The story behind the DeLorean

The DeLorean is a unique car in a lot of ways. Not only is it made of stainless steel, but it’s also an 80s icon thanks to its use in the Back to the Future movies. The story behind the car’s creation is just as unique as it involves and American businessman spending the British government’s money on a project that was always bound to fail.



TheDeLorean Motor Company was the brainchild of John DeLorean. This is the guy responsible for the Pontiac GTO. He was a long-time executive at General Motors who’s desire to create an “ethical car” lead him to start his own firm. The car he wanted to make should last many years, not the typical five year lifespan most GM owners at the time experienced. His dream involved charging a little more but with the expectation that the car would last far longer.


The new car was named the DMC-12 because DeLorean it would retail for $12,000, which put it in completion with the Corvette. Unfortunately production issues and unforeseen costs made the car retail at more than $25,000. That’s around $70,000 in today’s money. DeLorean’sway of running a business and his attitude towards his competitors lead to the big three car makers shunning his little firm. That meant that he had to source parts from Europe. The Government of Northern Ireland helped him to set up a factory in their nation, but even with their financial backing the project lost money quickly.


The cars the firm delivered were not powerful enough for the bulky chassis. Owners only got 130 horsepower in a car that cost twice as much as a Corvette. By the latter part of 1982 the firm was in receivership and DeLorean was increasingly desperate for cash to keep his firm afloat. The unimaginably dumb idea of selling cocaine to raise $17 million brought the dream to a close. Thankfully, DeLorean was the victim of a sting operation so no drugs were exchanged and no custodial sentence followed.

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2022