John Delorean is probably most remembered as the creator of the
time traveling car in the Back to the Future movies. Many will also
recall that his gull winged car failed miserably on the open market
and as a result he turned to illegal and shady dealings to try and
save his company.
Lost in the glitter and drama of such a legacy, his important contribution
to the world of sports cars is often overlooked. Without Delorean
s influence, sports car design and production would most likely
have taken a different course.
In 1964, Delorean practically single handedly started the muscle
car movement when he put a massive V8 engine into a Pontiac Tempest
and produced the GTO.
The GTO became the most loved of the muscle cars and was a big seller
Or Check out what's happening with this Plymouth Cuda V8 [4:14]
Because of his great success with the GTO, he was rewarded with
rapid advancement through the ranks of automobile executives. Eventually
however, he decided to leave it all behind and break out on his
He took his ideas to Northern Ireland where he set up shop and hoped
he could compete with the big three auto makers in Detroit. The
Delorean Motor Company was the result and it produced the infamous
DMC-12. This was his famous gull wing door car. It s doors flipped
up stead of opening out, the car was futuristic in appearance with
its brushed stainless steel body.
The car never achieved the success that Delorean had dreamed of.
In fact, only 9000 ever made it onto the road. However, its memory
will always live on thanks to the Back to the Future films. Although
not a success in and of itself, it inspired many new designs and
refinements later adopted by other car manufacturers.
Delorean was an outstanding business success not only in the automotive
world, but also with hotel investing and NFL franchising. Delorean
s fall from grace was aired publicly and shocking to many. He was
accused of financial misconduct and cocaine trafficking. His empire
was soon decimated and he filed for bankruptcy.
It wasn t the end of Delorean however. In 1999, he announced he
would be producing a new affordable sports car made of plastic.
Even with all his faults, he still drew much interests based on
his previous important contributions to the sports car industry.
Unfortunately Delorean passed on in 2004 before work was completed
on his new vision.