John DeLorean is known by all as the guy who gave us the Delorean DMC-12 but most people are not aware of his other accomplishments.
In his early years, DeLorean work for Chrysler but only lasted a year there until Packard Motor Company offered him a better salary. While he was at Packard, he gained immediate attention by creating the “Twin-Ultramatic” transmission. After four years of being at Packard, he became the head of research and development. His promotion caught the eyes of many, including the Vice President of engineering at General Motors, Oliver K. Kelly. Packard started to struggle alongside GM and Ford and merged with Studebaker Corporation. DeLorean was tempted to move to the Studebaker headquarters, but he then received a call from Oliver K. Kelly, who offered a pick between 5 positions available to him at GM.
His most notable achievements at General Motors were creating the Pontiac GTO, Pontiac Firebird and Pontiac Grand-Prix. While Pontiac was producing record numbers, DeLorean was promoted to be the head of GM’s flagship brand, Chevrolet. Success followed DeLorean in his promotion and he was eventually appointed Vice-President of the entire car and truck division at General Motors. DeLorean then unexpectadly resigned from GM, only to form his own brand, DeLorean Motor Company.
While DMC only had one car, the DMC-12, it is a very well known car solely because of it’s role in Back to the Future. The company eventually failed and DeLorean found himself in legal battle after he was arrested for trafficking cocaine. He was later found not guilty because of entrapment.
DeLorean laid low after his legal troubles and his only known achievement after the trials was his patent for a raised monorail system that was never built.
On March 19th, 2005 in Summit, New Jersey John DeLorean died due to a stroke. He was 80 years old.