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  • The Factory Had Separate Entrances For Catholic And Protestant Employees on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#7) The Factory Had Separate Entrances For Catholic And Protestant Employees

    The site of the DeLorean factory was near Belfast, a location called Dunmurry, and it opened squarely in the middle of conflicts between Catholics and Protestants. DeLorean feared conflict would break out among the workers, so he established separate entrances for Catholics and Protestants.

    From the perspective of residents, the different entrances weren't entirely the result of religious differences. Barrie Willis, former supplies director at the factory and eventual CEO, explained:

    It was misleading: the Catholic population lived on Twinbrook, and the Protestant population lived on Seymour Hill estate, on the other side of the railway line. So they came from different directions. Hence the two gates.

    DeLorean was concerned about his own safety and any actions taken by the Irish Republican Army, especially in light of the kidnapping and slaying of Thomas Niedermayer in 1973. Niedermayer had been the manager of the German Grundig electronics factory near the Dunmurry site.

    One additional concern for DeLorean was upsetting the spiritual order of the region. Fairy trees, located throughout the countryside, are to be honored and showed respect. They shouldn't be touched, trimmed, or cut down, but during the construction of DeLorean's factory, at least one fairy tree was said to have been upended by contractors.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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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