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  • 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.

  • Against GM’s Wishes, DeLorean Created A Workaround To Put Big Powerful Engines Into Smaller Cars on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#2) Against GM’s Wishes, DeLorean Created A Workaround To Put Big Powerful Engines Into Smaller Cars

    The GTO - short for the Italian phrase gran turismo omologato - was DeLorean's biggest success. The design, however, was one that went against GM policies and standards of practice. DeLorean wanted to put a big, powerful engine into a small automobile frame, something GM executives were ardently against. To get around this, he devised a plan with Pete Estes, the head of the Pontiac division, to get around the policy. Instead of designing a new car that featured a V-8 engine, they'd simply offer an upgrade on the current Pontiac Tempest model. 

    The Pontiac Tempest was introduced in 1961 as a model that, according to Motor Trend magazine, had superior, "riding qualities... probably the best in its class... [with] a precise feel at highway speeds... [and] better than average handling at all speeds." When Pontiac presented the Tempest LeMans later that year, it was a sportier version of its predecessor. Continued tweaks and options on the design in 1962 and 1963 made the midsize Tempest the perfect candidate for even more innovation.

    While DeLorean and other Pontiac team members - namely Bill Collins, Russell Gee, and Jim Wangers - looked at the chassis of a Tempest one Saturday morning, Collins said, "You know, John, with the engine mounts being the same, it would take about 20 minutes to slip a 389 into this thing." In that moment, the GTO was born.

    Pontiac sold the Pontiac Tempest GTOs - the first of the so-called muscle cars - as a version of the standard 1964 Tempest. The bigger V-8 engine was a $295 upgrade.

  • 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.

  • DeLorean Tried To Manipulate The Media, Evoking The Name Of Rupert Murdoch  on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#8) DeLorean Tried To Manipulate The Media, Evoking The Name Of Rupert Murdoch 

    One of the main stories that exposed DeLorean's inappropriate financial dealings was written by John Lisners. A freelance journalist, Lisners started investigating DeLorean after the car manufacturer himself contacted him. DeLorean, via his assistant Marian Gibson, asked Lisners to reach out to a journalist in the United States who had written a critical account of his time at General Motors. DeLorean offered Lisners £25,000 plus expenses to get the reporter to New York so he could be served legal notice to bar publication of the book. Lisners declined and found his interest in DeLorean acutely piqued.

    Lisners went on to meet with Eddy Koopman, a mutual friend of DeLorean's, who told him about the engineer's excessive spending. Lisners also stayed in touch with Gibson, who contacted him in 1981 and had him come to New York, ready to provide an exclusive story. Gibson laid out the details of how DeLorean was hoping to restructure his company - taking it public - a move that would negatively affect his investors and the British government alike.

    Lisners had the story of a lifetime, one he tried to sell to several London-based newspapers. By that time, media mogul Rupert Murdoch controlled four major national papers, including the London Times. Lisners contacted the newly appointed editor at the Times, Barry Askew, who was enthusiastic about the story. Askew took the story to Murdoch.

    As Lisners waited for his story to go to print, he contacted DeLorean for comment. DeLorean told him, "John, you're never going to get this story published." Why? Lisners asked. "I know who you are and where you are from and you will not get it published because I am a friend of Rupert Murdoch."

    DeLorean was right - Murdoch shut down the story, sending Lisners to the Daily Mirror. While the Mirror gladly published Lisners's work, the journalist was soon banned from all of Murdoch's publication outlets.

  • DeLorean Resigned From GM After Someone 'Leaked' His Controversial Speech To The Media  on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#4) DeLorean Resigned From GM After Someone 'Leaked' His Controversial Speech To The Media

    As DeLorean made changes to his personal life, he continued to try to push GM in new directions as well. He advocated for smaller cars with better fuel efficiency. He criticized GM for not moving forward and for not being in tune with modern consumers, while simultaneously chiding the company for poor quality.

    The clearest articulation of DeLorean's ideas and vision for the future was presented at a 1973 GM executive conference at the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia. The speech DeLorean gave was toned down, at the suggestion of his colleagues, but the brazen, unedited version found its way into the hands of the Detroit News.

    DeLorean's speech alienated his colleagues at GM, supporters and opposition alike. It was never clear how the speech got to the media, although many GM executives believed DeLorean leaked it himself. Regardless, DeLorean left GM in 1973, either voluntarily or at the urging of the corporation, and endeavored to establish a car company of his own. 

    DeLorean told The New York Times in October 1973 that he had no regrets about leaving, expressing his dissatisfaction for sitting in meetings all day. "Even at $650,000 a year, if the job is not satisfying, you do something else," DeLorean said. "I can live on $60,000 or $70,000 a year. I have always lived conservatively."

  • 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.

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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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