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Celebrating the life of...
John Zachary DeLorean
(1925 - 2005)
John De Lorean producer of the ill-fated DMC-12 stainless-steel sports car
John Zachary DeLorean

John had a strong heritage in the Automotive Industry - he was born in the 'motor city'. He later rose through the ranks at the Packard Motor Company (following a brief period at Chrysler), before his talents were recognised by General Motors. At GM he held a senior position in the Pontiac division where he made a major contribution to the Pontiac GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato) - considered by many as the first American 'muscle car. He moved on to later head up the Chevrolet division, with overall control of GM looking a likely posibility, however he resigned to form his own company, the De Lorean Motor Company (DMC). .... This company was planning to produce a two seater sports car with gull-wing doors, the resulting car, was the stunning DMC-12 (known just as the De Lorean) which had its body lines styled by Italdesign's Giorgetto Giugiaro. ..... Following a huge inward investment grant from the UK Government (£84m of British taxpayers' money), the DeLorean plant went into production in 1981 at the Dunmurry site (near Belfast in Northern Ireland) with the promise of 2,500 jobs - however it was a complicated car being produced in an area with no experience of car making. With around 8,500 - 9,000 cars and huge debts the plug was pulled (estimates have said that it cost British taxpayers £9,000 for every car that was made) ....... John DeLorean had charmed investment out of a Government, several celeberities (including Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis Jnr), and had even got involved in some unscrupulous activities involving money laundering from drug Trafficking (accused of selling $24 million worth of cocaine to bail out his sinking company - caught on video tape in a federal trap ), but despite all this it was not enough to save the company. The 'entrapment' by the FBI meant his case was thrown out and he was never actually convicted of a criminal act - just briefly held on remand. He declared himself personally bankrupt in 1999 (after fighting over forty legal cases since the collapse of De Lorean Motor Company) and retained the tarnished image for the last 25 years of his life. A spectacular fall from grace - from being the toast of the town to a fraud. A shame because the car itself was a revelation at the time - and now is just linked with the 1985 film 'Back to the Future'.......In an excerpt from his 1985 autobiography, he said that he had discovered Christianity but confessed that for most of his life, "I was a proud and arrogant phony ... I was an egomaniac out of control." .....John DeLorean died of a stroke at Overlook Hospital in Summit, New Jersey he was 80 years old. He was laid to rest at the White Chapel Cemetery, in Troy, Michigan with military honours (he had served in World War II).

Candles in memory of John Zachary DeLorean

Message from:
Padraig  O-Connell
I know things went off the rails, but you left us with a truly iconic car - it is still my ambition to one day own a De Lorean

 

click on each image to enlarge...
John De Lorean producer of the ill-fated DMC-12 stainless-steel sports car
John De Lorean producer of the ill-fated DMC-12 stainless-steel sports car
John De Lorean producer of the ill-fated DMC-12 stainless-steel sports car
John De Lorean producer of the ill-fated DMC-12 stainless-steel sports car
John De Lorean producer of the ill-fated DMC-12 stainless-steel sports car
John De Lorean with on of the first DMC-12  sports cars to be produced in the Northern Ireland factory (source of photo :- AP)

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