'Throughout the history of the British Motor Industry, hope and enthusiasm have tended to overrule commercial common sense. The DeLorean episode was perhaps its clearest example in Government.' - Martin Adeney, The Motor Makers.
The brainchild of ex-General Motors executive John Zachary DeLorean, the DeLorean sports car project was touted around the world before finding a home in Northern Ireland thanks to generous grants from the British Government. Designed by ex-Pontiac engineer Bill Collins, the DMC12 was extensively reworked by Lotus prior to production, emerging with the latter's trademark steel backbone chassis and all-independent suspension, and powered by a rear-mounted Peugeot/Renault/Volvo 2.9-litre overhead-camshaft V6 engine. Apart from its larger-than-life creator, it was the car's stylish coupé body that attracted most attention by virtue of its method of construction - a combination of glassfibre inner panels and stainless-steel outer skin - and doors that opened gull-wing fashion à la Mercedes-Benz 300 SL.
The much-hyped DMC12 finally arrived in 1980 and immediately ran into quality control problems, a not altogether surprising occurrence considering the local workforce's unfamiliarity with automobile manufacture. No doubt the company would have sorted out the glitches given time, but sales never approached projected levels and DeLorean's 1982 indictment on drugs charges - he was subsequently acquitted - brought the project to its knees.
Although the DeLorean had been intended for the USA, the factory began converting a small batch of cars to right-hand drive before its collapse brought the project to a halt after only 12 had been completed. A few more were converted while the factory was in receivership, and since then a number of cars have been converted privately by their owners. The current owner purchased this ultra-rare RHD DeLorean many years ago, since when it has been off the road in dry storage. Currently displaying a total of only 22,949 miles on the odometer, this example of one of the 20th Century's most controversial motor cars is presented in 'barn find' condition, requiring restoration.