John Zachary DeLorean: A Man Who Brought Change to the Auto Industry

You probably know what a DeLorean car is if you have seen Back to the Future. However, what you might not know is the story behind John DeLorean! Continue reading to learn about John Z. DeLorean's life and how he moved up the corporate ladder!

DeLorean's Beginnings

In January of 1925 in Detroit, Michigan a boy with the last name "DeLorean" was born. When DeLorean was young, he was mechanically talented and tinkered with just about anything. After secondary school he attended the Lawrence Institute of Technology and eventually earned a master's in engineering from the Chrysler Institute.  After graduating, he worked at the Packard Research and Development group for a bit but later left for a job at General Motors.

Hard times for DeLorean

The early 1970s were tough times in Detroit and DeLorean in his autobiography, DeLorean, said that the ethical and business problems he had with General Motors had become so serious, that he wanted out. Truth be told, this let him turn into a well-paid independent consultant whereby he could obtain money build his own dream car.

In the mid-1970s DeLorean founded two companies: Composite Technology Corporation (CTC) and the DeLorean Motor Company (DMC).  He created CTC to research and create new, automotive construction material.  Many of those materials were DeLorean's projects at GM and involved composite materials and construction techniques. Many of those CTC products found their way into DeLorean vehicles!

DeLorean Attempts to Get His Dream Car Out

To build his first dream vehicle, the DMC-12, DeLorean hired Giorgetto Giugiaro. For a location DeLorean settled on Northern Ireland, which gave him the best business deal. His factory's opening was in 1981. As many automobile enthusiasts may know, the first 80 or so cars to roll off the assembly line were so terrible they were unfinished and then parked along the factory's fence for weeks. DeLorean tghen set up rebuilding facilities on the East and West Coasts of the United States, just to fix completed cars before they could be brought to dealers!

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Despite his setbacks, though, there were orders for hundreds and hundreds of DMC-12s. DeLorean tried to ramp production up to 14,700 a year to meet demand, however, financial problems came about. In 1982, the DeLorean Motor Company was put into receivership by the British government in because he was desperate, DeLorean pursued "questionable sources of funds" to keep his company afloat. DeLorean wound up in a serious DEA cocaine bust in October 1982 that became a news story. By 1984, he was found not guilty of every count against him, but his company had disintegrated by then.  DeLorean passed away in March of 2005 at eighty years old. This happened in Summit, New Jersey.

DeLorean's Impact & His Impact on Today's Vehicles

Today, the DeLorean Motorcar legend is still alive because of the DeLorean Motor Company in Texas.  They bought the DeLorean trademark and many of the original parts left behind when DeLorean's company fell apart. Today, you can purchase 100% remanufactured DeLorean automobiles from the DeLorean Motor Company.

Thank you to the Service Manager at Hiley Volkswagen of Arlington, a full-service local VW car dealer in Arlington, TX, for chatting with us about John DeLorean and his contributions to the automotive industry!