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The True Hollywood-Like Story Behind DeLorean

Go back to the future and see how the DeLorean was created

Donut Media put out another video in their Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed series, this time about the DeLorean DMC-12. The history of the DMC-12 and the DeLorean company is so crazy Donut Media’s James Pumphrey perfectly sums it up as “….you’d think Martin Scorsese made it up”.

DeLorean Motor Company was created by John DeLorean. John DeLorean was an automotive rockstar back in the day. He worked for Chrysler in college, worked at Packard Motors, worked as an engineer at American Motor Company, and ended up where he was most known before creating his own cars General Motors. John DeLorean is credited with creating the Pontiac GTO and the Pontiac Firebird. He also was credited with creating the Chevrolet Vega. With all this success he eventually rose to become the youngest Vice President in GM history.

In 1973, John DeLorean created the DeLorean Motor Company and by 1976 the company had created a mid-engined prototype to excite investors. Apparently, John DeLorean put in none of his personal funds to the venture, but owned over 80% of the common stock of the company in return for car development work which he valued at $3,500,000. Colin Chapman of Lotus was in charge of chassis design and the body was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and they came up with a stainless steel car with gull-wing doors. The stainless steel panels connect to a fiberglass under body and the car was run by a Peugeot-Renault-Volvo 2.85 liter V6 engine which produced 130 hp.

In October of 1982, John DeLorean was caught with almost 60 pounds of cocaine worth up to $6,500,000 in an FBI sting operation. Eventually in 1984 he was found not guilty of all charges because it was found that John DeLorean was illegally entrapped. By the time the legal issues were cleared up the DeLorean Motor Company was already bankrupt and John DeLorean’s business reputation irreparably ruined. 

Beyond the negative history, the DeLorean DMC-12 is probably the most known movie car ever due to it being the hero car in the Back to the Future movie series. Everyone knows time travel occurs at 88 mph and you get to have flaming tire marks to do it.