On April 19, Easter Sunday 1981, the first Delorean DMC-12's were driven to the docks of Belfast Northern Ireland to be shipped to the US.
Created by former GM wonder boy, John Delorean, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign of Turin, financed by the British government, built in Northern Ireland, the DMC-12 was a textbook automobile failure.
In spite of its futuristic design, gull wing doors, and a stainless steel finish the car failed in several fronts. It was underpowered. The small 2.8 liter (180 cubic inch)V6 Pug engine wasn't up to performance required of such a visually exciting car. The electrics were pieces left over from the Prince of Darkness's parts bin. The DMC had too many really good competitors, and it was just too expensive.
Building in N Ireland was a political bone thrown during the Troubles by the UK Labor government. Think hard of all the classic names of NI car builders, whom Delorean could have built a factory around. It won't take long. Delorean began from scratch. Inflation was high, labor trouble was rife, it was an expensive car to build.
By 1982 the company was gobbling cash faster than the British Treasury could print it. Delorean was arrested for allegedly selling cocaine to finance factory operations. In early '83 new PM Maggie Thatcher pulled the plug on the DMC. Delorean was later acquitted of all charges.
Ultimately some 8600 were built, maybe 5000 sold, most after the Back to the Future movie was released in '85. A Texas company
owns the remaining auto and parts inventory. Occasionally, they make noise about reintroducing the car, but don't hold your breath, it won't happen in our lifetime, at least not as long as they have unsold, new, 30 year old cars on the lot.
Should you ever find yourself short of sense and long on cash, there are plenty on EBAY
around the world.
Last car post for a while, I promise.