The DeLorean is my favorite car. Someday I hope to own one. Here you will find a biography and some pictures of Delorean and his cars.
The story of John Z. DeLorean is an interesting one indeed. The eldest son of a Detroit automobile foundry worker, De Lorean managed to land a music scholarship and earned master's degrees in industrial engineering and business administration. General Motors hired De Lorean when he was 24, and he began his rise in the automobile industry.
In 1952, at age 27, John DeLorean completed his technical education at Chrysler Institute, receiving a Master of Science in automotive engineering. At this point in his life, John is in almost the exact same situation as many of the upcoming graduates from the Graduate School of Business.
He has been at the forefront of automotive technology since the 1950’s. He has helped develop some of the greatest cars that we know of. He got his start at Packard. In 1959 he was hired by Pontiac and was involved in some of their greatest successes. He helped Pontiac produce some of their most beloved cars including the GTO and the Grand Prix. In the 1960’s, with the help of DeLorean, Pontiac’s sales had risen to 3rd. The only ones to top them were Ford and Chevy. In 1970 he was moved to the Chevy division and had sold more than 3 million cars and trucks by 1973. After setting that record he was promoted to VP of all North American Car and Truck divisions earning an incredible $650,000 a year. Then in 1973 he walked away from his $650,000 job at General Motors and according to news reports, said he was going to show them how to build cars. DeLorean managed to pool together about $175 million in financing and in 1974 formed the De Lorean Motor Co. Two years after he left GM, in 1975, the DeLorean started taking shape. John DeLorean wanted to create an “ethical” sports car. Using brand new materials and manufacturing techniques. Also they would include state-of-the-art safety features never before offered by other automobile manufacturers. John DeLorean hired Giorgetto Giugiaro to style what this marvel of an automobile would look like. Giugiaro had previously made the designs for many well known and loved sports cars such as the Lotus Esprit and Maserati Merak. The next thing John DeLorean needed was a location to build the factories and mass produce the cars. He looked far and wide for a good location. He had considered sites like Texas and Puerto Rico but in the end he finally decided on Belfast, Northern Ireland. Although it being one of the most unstable regions of the world, a combination of British governments loans, tax waivers and grants totalling over $100 million put him there
At the beginning of 1979 the designing and building of DeLorean’s was getting started. John DeLorean was extremely close to a deal with Porsche but they wanted 4-years of lead time. That was too long to fit the timetable given by the British government. But just as it seemed hopeless Lotus and Colin Chaplin offered to complete the job in 18 months. Shortly after this offer was proposed, a deal was struck. But to meet such a short deadline most of the new features and the new technology that were planned to be used were paused for later models. For the first DeLorean, only the gullwing doors, stainless steel body and the rear-mounted engine design were planned. The DeLorean hit the US markets in 1981. Although sticker-priced at 25,000, they were often sold higher. The DeLorean had a body made of fiberglass with stainless steel panels bolted on. It was powered by a Peugeot/Renault/Volvo aluminum cast 174ci V-6 engine that pumped out 130 horsepower. The DeLorean could either come as a 3-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual. The exterior was silver and was not painted. The choices for the interior were either grey or black leather interiors. Although every DeLorean was silver with grey or black interior, there were 2 special edition gold-plated DeLoreans offered by American Express for a price of $85,000 each. The DeLorean had many interesting features
Some of the stats are:
-Light-alloy 90deg V6 with OHC
-Breakerless, electronic/Bosch ignition system
-Cross-flow, Hemi-chambered, light alloy cylinder heads
-2.85 liter displacement
-light-alloy block with cast iron cylinder liners
-91x73mm bore and stroke
-C.I.S. Fuel Injection, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel system
-Water/Ethylene Glycol, radiator foward cooling system
-Lambda Sond/catalytic, unleaded fuel emissions system
-Structural-composite single piece underbody with corrosion free outerbody panels of 304 stainless steel
-Rear: Compliant, coil, diagonal trailing radius arms with upper and lower links spring with telescopic shock absorbers.
-Front: Compliant, telescopic shock absorbers and anti-roll bar, unequal length wishbones and coil boxed spring.
-Corrosion protected steel backbone frame with fore and aft wishbones, 4-wheel independent suspension and supporting cross members
-5 speed, fully synchronized or 3-speed automatic transmission
-Trans-axle/dbl. universal, half-shafts, ratio 3.44:1 final drive
-Rack and Pinion steering
-10.67 meter turning circle
-5.334 meter minimum turning circle
-2.65 lock to lock wheel turn
-254mm front and 267mm rear disc diameter
-front and rear power assisted discs
-Mechanical and self-adjusting parking
brake acting on the rear discs
-Goodyear NCT steel belted radial tires
-Cast light alloy, 357mm x 152mm front wheels and 381mm x 203mm rear wheels
CAPACITIES AND DIMENSIONS
-51.6 liter fuel capacity
-4267mm overall length
-1988mm overall width
-1588mm rear and 1590mm front track
-1140mm overall height
-1233kg weight with full tank
-396 liters of luggage space
OTHER STANDARD FEATURES
-Stainless steel body panels
-Leather seats and trim
-Multi-speaker, high output stereo system with cassette
-Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
-Intermittent windshield wipers
-Engine/luggage compartment lights
-Electric rear window defogger
-Counter-balanced gull-wing doors
-Dual-electric remote side mirrors
-Central doors locking system
-Body side moldings
-Sylvania halogen headlamps
-Interior hood and engine compartment release
Sadly in 1983 the DeLorean Motor Company ran into legal and financial problems. Due to those problems, the factory in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland was closed and the leftover cars were shipped to the U.S and sold at auctions. John DeLorean was arrested on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He was also arrested for civil charges brought up because of the close of the Northern Ireland factory. Later he was acquitted of all charges and set free. The British government, for no known reason, made sure no more DeLoreans would be made by destroying millions of dollars worth of bodies and parts. The DeLorean was only produced from 1981 to 1983 and the total production count of completed DeLoreans is 8,583. There still remains an estimated 6,000 DeLoreans. Based in Santa Barbara is the DeLorean Owner’s Association. Made to aid the owners of DeLoreans in service, parts, and accessories. They also have serveral expos and they publish their own qurterly full-color newsletter. Two years later, a federal jury decided that DeLorean was a victim of entrapment and acquitted him of all charges. That pretty much ruined his credibility.
From the Tonight Show Johnny Carson said: "For those of you that bought a DeLorean your rebate is in the trunk."The car was one of the most talk about cars in Hollywood and was part of a movie called "Back to the Future" in which the car is made into a DeLorean time machine which stared Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd .
It was rumored once that DeLorean tried to get Canada to back him in making his car again, but it never materialized. For those of you that have been studying up on DeLoreans you probably have come upon the discovery that a new DeLorean is coming. Below are some of the articles seen in newspapers stating facts about this new dream machine.
I have also come across an article, thanks to my dad, containing information on a deal between DMC and Grumman Aerospace Corporation. It was written in the company newsletter called "The Plane News".
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