The arrest of a famous car manufacturer for drug trafficking worth  million

The arrest of a famous car manufacturer for drug trafficking worth $24 million

On October 19, 1982, the automaker John Z. DeLorean was arrested and charged with conspiracy to obtain and distribute almost 25 kg of cocaine.

DeLorean was acquitted, but legal problems continued, he soon went to trial for fraud and over the next two decades was forced to pay millions of dollars to creditors and lawyers.

However, the DeLorean holds an important place in automotive history: thanks to his starring role in the 1985 film “Return to the future”, his gull-winged sports car is one of the most famous cars in the world.

DeLorean grew up in Detroit and started working for Chrysler while still in college. His career was promising: he worked his way up the corporate ladder at General Motors, where he is credited with designing the GTO and Firebird, becoming vice president in 1972, but left the company just a year later to pursue his own business interests.

In 1978, he founded DeLorean Motor Company in Northern Ireland (the British government, along with investors like Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis, Jr., paid most of the initial costs) to build the car of their dreams: The DMC-12.

A sports car, it was unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. Its stainless steel body was not painted; its doors were opened, not outside; she had a 130hp Renault engine and could go from zero to 60mph in eight seconds.

But not many people bought a DeLorean car, they were too expensive– Each was $25,000, compared to $10,000 for the average car and $18,000 for an upgraded Corvette.

The company’s financial problems, DeLorean’s lawyers argued, were the reason why the FBI was able to catch him in the drug deal of $24 million: the authorities knew that he would do anything to save his business.

DeLorean was already in legal trouble when director Robert Zemeckis chose a DMC-12 to serve as Marty McFly’s time machine in “Back to the Future.”

Spielberg had originally planned to use an old refrigerator instead of a car, but changed his mind at the last minute.

The director liked the futuristic look of the DeLorean but more than that, he worried that young fans of the film would accidentally get stuck in refrigerators and freezers while playing make-believe.

Ben Oakley
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