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Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

  • 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.

  • John DeLorean Was An Eccentric Engineer Who Soared Up The Ranks At GM on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#1) John DeLorean Was An Eccentric Engineer Who Soared Up The Ranks At GM

    Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, John Z. DeLorean demonstrated technical acumen from a young age. He attended Cass Technical High School before serving in WWII, and later earned master's degrees in automotive engineering and business administration from the University of Michigan.

    DeLorean briefly worked for Chrysler before accepting a position at Packard Motor Car Company in 1952. In 1956, he took an engineering job at General Motors, helping GM revitalize the Pontiac division. By 1961, DeLorean was made chief engineer of the Pontiac division, a title that helped him move head with his sporty, fast-driving, powerful muscle car designs.

    DeLorean introduced the GTO in 1963, a car that essentially put a bigger engine into the Pontiac Tempest model. The GTO proved successful and DeLorean continued to rise within the GM ranks. He became a general manager in 1965 - the youngest ever at the age of 40 - and headed North American operations for GM in 1972

    As he rose to the top, DeLorean made few friends. He pushed boundaries and found loopholes when it came to car design and production, but after the success of the GTO, he took on a persona that made other executives uncomfortable. Long sideburns, dates with supermodels, and flashy clothes - all behaviors that tapped into the young culture he hoped to bring to the automobile industry - were physical representations of his rebellious spirit, narcissistic tendencies, and defiant personality.

  • DeLorean Set Out To Start His Own Company And Make The Small, Sylish, Fuel-Efficient Cars That GM Was Against on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#5) DeLorean Set Out To Start His Own Company And Make The Small, Sylish, Fuel-Efficient Cars That GM Was Against

    In DeLorean's words, GM "had a moral responsibility to build smaller cars, especially in GM's case as America's major supplier of transportation equipment... We had a responsibility to do that - whether it was profitable or not. And what happened is that we didn't, and we left those cars to overseas."

    Where GM failed, DeLorean was determined to step in. DeLorean founded an automobile company, aptly named the DeLorean Motor Company, in 1975. By 1977, DeLorean, assisted by former collaborator at GM, William "Bill" Collins, and Italian designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro (of Alfa Romeo fame), had created an "ethical" sports car. Collins was soon replaced by Colin Chapman, engineer and founder of Lotus Motors in the UK.

    The DMC-12 was supposed to weigh less than all other sports cars - only 2,200 pounds - and get far better gas mileage. It had numerous features, including wing-like doors  - to "add sex appeal" - and, despite a smaller engine, could go from "0 to 60 mph. in less than eight seconds." According to DeLorean, the car would be made in a factory absent "spray booths and paint ovens" to protect employees from "[finding] out 20 years from now they have some funny lung disease."

  • 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.

  • 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.

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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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