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Posts Tagged ‘john delorean’

Back to the Future Day Brings Justice for DeLorean Estate

The future is now…but it doesn’t look like it was supposed to.

by on Oct.21, 2015

Back to the Future - the DeLorean DMC-12 with co-stars Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox.

Just in time for “Back to the Future Day,” the estate of the controversial automaker John DeLorean has settled a lawsuit over the use of his name.

DeLorean, a one-time General Motors executive went off to create his own sports car company in 1985. A few years later, he was caught up in an FBI sting, allegedly trying to sell a suitcase full of cocaine to keep the venture alive. The DeLorean Motor Co. subsequently collapsed, but one of its stainless steel sports cars became famous for its central role in the time travelling comedy-adventure series, “Back to the Future.”

The Future is Now!

In the second of the three films, hero Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, launches into the future – more precisely October 21, 2015 – where he finds such things as floating hoverboards, home fusion kits and self-drying jackets. The future, it seems, isn’t what it used to be. (more…)

Birth of the Muscle Car: the Pontiac GTO at 50

The unlikely story of how the "Goat" came to market.

by on May.13, 2014

Pontiac initially started out by stuffing a big V-8 under the hood of its little LeMans to create the new GTO.

News about the GM ignition switch recall debacle is a stark contrast to a time when it was the unrivaled automotive leader that built cars people wanted – no, desired.

A reminder of those heady days recently occurred at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, California in celebration of the 50th anniversary of a GM car that turned heads, tore up the streets and became an icon – the 1964 Pontiac GTO.

Beyond the Headlines!

It came to market within months of another legendary model also celebrating its Golden Anniversary, the Ford Mustang. But while that “pony car” is still going strong, the GTO – or “goat,” as it was known to fans — has faded into memory, despite a failed attempt to revive the nameplate on one of the last products Pontiac produced before it, too, was tossed onto the automotive rust heap following GM’s 2009 bankruptcy.

But there was a time when the GTO tapped into the needs and desires of young people who were just reaching driving age, becoming an icon of the ‘60s and ‘70s.  Ironically, it almost didn’t get made.


Back to the Future: DeLorean Goes Electric

Partnering with appropriately-named Flux Power.

by on Oct.18, 2011

A Texas company hopes to begin selling a battery version of the DeLorean DMC-12 in 2013.

As fans of the feature film “Back to the Future” might recall, it took a bolt of lightning to send the hero hurtling through the space-time continuum.  A small start-up company’s ambitions don’t include time travel but it does hope to put an electric power pack under the hood of the iconic, stainless steel DeLorean DMC-12 that appeared in that film and two sequels.

A prototype of the gull-winged sports car – which will largely lift the design of the original DMC – was just unveiled by the DeLorean Motor Company of Texas, which hopes to put the battery version into production by 2013.

Company president Stephen Wynne bought the rights to the DeLorean name and other assets in 1995.  The company had gone bust in 1982 following the bust – and subsequent acquittal – of its eponymous founder, John Z. DeLorean, on charges of trying to sell a suitcase full of cocaine to undercover agents.

An estimated 9,000 of the original, gas-powered sports cars were built between January 1981 and the end of the following year – and Wynne has been selling spare parts for them – as well as restored DMC-12s.

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But now, says the DMC Texas website, the company is “reconstituting the fruit of John Z. DeLoreans’ troubled loins,” and has developed a high-tech version of the troubled DMC-12 with which it hopes it can compete with the likes of California-based battery carmaker Tesla Motors.

In an ironic twist, the new DMC has turned to Flux Power, an Escondido, California maker of lithium-ion batteries.  (In the “Back to the Future” trilogy the time-warping DeLorean used a device called a flux capacitor to move freely from past to present.)


Gone, Gone Little GTO…

Pontiac, we hardly knew ye.

by on Apr.27, 2009

The original Pontiac GTO gave the GM claim to its long-running ad tag line, "We Build Excitement."  But there hasn't been much excitement in recent years.

The original Pontiac GTO gave the GM claim to its long-running ad tag line, "We Build Excitement." But there hasn't been much excitement in recent years.

It seemed like the proverbial no-brainer when General Motors announced plans, early in the decade, to revive its legendary muscle car, the Pontiac GTO.  After all, few automobiles had become so entrenched in American lore, inspiring songs, like Ronnie and the Daytona’s “Little GTO,” and countless appearances in film, TV and other corners of popular culture.

First launched in 1964, the “Goat,” as its fans liked to call it, was arguably the first true American muscle car, derived fromthe expediant and wildly profitable formula of stuffing a full-size V8 engine in a mid-size car and charging  a premium for it. 

The creation of General Motors’ mad genius, John DeLorean, the GTO dominated road and track until it was summarily abandoned in the wake of the first Mideast oil crisis.  But with muscle making a comeback, GM’s new “car czar,” Bob Lutz, was convinced the muscle car could reverse the fading fortunes of the flailing Pontiac.

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comBut the return of the Goat proved to be just the latest in a long series of setbacks for the once-popular brand.  Potential Pontiac buyers did little more than yawn over the blandly-styled 2004 GTO and despite a series of frantic efforts to prop up the retro nameplate, disastrous sales forced the automaker to once again pull the plug less than three years later.

Now, it seems, GM is ready to toss Pontiac itself onto the automotive rust heap.  On Monday, the ailing automaker unveiled its latest turnaround plan, this one triggered by President Barack Obama’s refusal to authorize a second round of federal aid for GM until it came up with a more acceptable business strategy.  The plan the president rejected would have jettisoned Hummer, Saturn and Saab, but maintained Pontiac as a low-volume niche brand, paired with Buick and GMC.