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  • Against GM’s Wishes, DeLorean Created A Workaround To Put Big Powerful Engines Into Smaller Cars on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#2) Against GM’s Wishes, DeLorean Created A Workaround To Put Big Powerful Engines Into Smaller Cars

    The GTO - short for the Italian phrase gran turismo omologato - was DeLorean's biggest success. The design, however, was one that went against GM policies and standards of practice. DeLorean wanted to put a big, powerful engine into a small automobile frame, something GM executives were ardently against. To get around this, he devised a plan with Pete Estes, the head of the Pontiac division, to get around the policy. Instead of designing a new car that featured a V-8 engine, they'd simply offer an upgrade on the current Pontiac Tempest model. 

    The Pontiac Tempest was introduced in 1961 as a model that, according to Motor Trend magazine, had superior, "riding qualities... probably the best in its class... [with] a precise feel at highway speeds... [and] better than average handling at all speeds." When Pontiac presented the Tempest LeMans later that year, it was a sportier version of its predecessor. Continued tweaks and options on the design in 1962 and 1963 made the midsize Tempest the perfect candidate for even more innovation.

    While DeLorean and other Pontiac team members - namely Bill Collins, Russell Gee, and Jim Wangers - looked at the chassis of a Tempest one Saturday morning, Collins said, "You know, John, with the engine mounts being the same, it would take about 20 minutes to slip a 389 into this thing." In that moment, the GTO was born.

    Pontiac sold the Pontiac Tempest GTOs - the first of the so-called muscle cars - as a version of the standard 1964 Tempest. The bigger V-8 engine was a $295 upgrade.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • When The DeLorean Was Finally Unveiled, It Was Loaded With Problems And Didn't Live Up To The Company's Lofty Promises on Random DeLorean From 'Back To The Future' Has An Even Crazier Real-Life History Than We Imagined

    (#10) When The DeLorean Was Finally Unveiled, It Was Loaded With Problems And Didn't Live Up To The Company's Lofty Promises

    Car and Driver magazine had an "overwhelmingly positive" first impression of the DMC-12 but was well aware of the hiccups that went into production. The first five cars the publication saw "were abysmally short of any commercial standard of acceptability: switches popped loose, parts fell off, the rattles had squeaks, doors jammed shut, doors refused to latch, and windows fell out of their tracks."

    The problems characterized most of the first DeLoreans that hit the market. Many investors had pre-ordered their cars, including Johnny Carson, who'd invested $500,000 into the company.  Unfortunately, when Carson took his new car for a spin, it broke down just a few miles from the lot. A rescue vehicle sent to retrieve Carson also broke down. 

    The earliest DeLoreans were subject to a recall in November 1981 due to faulty suspensions - not to mention the features that had failed to deliver. The car didn't achieve the promised speeds and, in spite of being heralded as a car that would cost the same as a Corvette - roughly $14,000 - it ultimately ran about $25,000.

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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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