In 1981, the future of cars was the Delorean—a future that only lasted two years. The design and stainless steel, gull wing doors. Yet, despite only lasting two years, the Delorean still has a fan club.
The design for the Delorean started in 1974 when Georgetto Giugiaro, an Italian car designer, first conceived the car. It started with a mid-engine, which soon became a rear engine. Engineering was done by Colin Chapman, who worked with Lotus, while the engine was a Renovi 6. The gull wing doors were no easy feat; they required cryogenically frozen torsion bars and the tiny window, aptly named tollbooth windows because they were just large enough to pay a toll.
John Delorean was just as much an enigma as his car. Delorean held patents for car innovations. He was instrumental in the production of the GTO, and he was in line to be the president of GM. He became a bit of a maverick, and was known for being charming. Even with all that, Delorean still needed capital to get his company up and running. Belfast, Ireland, won out as the home of the factory. Unfortunately, this was during troubling times in Ireland, and these challenges had to be factored into production. Still, Delorean was able to ship 1,800 cars.
Unfortunately, there were problems that led to the company’s failing. And then scandal—Delorean was arrested for smuggling cocaine. Then Back to the Future hit, and the car became an icon.