Thursday, October 1, 2009

The DeLorean Story

I was reading a magazine article about Tesla Motors, the Silicon Valley start-up that is making plug-in electric cars, which noted in passing that the British sports car company Lotus helped develop the chassis for their $109,000 Roadster. That brought to mind the DeLorean DMC-12 (the flashy car with those famous gull wing doors that was the only vehicle DeLorean Motors ever made before it went out of business in 1982), because it, too, had been engineered by Lotus in the late 1970s.

You probably remember the DeLorean DMC-12 from the movie "Back to the Future," or even because of founder John DeLorean's arrest in a cocaine trafficking sting. But did you know that the DeLorean DMC-12 was actually manufactured in Northern Ireland, just outside Belfast? That surprised me, too. I suppose that, because of John DeLorean's jet set, rogue-ish image in the early 1980s, I had assumed that his car had been made in Malibu or something.
The BBC made a great documentary in 2004 about the rise and fall of John DeLorean and his fledgling (and ultimately ill starred) car company as told from the British perspective. Part 1 is embedded below:

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