was An Eccentric Engineer Who Soared Up The Ranks At GM

    Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, John Z. DeLorean demonstrated technical acumen from a young age. He attended Cass Technical High School before serving in WWII, and later earned master's degrees in automotive engineering and business administration from the University of Michigan.

    DeLorean briefly worked for Chrysler before accepting a position at Packard Motor Car Company in 1952. In 1956, he took an engineering job at General Motors, helping GM revitalize the Pontiac division. By 1961, DeLorean was made chief engineer of the Pontiac division, a title that helped him move head with his sporty, fast-driving, powerful muscle car designs.

    DeLorean introduced the GTO in 1963, a car that essentially put a bigger engine into the Pontiac Tempest model. The GTO proved successful and DeLorean continued to rise within the GM ranks. He became a general manager in 1965 - the youngest ever at the age of 40 - and headed North American operations for GM in 1972

    As he rose to the top, DeLorean made few friends. He pushed boundaries and found loopholes when it came to car design and production, but after the success of the GTO, he took on a persona that made other executives uncomfortable. Long sideburns, dates with supermodels, and flashy clothes - all behaviors that tapped into the young culture he hoped to bring to the automobile industry - were physical representations of his rebellious spirit, narcissistic tendencies, and defiant personality.

  • By The Time 'Back To The Future' Came Out - The Car's Shining Moment - The Company Had Already Shut Down on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#14) By The Time 'Back To The Future' Came Out - The Car's Shining Moment - The Company Had Already Shut Down

    John DeLorean declared bankruptcy in 1999, but the DeLorean Motor Company had long since been defunct. In 1982, the British government investigated allegations of financial misappropriation, but no charges were ever brought against DeLorean. A few hours before DeLorean was brought in on substance charges in October 1982, the factory in Northern Ireland had been shut down.

    In the midst of DeLorean's legal woes, his car was about to gain widespread attention because of its central role in the 1985 movie Back to the Future. According to Bob Gale, co-writer and producer of the movie:

    There was something dangerous, something counterculture, something so very gorgeous about just how beautiful that car was. And we loved those gull-wing doors.

    The choice of the DeLorean coincided with its namesake's legal troubles and the aftermath of the company's bankruptcy, but it also revitalized the car itself. John DeLorean even sent a letter to the film's director, Robert Zemeckis (who had originally wanted to use a refrigerator to travel in time), thanking him for using - and saving - the car.

  • The Company Unveiled A Crazy-Expensive 'Gold' DeLorean As A Promotion - And Sold Two on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#11) The Company Unveiled A Crazy-Expensive 'Gold' DeLorean As A Promotion - And Sold Two

    Sales of the DeLorean didn't meet expectations, with only about 6,000 finding their way on the roads by 1982. In addition to the standard DMC-12, the company also produced an even more expensive version of the car - this one plated with 24-karat gold.

    According to the original ad for the gold-plated DeLorean, it was "the car of the future - a sports car so spectacular that it surpasses the imagination." DeLorean indicated it would make 100 of the gold-plated versions, telling consumers that time was limited on such an exclusive luxury car. The DeLorean was equipped with...

    A richly appointed Connolly English and Italian glove leather interior, multi-speaker high output stereo system, air conditioning, full instrumentation and electrical locking, a rear-mounted, light alloy overhead cam PRV V6 2.85 litre engine, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, Lambda Sond/catalytic emission control, 5-speed manual, or 3-speed automatic transmission, counter-balanced gull wing doors with cryogenically pre-set stainless steel torsion bars - to name just a few of its features.  

    The price tag was $85,000 - "chargeable, of course, on your American Express Card account." For comparison, a Porsche 911 ran for $27,700 in 1980, while a Corvette cost just over $16,000 in 1981.

    Only two gold-plated DeLoreans were sold, one to a buyer in California and the other to a customer in Texas.

  • DeLorean Was Caught On Tape But Was Acquitted When It Was Established That An FBI Informant Had Brokered The Entire Deal on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#13) DeLorean Was Caught On Tape But Was Acquitted When It Was Established That An FBI Informant Had Brokered The Entire Deal

    Despite being caught on videotape with large quantities of coke - even declaring it was "better than gold" - DeLorean was acquitted of charges in 1984. That the whole exchange had been orchestrated by an informant provided DeLorean a successful entrapment defense. To further bolster his case, DeLorean hadn't actually exchanged equity as a part of the deal - or ever intended to do so. After a 22-week trial, DeLorean walked away from eight counts of substance conspiracy, possession, and distribution.

    His legal problems were far from over, however. DeLorean's third wife, Cristina Ferrare, filed for divorce in 1985. She took custody of their children, Kathryn and Zachary, who would continue to struggle with their father's actions for decades to come. Ferrare later recalled:

    I was worn down…As much as I loved John and I know he loved me, he was emotionally unavailable... When I thought about all the stuff that he did, I said, "I can't. I have to move on." I lost all of my endorsements. No one would hire me. I was in a bad place, and I needed to get my children into a normal atmosphere.

    DeLorean's investors also began to take legal action. In 1985, DeLorean was indicted on federal fraud charges, accused of bilking investors out of $12.5 million. The indictment also claimed DeLorean used almost $9 million of the funds for personal purchases and to acquire Logan Manufacturing, a company that made equipment to groom ski slopes. 

    DeLorean escaped a fraud conviction but spent the subsequent two decades fending off civil litigation. He paid millions of dollars to investors, creditors, and shareholders, eventually having to declare personal bankruptcy in 1999. 

    DeLorean passed in 2005. By then, he'd married a fourth wife, Sally, with whom he shared a small, one-room apartment in New Jersey.

  • 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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