: John Delorean January 6, 1925 - March 19, 2005

03-20-05, 10:37 PM
John Delorean Died today .... :banghead:

i guess the DMC series 2 wont happen ...

03-20-05, 10:39 PM
I hadn't heard that!! His baby, the GTO was a fine car! I'm partial to the '68-'70 model.

03-20-05, 10:40 PM
further reading , a paper i did on him a year ago ....

The revolution began over 55 years ago at a fledgling company called Packard. The company is where a man named John Z DeLorean got his start developing new and revolutionary automobiles. The first known project was called the Z-87; a car developed by Porsche and shot down by DeLorean because of its un-American qualities (Johnstone). DeLorean's big claim to fame would later end up known as the Pontiac GTO. Still some wonder how John DeLorean influenced automotive design.
DeLoreanís biggest mistake has to be the Z-87 (Johnstone). The Z-87 could have made Studebaker into a company with the qualities seen now at BMW. The Z-87 was the BMW 1500 10 years before the 1500 was thought of. As an engineer, part of DeLoreanís job was to directly influence car design, to make a hot selling car and to keep a company going. Success never happened at Studebaker-Packard.
In the early sixties General Motors saw the potential of this gifted engineer and brought him to Pontiac. In 1963 DeLorean got his break when a new compact called the Tempest came out. After seeing the Tempest, DeLorean knew a 336 cubic inch Groiler Motor Corporation truck engine would fit in it (Glenn). There was only one problem with putting the 336 cubic inch engine in the car. It had nothing to do with the mechanical aspect of swapping engines, but more in a General Motors internal rule that limited engine size in the new Tempest to 330 cubic inches. DeLorean, desperate to get the 336

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cubic inch engine into the Tempest changed the badge to a 326 cubic inch engine and called it the Tempest Lemans (Glenn). With a new model DeLorean was allowed to put even bigger engines into the Tempest, like the monster 389 cubic inch Tri-Power V8. Brass at General Motors told DeLorean he was crazy, and that no one would buy the car. They were dead wrong; Pontiac could not build enough of the cars to satisfy public demand (Glenn).
Even Miss Cleo could not have seen what was going to happen next. Ford, Chrysler, American Motors, and other divisions inside General Motors saw the sales success of Deloreans creation and wanted a piece of the performance pie. Ford rolled out the Thunderbolt on the Fairlane platform with a huge 427 cubic inch engine along with a Galaxie 500 with a 427 cubic inch (Roswell). Oldsmobile rolls out the 442, with a 330 cubic inch V8 (Roswell). The 442 stood for 4-barrel carberator, 4-speed transmission, and dual exhaust, not its engine size. Dodge tops everyone by releasing the Charger, with an optional hemispherical head 426 cubic inch V8 that made unworldly amounts of power (Roswell). Before this time most muscle type cars were merely factory built racecars and went unnoticed by the public.
In 1965 through 1967 DeLorean decided Pontiac needed a two-seater car with an eighty percent plastic body and the rest of the car made from existing parts from other General Motors Products (Witzenburg). This new car would sell for five hundred dollars less than the Mustang. GM brass declined the idea. Then long after DeLorean left General Motors, engineers built a car named Pegasus, the car would later go on to
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become the 1984 Pontiac Fiero, a two seat commuter car with a eighty percent plastic body and parts sourced from other GM cars and sold for less than the Mustang and was an instant success (Witzenburg).
General Motors then made DeLorean General Manager of Chevrolet, where his next project would be the 1970 Camaro. DeLorean saw the popularity of the Camaro and did not want to change much on when it was redesigned. Instead he oversaw its redesign and made sure it would look more like a Jaguar (Charles). John also made sure the classic cowl induction hood would never make it onto a Camaro again as he told designers the hood looked like a coffin (Charles). The Camaro retained its popularity in large part due to its more upscale looks. This was noted by Ford and was applied to the Mustang. American Motors took the Javelin upscale also with the Pierre Cardin Edition, but neither the Mustang nor the Javelin sold as well as the Camaro (Rosa).
DeLoreanís next project was to turn the C-3 Corvette project around. By 1971 the Corvette was a constant target of criticism because of its quality and Cadillac price (Carilla). John first got the plant to produce more cars, but that only made quality worse. John then initiated a quality improvement program and a new luxury option. Unfortunately, this raised the price another 304 dollars and many are surprised the Corvettes still around (Carilla). Deemed his second failure a luxury Corvette did not work as well as a luxury Camaro.
DeLorean left GM in the late 1970s to build his dream car. A car he envisioned since the late 1960s, a 2-seater rear engine car. Johnís DMC-12 would be released in 1981 at a target price of twelve thousand dollars. The car never came close to its original
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price or hype due to cost cutting to get the car into production. The rear engine gull wing 2-seat sports car did inspire a man. His name was Robert Zemekis, and he was making a film about time travel. The other worldly DMC-12 would be the basis for his character in the film named Doctor Emmit Brown and his time machine. As the quote goes ďif one is going to build a time machine why not do it with styleĒ.
By 1983 DeLorean was in trouble, he began to traffic cocaine to keep his company going so a second generation car could be built that would live up to his dream. Unfortunately he was caught and his company went into receivership. DeLorean no longer had a direct hand in any automotive company or its designs. Deloreans ideas still live on though. The new GTO is coming in only six short months, and just like the first GTO the new one is already a hit.
John in designing the GTO, Camaro, updating the Corvette, developing his own car and dropping ideas all along the way spawned a plethora of other cars as the competition tried to keep up. If it were not for DeLorean cars such as the Ford Torino Cobra, Mustang Ghia, Pontiac Fiero, Hemi Charger and many others would have never been thought of. The automotive industry works on a constant action/reaction rule. A maker rolls out a popular new segment-busting car and other automakers scramble to keep up and shows how DeLorean influenced automotive design.

Works Cited
Carilla, John 1971 Corvette Page. 7 May 03


Charles, Dave 1970-1972 Camaro Page. 9 Aug 02

< http://chevysupersports.com/Camaro70-72.htm>

Glenn G.T.O. History Page. 21 July 01

< http://tripower455.freeservers.com/gtohist.htm>.

Johnstone, Bob Type 542 Page. 2 Oct 03

< http://patriot.net/~jonroq/porsstud.html>

Rosa, John 1971 AMC Javelin Spotters Guide. 25 March 01


Roswell, Daniel 1962 to 1965 Muscle Car History. 17 Apr 03
< http://www.musclecarclub.com/musclecars/general>

Witzenburg, Gary Fiero History Page. 20 Feb 02


03-20-05, 10:43 PM
It's a shame.