Most of you will be familiar with the DeLorean DMC-12 from its notable presence as a time machine in the Back To The Future movies. I myself have actually sat behind the wheel of one of these eccentric automobiles once, because a friend of mine — he collects and restores classic cars — happens to own one of them. However, there is far more to this iconic automobile and its history than you might think.
Conceived by John DeLorean to have unpainted stainless steel bodywork, gull-wing doors and a rear-mounted engine, the DMC-12 went into production in Northern Ireland in 1981, even though the car was mainly intended for the US American market. At first, things went rather well, and the dealers couldn't keep up with the incoming orders. Later on however, the whole car industry went through somewhat of a trough, and this was no different for the DeLorean Motor Corporation. Furthermore, the factory in Northern Ireland also had to struggle with the ongoing riots between political activists and the British military over there at the time.
This was also the time of the reign of Ronald Reagan in the US and of Margaret Thatcher in the UK, who had jointly declared a war on drugs, which they sought to make into a political statement by implicating a high profile figure. They knew that John DeLorean was in need of more money, so the FBI set him up in a sting operation. DeLorean was tricked into a supposedly very lucrative business arrangement, so that he could pour the financial profits of that deal into the DeLorean Motor Corporation.
It was only later that John DeLorean found out that this lucrative business arrangement was in fact a cocaine trafficking operation, and when he then wanted to pull out of the deal again, he was threatened with the life of his daughter, so he was forced to stay on. Ultimately then, he was arrested by the FBI, with a video of him being shown the cocaine by his "business partner" as evidence. And thus ended the short but troubled life of the original DeLorean Motor Corporation and its iconic DMC-12...