What Is the History of the DeLorean Motor Company?

John Z. DeLorean founded the DeLorean Motor Company in 1974, after being chief engineer of General Motors' Pontiac division and directing Chevrolet. The motor company's factory opened in Northern Ireland in 1981 during a particularly volatile political time in the region, which forced the factory to shut down several times. In October 1982, the DEA arrested John DeLorean for cocaine smuggling.

When the DeLorean Motor Company first opened its factory doors in 1981, the event attracted IRA protesters. Later that year, Molotov cocktails thrown over the fence burned down the office and all of DeLorean's paperwork.

The DMC-12, later made famous by the film "Back To The Future," is the only automobile ever produced by the DeLorean Motor Company. The first production line of DeLorean cars were of such poor quality that DeLorean had them permanently parked, unfinished and unsold, on the factory grounds, and eventually built correction facilities in the United States to improve the poor-quality DMC-12s and make them ready for sale.

While John DeLorean was found not guilty of the drug smuggling charges against him, this occurred two years after his initial arrest, and the DeLorean Motor Company never recuperated from the blow. Less than 9,000 DMC-12's were ever created by the company.