John Zachary DeLorean

Tuesday 6th January 1925

Born on this day, John Zachary DeLorean, American engineer and executive in the U.S. automobile industry, widely known for his work at General Motors and as founder of the DeLorean Motor Company. His company produced just one model in the early 1980’s, the DMC-12, a sports car with gull-wing doors, before going bankrupt. In 1982, John DeLorean was charged with drug trafficking to raise money for his struggling company. In total, approximately 9,000 DMC-12s were produced. The car became a collector’s item and got a big publicity boost when it was featured as a time-travel machine in the “Back to the Future” movies. Looking back to the 1950’s, DeLorean worked as an engineer for the Packard Motor Company and later moved to General Motors (GM), where he was credited with developing the Pontiac GTO, the first “muscle car.” DeLorean quickly rose through the corporate ranks at GM, becoming the youngest general manager of the Pontiac division and then, several years later, the youngest head of Chevrolet. He earned a reputation for corporate innovation as well as his flashy, jet-set lifestyle. DeLorean died in 2005 at the age of 80 due to a stroke.

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