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Anorak | Thirty Years Ago The Delorean Car Was Born

Thirty Years Ago The Delorean Car Was Born

by | 27th, May 2011

THIRTY years ago, the first DeLorean DMC-12 rolled off the production line in Londonderry, Antrim. The car was the brainchild of General Motors’s John Zachary DeLorean. He would build an affordable European 125mph sports car that would also sell well in the States. He would build it in Belfast, where unemployment was rife. He would make it out of stainless steel – it would not rust for 20 years! It would have gull wings.

The styling was epic. But the technology was flawed. When things did not go well, the Thatcher government pumped in 30m of public money, on top of the £50 the previous Jim Callaghan regime has invested.

When DeLorean was arrested by the FBI on 19 October 1982 and charged with trafficking cocaine – allegedly in an attempt to raise money to prop up his business –  the wheels were already coming off the dream. In February 1982,  the company was put into receivership and closed six months later,

Delorean was cleared of all charges – but not until 1984. By then, the brand was dead. As DeLorean said in jest: “Would you buy a used car from me?” No. And you didn’t buy many new ones either…

John Delorean died in 2005.

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BLACK AND WHITE ONLY File photo dated 20/10/1981 of John DeLorean sitting at the wheel of one of his cars at the London Motor Show as this week marks the 30th anniversary of the first DeLorean rolling off the production line.



Posted: 27th, May 2011 | In: Technology Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink