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The DeLorean paradox: how it failed and became a legend

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Published on Feb 1, 2019

The DeLorean was supposed to be the car of the future. Then they stopped making it.

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In this episode of Vox Almanac, producer Phil Edwards explores the past and present of the DeLorean Motor Company, which made the infamous DMC-12. Though many today know the car through the movie Back to the Future, DeLorean has its own incredible story to tell (and one that’s almost harder to believe than a story about time travel).

John Z. DeLorean is at its center as the founder and namesake of the company. His path through the upper echelon of General Motors seemed to have set him on course for that company’s Presidency — but he dreamed of starting his own company. The result was the DeLorean Motor Company, which was established in America and eventually planted a factory in Dunmurry, Ireland, near Belfast and during the sectarian civil war known as “the Troubles.”

For this video, we interviewed Barrie Wills about his experience working at the company — but we also talked to DeLorean owners about the ways the car has endured, thanks to the movie Back to the Future, and, more importantly, their own ingenuity and creativity. A DeLorean community has kept the car going and, despite the fact that production ended in the early '80s, the car continues to inspire new fans even today.


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