Delorean DMC12

On January 21st 1981 Production of the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car began in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland. The DeLorean DMC-12 was manufactured by the DeLorean Motor Company for the American market in 1981-82. Featuring gull-wing doors with a fiberglass “underbody”, to which non-structural brushed stainless steel panels are affixed, the car became iconic for the appearance of a modified version as a time machine in the Back to the Future film trilogy. The first prototype appeared in October 1976, and production officially began in 1981 in Dunmurry, a suburb of south west Belfast, Northern Ireland. During its production, several features of the car were changed, such as the hood style, wheels and interior.

In October 1976, the first prototype DeLorean DMC-12 was completed by William T. Collins, chief engineer and designer (formerly chief engineer at Pontiac). The body design of the DMC-12 was a product of Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design and the car was Originally, intended to have a centrally-mounted Citroën/NSU Comotor Wankel rotary engine. The engine selection was reconsidered when Comotor production ended, and the favored engine became Ford’s “Clogne V6.” Eventually the French/Swedish PRV (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo) fuel injected V6, was selected. Also the engine location moved from the mid-engined location in the prototype to a rear-engined installation in the production car. The chassis was initially planned to be produced from a new and untested manufacturing technology known as Elastic Reservoir Moulding (ERM), which would lighten the car while presumably lowering its production costs. This new technology, for which DeLorean had purchased patent rights, was eventually found to be unsuitable. So Engineering was turned over to engineer Colin Chapman, founder and owner of Lotus. Chapman replaced most of the unproven material and manufacturing techniques with those then employed by Lotus. The backbone chassis is very similar to that of the Lotus Esprit. The original Giorgetto Giugiaro body design was left mostly intact, as were the distinctive stainless steel outer skin panels and gull-wing doors. DeLorean required $175 million to develop and build the motor company. DeLorean eventually built the DMC-12 in a factory in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, a neighborhood a few miles from Belfast city center. Construction on the factory began in October 1978, and although production of the DMC-12 was scheduled to start in 1979, engineering problems and budget overruns delayed production until early 1981.

Hollywood celebrities such as Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis Jr also invested in the firm and The DMC-12 also appears in the Back to the Future film trilogy. The PRV engines of the cars were dubbed over with recorded V8 sounds. Six DeLorean chassis were used during the production, along with one manufactured out of fiberglass for scenes where a full-size DeLorean was needed to “fly” on-screen; only three of the cars still exist, with one having been destroyed at the end of Back to the Future Part III. Universal Studios owns two of the remaining cars, and the last resides in a private collection after having been extensively restored. Sadly though all this endorsement was not enough to save the company and The DeLorean Motor Company went bankrupt in late 1982 following John DeLorean’s arrest in October of that year on drug trafficking charges. He was later found not guilty, but it was too late for the DMC-12 to remain in production. and the company went into liquidation

Approximately 9,000 DMC-12s were made before production halted in late 1982 and about 100 partially assembled DMCs on the production line were completed by Consolidated International (now known as Big Lots). The remaining parts from the factory stock, the parts from the US Warranty Parts Center, as well as parts from the original suppliers that had not yet been delivered to the factory were all shipped to Columbus, Ohio in 1983–1984. A company called KAPAC sold these parts to retail and wholesale customers via mail order. In 1997, DeLorean Motor Company of Texas acquired this inventory. Overall just 9,200 DMC-12s were produced between January 1981 and December 1982 Almost a fifth of these were produced in October 1981. About one thousand 1982 models were produced between February and May 1982, As of 2007, about 6,500 DeLorean Motor cars were believed to still exist. In 1995 Texas entrepreneur Stephen Wynne started a separate company using the “DeLorean Motor Company” name and shortly thereafter acquired the trademark on the stylized “DMC” logo as well as the remaining parts inventory of the original DeLorean Motor Company. The company, at its suburban Humble, Texas location, completes newly assembled cars from new old stock (NOS) parts, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and reproduction parts on a “made to order” basis using existing Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

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Jenson Button

Formula One racing Driver Jenson Button MBE was born 19 January 1980. He is currently signed to McLaren, and was the 2009 World Drivers’ Champion. He began karting at the age of eight and achieved early success, before progressing to car racing in the British Formula Ford Championship and the British Formula Three Championship. He first drove in Formula One with the Williams team for the 2000 season. The following year he switched to Benetton, which in 2002 became Renault F1, and then for the 2003 season he moved to BAR. They were subsequently renamed Honda for the 2006 season, during which Button won his first Grand Prix in Hungary, after 113 races.

Following the withdrawal of Honda from the sport in December 2008, he was left without a drive for the 2009 season, until Ross Brawn led a management buyout of the team in February 2009, and Button suddenly found himself in a highly competitive, Mercedes-engined car. He went on to win a record-equalling six of the first seven races of the 2009 season, and secured the 2009 World Drivers’ Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix, having led on points all season; his success also helped Brawn GP to secure the World Constructors’ Championship. For 2010, he moved to McLaren, partnering fellow British racer and former world champion Lewis Hamilton. After finishing fifth for the team in 2010, Button finished the 2011 season as runner-up to World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

Button remained at McLaren for the 2012 season, again partnering Hamilton. Button qualified second to Hamilton, Winning the 2012 Australian Grand Prix And went on to qualify second to Hamilton at the following race in Malaysia, eventually finishing14th after a collision with the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan.bButton finished second in the Chinese Grand Prix two weeks later. Button qualified fourth behind his team mate Lewis Hamilton at the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix Button, But and retired on lap 55 due to an exhaust failure. Button qualified in 11th position At the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix Button qualified in 11th and finished 3rd at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim but was later promoted to second after Sebastian Vettel was penalised. He started in Pole Position for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps eventually winning after leading the whole race. He qualifies second at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, but retired. Button qualified in fourth position for the Singapore Grand Prix, eventually finishing second behind Vettel and qualified third for the Japanese Grand Prix but received a five place penalty starting Eighth eventually finishing fourth behind Kabui Kobayashi. Button retired from the Korean Grand Prix after colliding with Kobiyashi and Nico Rosberg. Button finished fifth at the Indian Grand Prix, behind team-mate Hamilton and fourth atheist Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Button won the Brazillian Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hülkenberg collided, and finished fifth in the Championship.

In 2013 Button announced his intention to stay with McLaren until his retirement, partnering Mexican driver Sergio Perez, and finished ninth at the Australian Grand Prix. He sadly retired form the Malaysian Grand Prix. Button finished Forth at the Brazilian Grand Prix after a disappointing season. Danish driver Kevin Magnussen replaced Sergio Perez for the 2014 season. For 2014 The rules changed enabling drivers to pick a car number lasting for their Formula One career. Button picked number 22 which was the car number he raced under during his World Championship winning year for Brawn GP in 2009. Button finished the Australian Grand Prix in 4th place being promoted to third after Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified for rule-breaking and went on to finish the season Eighth in in Drivers Championship.

Button completed two further years with the McLaren team in 2015 and 2016 before stepping back from full-time racing to take an ambassadorial and reserve driver role. He returned for a one-off appearance at the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix in place of Fernando Alonso which elevated him to joint second with Michael Schumacher in the list of all-time F1 starts. From the 306 races that Button has started he has won 15, with a total of 50 podium finishes despite driving uncompetitive machinery for most of his career. His time in F1 was characterised by fallow early years as he tried to make his mark, a competitive and ultimately successful middle stint in which he won the World Championship and won races for McLaren and a difficult end to his career as the team struggled with the new regulations introduced in 2014.

Richard Burns

Former English rally driver Richard Burns was Born in Reading, Berkshire on 17 January 1971. He started driving at the age of eight, in his father’s old Triumph 2000. At eleven Burns joined the Under 17 Car Club, where he became driver of the year in 1984. Two years later Burns drove a Ford Escort at Churchill’s Welsh Forest Rally School near Newtown, Powys for the day and from that moment on he knew what he wanted to do. He joined the Craven Motor Club in Reading where his talent was spotted by rally enthusiast David Williams. In 1988 he entered his first rallies in his own Talbot Sunbeam. The car was too basic to make much impression and in 1989 he had to borrow other competitors cars in order to progress, he also rallied the stages of Panaround, Bagshot, Mid-Wales, Millbrook, Severn Valley, Kayel Graphics and the Cambrian Rally. In 1990 he joined the Peugeot Challenge in a Peugeot 205 GTI & got his first taste of a World Rally Championship event in Great Britain as a prize for winning the Peugeot Challenge that year. In 1991 Burns met Robert Reid,who became his co-driver for the next 12 years. For 1992 Williams bought Burns a Group N Subaru Legacy and with the support of Prodrive won the National Championship. Prodrive saw him as a promising driver for the future.In 1993 he joined the Subaru Rally Team for the British Rally Championship alongside Alister McRae, driving a Subaru Legacy. He won four rounds, the Vauxhall Sport, Pirelli, Scottish, and Manx International, and became the youngest ever British Champion. He finished seventh on that year’s snowy RAC Rally.

In the wake of his 1993 success, Burns remained with Subaru for the 1994 and 1995 seasons, contesting the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, which included the New Zealand and Australia Rallies, and also his home WRC round. His best result was third on the 1995 RAC Rally, behind team mates Carlos Sainz and winner and world champion Colin McRae. During 1996 he drove for Mitsubishi Ralliart at international level, winning the 1996 Rally New Zealand in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo . In 1998, he won the Safari Rally, piloting a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. He also won that year’s Rally Great Britain & the constructors’ Championship went to Mitsubishi.Burns moved to the Prodrive-run Subaru World Rally Team under David Richards for the 1999 season, joining Juha Kankkunen and Bruno Thiry as part of the factory team driving Subaru Impreza WRCs, replacing Colin McRae. Burns worked his way to a career high of second place in the drivers’ standings. He also led Subaru to second in the constructors’ series behind the Toyota team. He was a long-time contender for the title in 2000, but crashed out on the Rally Finland in mid-season handing the championship to Marcus Grönholm who had been competing in his first year as a full-time factory driver. Sadly Burns failed to finish the 2001 Monte Carlo Rally or the 2001 Swedish Rally, although he finished Fourth in Portugal and second in Argentina and Cyprus behind Ford’s Colin McRae. Burns won his first and only individual rally victory of the season in New Zealand, Burns then finished second on the Rally Australia. Burns’ finished the 2001 Rally of Great Britain in third place behind Peugeot duo Marcus Gronholm and Harri Rovanpera after his two main rivals for the Championship,Carlos Sainz and Colin Mcrea both crashed out enabling him to become the first Englishman to win the World Rally Championship. When Richard passed the finishing line at the final stage of the final rally in 2001, Burns uttered words thought to be paying tribute to his codriver Robert Reid: “You’re the best in the world”.

To commemorate the title success, Subaru produced a special edition of the Subaru Impreza in the UK called the RB5. Burns joined Peugeot for the 2002 season, but could not match the pace of team-mates Marcus Grönholm and Gilles Panizzi . Burns rejoined Subaru, for the 2004 season. However, In November 2003 Burns suffered a blackout while driving with Ford driver Markko Märtin to the rally. He was withdrawn from the event and was later diagnosed with an astrocytoma, a type of malignant brain tumour. He had Treatment during 2004 followed by surgery in April 2005 which was described as “very successful”. However the tumour could not be completely destroyed. On August 2005 a fan day was made, where his fans were invited to see his private car collection, but he was unable to drive himself so his co-driver Robert Reid drove his private cars on his behalf.Late on Friday, November 25, 2005, four years to the day after winning the World Rally Championship, Burns died in Westminster, London, aged 34, after having been in a coma for some days as a result of a brain tumour.

A memorial service for Burns was held at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea on Thursday 22 December 2005, with readings from BBC TV’s Jeremy Clarkson and Steve Rider, and a tribute paid by one of Burns’ closest friends, photographer Colin McMaster. Subaru also paid tribute to Burns at Castle Combe in 2006, when over 50 Subaru Impreza RB5s took to the track, including the RB5 number #001 driven by Alex Burns, Richard’s father. During the 2006 Goodwood Festival of Speed, a charity was founded in his name with a purpose to “inspire and support people with serious injury and illness”, named RB Foundation. The foundation also raises money for the Michael Park Fund, which deals with improving safety in motorsport events.Subaru released a special edition Impreza WRX STI in 2007 – the RB320 – in memory of Burns

Carroll Shelby

Best known for creating the awesome AC Cobra and the Shelby Mustang, the American race car driver, automobile designer and businessman Carroll Shelby was born 11th January 1923 in Leesburg, Texas . Shelby honed his driving skills with his Willys automobile while attending Woodrow Wilson High School (Dallas, Texas). He graduated from Wilson in 1940. He was enrolled at The Georgia School of Technology in the Aeronautical Engineering program. However, because of the war Shelby did not go to school and enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, serving in World War II as a flight instructor and test pilot. He graduated with the rank of staff sergeant pilot.

Starting out as an amateur, he initially raced a friend’s MG TC. He soon became a driver for the Cad-Allard, Aston Martin, and Maserati teams during the 1950s. Driving for Donald Healey, in a streamlined and supercharged, specially-modified, Austin-Healey 100S, he set 16 U.S. and international speed records. Teamed with Roy Salvadori, and driving for Aston Martin, he won the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. He drove in the Mount Washington Hillclimb Auto Race in a specially prepared Ferrari roadster, to a record run of 10:21.8 seconds on his way to victory in 1956.He was Sports Illustrated’s driver of the year in 1956 and 1957 and competed in Formula One from 1958 to 1959, participating in a total of eight World Championship races and several non-championship races.The highlight of his race driving career came in 1959, when he co-drove an Aston-Martin DBR1 (with Englishman Roy Salvadori) to victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. During this race he noted the performance of an English GT car built by AC Cars, known as the Bristol. Three years later, the AC Bristol would become the basis for the AC Cobra.

After retiring from driving in October 1959 for health reasons, he opened a high-performance driving school and the Shelby-American company.He obtained a license to import the AC Cobra (often known in the USA as the Shelby Cobra,) a successful British Sports racing car manufactured by AC Motors of England, which AC had designed at Shelby’s request by fitting a Ford V8 to their popular AC Ace sports car in place of its standard Ford Zephyr engine. Shelby continued on to be influential with Ford manufactured cars, including the Daytona Coupe, GT40, the Mustang-based Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500. After parting with Ford, Shelby moved on to help develop performance cars with divisions of the two other Big 3 American companies, Dodge, and Oldsmobile. The most memorable of these cars was the Dodge Viper.Ford provided financial support for AC’s Cobras from 1962 through 1965 and provided financial support for the Ford GTs, first with John Wyer’s Ford Advanced Vehicles in 1963 and then with Shelby American from 1964 through 1967.In the intervening years, Shelby had a series of ventures start and stop relating to production of “completion” Cobras — cars that were allegedly built using “left over” parts and frames. In the 1960s, the FIA required entrants (Shelby, Ford, Ferrari, etc.) to produce at least 100 cars for homologated classes of racing. Shelby simply ordered an insufficient number of cars and skipped a large block of Vehicle Identification Numbers, to create the illusion the company had imported large numbers of cars. Decades later in the 1990s, Carroll alleged that he had found the “left over” frames, and began selling cars which were supposedly finally “completed”. After it was discovered the cars were built from scratch in collaboration with McCluskey, Ltd., they were re-termed “continuation” Cobras. The cars are still built to this day, known as the current CSX4000 series of Cobras.He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991, and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992. He will be inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame on March 2, 2013.

In 1989, Shelby was inducted into Woodrow Wilson High School’s Hall of Fame when it was created during the celebration of the school’s 60th Anniversary.In 2003, Ford Motor Co. and Carroll Shelby mended ties and he became technical advisor to the Ford GT project. In that same year, he formed Carroll Shelby International, Inc. Shelby began working with Dodge at the request of Chrysler Corporation chairman, Lee Iacocca. Iacocca had previously been responsible for bringing Shelby to the Ford Mustang. After almost a decade of tuning work, Shelby was brought on board as the “Performance Consultant” on the Dodge Viper Technical Policy Committee made up of Chrysler’s executive Bob Lutz, Product Design chief Tom Gale, and Engineering Vice President François Castaing. Shelby was used for his wealth of experience to make the Viper as light and powerful as possible. In 2008 Shelby was awarded the 2008 Automotive Executive of the Year Award, he also established the Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundation to pay the medical bills of children who have heart disease but cannot afford treatment. In 2009, Shelby was Grand Marshal of the Parade for Woodrow’s 80th Anniversary Celebration. Sadly Shelby died on May 10, 2012 at the age of 89, after suffering from a serious heart ailment for decades. Joe Conway, president of Carroll Shelby International, said that “we are all deeply saddened, and feel a tremendous sense of loss for Carroll’s family, ourselves and the entire automotive industry. There has been no one like Carroll Shelby and never will be. However, we promised Carroll we would carry on, and he put the team, the products and the vision in place to do just that.

Lewis Hamilton MBE

Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton MBE was born 7th January 1985 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. He started his Motorsport career when at at the age of ten, he approached McLaren team principal Ron Dennis at the Autosport Awards ceremony and told him, “I want to race for you one day … I want to race for McLaren.” Less than three years later McLaren and Mercedes-Benz signed him to their Young Driver Support Programme. After winning the British Formula Renault, Formula Three Euroseries, and GP2 championships on his way up the racing career ladder, he drove for McLaren in 2007, making his Formula One debut 12 years after his initial encounter with Dennis.

Lewis Hamilton’s became the youngest ever driver to secure a contract with McLaren which later resulted in an F1 drive. In his first season in Formula One, Hamilton set numerous records, while finishing second in the 2007 Formula One Championship, just one point behind Kimi Räikkönen. He won the 2008 World Championship, ahead of Felipe Massa by a single point. Clinching the crown thanks to passing Timo Glock in the wet on the final lap, taking fifth place, Autosport subsequently dubbed him as Last Lap Lewis. He has stated he wants to stay with the McLaren team for the rest of his F1 career. Following his 2008 title Hamilton struggled with less competitive McLarens, and in spite of taking quite a few Grand Prix wins he was not able to challenge for the 2009 championship, and finished a close fourth in 2010, being in mathematical contention until the final round.

At the start of the 2011 season Hamilton dismissed Red Bull Racing as “just a drinks company”.Hamilton began the season finishing second in theAustralian Grand Prix, despite having to deal with a damaged floor on his McLaren.In the Malaysian Grand Prix, he finished seventh, receiving a 20-second time penalty post-race for weaving whilst defending and unsuitable driving, dropping him to eighth place. Hamilton took his first win of the season in China. He then finished fourth inTurkey and second in Spain. Hamilton crashed out of the Canadian Grand Prix after colliding with team-mate Button. In Monaco, he qualified tenth after the third qualifying session was red-flagged and received a drive through penalty after he bumped into Massa at the Hotel hairpin. Later, Alguersuari crashed into Hamilton, breaking his rear wing and Petrov also crashed so the race was red-flagged and restarted unfortunately Hamilton collided with Maldonado at Sainte Devote, for which he was given a 20 second time penalty . Hamilton took his third victory of the season at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

At the Canadian Grand Prix, Hamilton collided with Webber at the first corner before rejoining behind his team mate. A few laps later Hamilton tried to pass teammate Button but retired with a broken driveshaft. At Valencia and Silverstone Hamilton finished fourth and took his second victory of 2011 at Hockenheim. In Hungary Hamilton finished fourth after five pitstops and receiving a drive-through penalty after colliding with Paul di Resta. He finished fourth at Monza after a race long battle with Michael Schumacher. In Singapore Grand Prix, Hamilton collided with Felipe Massa which left Hamilton needing a new front wing and a drive through penalty. Hamilton tangled with Massa once again at the Japanese Grand Prix before finishing fifth. At the Korea Grand Prix Hamilton qualified pole position, ending a run of 16 consecutive pole positions for Red Bull., but was overtaken by World Champion Sebastian Vettel who Eventually won the race with Hamilton finishing second. At the Indian Grand Prix, Hamilton was penalised three places on the starting grid, after a yellow flag infraction in Friday practice, finishing seventh after yet another incident with Massa. Hamilton won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix while at at Brazil retired from the race and finished fifth overall in the championship.

Hamilton remained at McLaren alongside Button for the 2012 season.Hamilton finished third at the Australian Grand Prix, after being passed by Button and Vettel. He was overtaken by Fernando Alonso and Sergio Pérez, at the Malaysian Grand Prix, eventually finishing third. He also finished third in China, with Nico Rosberg and Button ahead. Hamilton finished eighth in Bahrain and was also involved in a controversial racing incident with Rosberg, with Rosberg appearing to push Hamilton off track while he attempted to overtake. At the Spanish Grand Prix, stewards demoted Hamilton to the back of the grid; but despite this, Hamilton finished eighth, ahead of Button, who had started in tenth. Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix for the third time, after overtaking Fernando Alonso and also won the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix. Hamilton and championship leader Fernado Alonso both retired from the Belgian Grand Prix after a pile up caused by Romain Grosjean . Hamilton then won the 2012 Italian Grand Prix . Hamilton suffered gearbox failure at the Singapore Grand Prix. He also retired from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, before winning the United States Grand Prix in Austin.Hamilton’s season ended with another pole position and retirement in the Brazilian GP, after colliding with Nico Hülkenberg

In 2013 Hamilton ,joined the Mercedes-Benz works team partnering Nico Rosberg, finishing in Fifth place at the Australian Grand Prix and third in Malaysia taking his first podium for the team. At Monaco Hamilton struggled with the car under braking and Prior to the race, both Red Bull and Ferrari had lodged formal complaints against Mercedes regarding testing. Hamilton won the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix, Becoming the first British driver to win a Formula One race in a Mercedes works car since Stirling Moss did so at the 1955 British Grand Prix, at Silverstone ,with Kimi Räikkönen in second. Although he did not score any podiums for the rest of the season, a string of point finishes helped him end the season in fourth place.

Hamilton stayed with Mercedes Benz for the 2014 season where A new rule allowed the drivers to pick a unique car number that they will use for their entire career. Hamilton picked #44, the same number he used during his karting days. Hamilton retired from the Australian Grand Prix with Rosberg winning. However Hamilton won the Malaysian Grand Prix with Rosberg finishing second in a Mercedes one-two, the first since 1955. Hamilton eventually won again In Bahrain, Turkey, Canada, China, Spain with Nico Rosberg finishing second. Hamilton finished second at the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix behind Rosberg and Despite starting 20th in the German Grand Prix Hamilton managed to finish third. He started from the Pit-lane for the Hungarian Grand Prix eventually finishing third ahead of Rosberg. Hamilton and Rosberg both retired from the Belgian Grand Prix after colliding. He then won the Italian, Singapore Russian, United States and Japanese Grands Prix to achieve five consecutive victories for the first time in his career. His tenth victory of the season was also his 32nd career victory, the most of any British driver. Hamilton became the World Champion after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and also won 2014 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.

John DeLorean

Best known for producing the ill-fated Delorean DMC 12 Sports car, American Car Manufacturer John DeLorean was born 6 January 1925. Production of the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car began in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland in 1981. The DeLorean DMC-12 was manufactured by the DeLorean Motor Company for the American market in 1981-82. Featuring gull-wing doors with a fiberglass underbody, to which non-structural brushed stainless steel panels are affixed, the car became iconic for the appearance of a modified version as a time machine in the Back to the Future film trilogy. The first prototype appeared in October 1976, and production officially began in 1981 in Dunmurry, a suburb of south west Belfast, Northern Ireland. During its production, several features of the car were changed, such as the hood style, wheels and interior. In October 1976, the first prototype DeLorean DMC-12 was completed by William T. Collins, chief engineer and designer (formerly chief engineer at Pontiac). The body design of the DMC-12 was a product of Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design and the car was Originally, intended to have a centrally-mounted Citroën/NSU Comotor Wankel rotary engine.

However this radical engine selection was reconsidered when Comotor production ended, and the favored engine became Ford’s “Clogne V6.” Eventually the French/Swedish PRV (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo) fuel injected V6, was selected. Also the engine location moved from the mid-engined location in the prototype to a rear-engined installation in the production car. The chassis was initially planned to be produced from a new and untested manufacturing technology known as Elastic Reservoir Moulding (ERM), which would lighten the car while presumably lowering its production costs. This new technology, for which DeLorean had purchased patent rights, was eventually found to be unsuitable. So Engineering was turned over to engineer Colin Chapman, founder and owner of Lotus. Chapman replaced most of the unproven material and manufacturing techniques with those then employed by Lotus. The backbone chassis is very similar to that of the Lotus Esprit. The original Giorgetto Giugiaro body design was left mostly intact, as were the distinctive stainless steel outer skin panels and gull-wing doors. DeLorean required $175 million to develop and build the motor company. DeLorean eventually built the DMC-12 in a factory in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, a neighborhood a few miles from Belfast city center. Construction on the factory began in October 1978, and although production of the DMC-12 was scheduled to start in 1979, engineering problems and budget overruns delayed production until early 1981.

Hollywood celebrities such as Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis Jr also invested in the firm and The DMC-12 also appears in the Back to the Future film trilogy. The PRV engines of the cars were dubbed over with recorded V8 sounds. Six DeLorean chassis were used during the production, along with one manufactured out of fiberglass for scenes where a full-size DeLorean was needed to “fly” on-screen; only three of the cars still exist, with one having been destroyed at the end of Back to the Future Part III. Universal Studios owns two of the remaining cars, and the last resides in a private collection after having been extensively restored.

Sadly though all this endorsement was not enough to save the company and The DeLorean Motor Company went bankrupt in late 1982 following John DeLorean’s arrest in October of that year on drug trafficking charges. He was later found not guilty, but it was too late for the DMC-12 to remain in production. and the company went into liquidation. Approximately 9,000 DMC-12s were made before production halted in late 1982 and about 100 partially assembled DMCs on the production line were completed by Consolidated International (now known as Big Lots). Overall just 9,200 DMC-12s were produced between January 1981 and December 1982 Almost a fifth of these were produced in October 1981. As of 2007, about 6,500 DeLorean Motor cars were believed to still exist. In 1995 Texas entrepreneur Stephen Wynne started a separate company using the “DeLorean Motor Company” name and shortly thereafter acquired the trademark on the stylized “DMC” logo as well as the remaining parts inventory of the original DeLorean Motor Company. deLorean sadly passed away 19 March 2005.

Colin Chapman (Lotus)

Influential English design engineer, inventor, and builder in the automotive industry, and founder of Lotus Cars Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman CBE, sadly passed away on 16th December 1982, aged 54 after suffering a fatal heart attack. Born 19 May 1928 Chapman studied structural engineering at University College London, joined the University Air Squadron and learned to fly. Chapman left UCL without a degree in 1948, resitting his final Mathematics paper in 1949 and obtaining his degree a year late. He briefly joined the Royal Air Force in 1948, being offered a permanent commission but turning this down in favour of a swift return to civilian life. After a couple of false starts Chapman joined the British Aluminium company, using his civil engineering skills to attempt to sell aluminium as a viable structural material for buildings.

In 1948 Chapman started building the Mk1, a modified Austin 7, which he entered privately into local racing events. He named the car “Lotus”. With prize money he developed the Lotus Mk2. With continuing success on through the Lotus 6, he began to sell kits of these cars. Over 100 were sold through 1956. It was with the Lotus 7 in 1957 that things really took off. In the 1950s, Chapman progressed through the motor racing formulae, designing and building a series of racing cars, sometimes to the point of maintaining limited production as they were so successful and highly sought after, until he arrived in Formula One. Besides his engineering work, he also piloted a Vanwall F1-car in 1956 but crashed into his teammate Mike Hawthorn during practice for the French Grand Prix at Reims, ending his career as a race driver and focusing him on the technical side. Along with John Cooper, he revolutionised the premier motor sport. Their small, lightweight mid-engined vehicles gave away much in terms of power, but superior handling meant their competing cars often beat the all-conquering front engined Ferraris and Maseratis. Eventually, with legendary driver Jim Clark at the wheel of his race cars, Team Lotus appeared as though they could win whenever they pleased. With Clark driving the legendary Lotus 25, Team Lotus won its first F1 World Championship in 1963. It was Clark, driving a Lotus 38 at the Indianapolis 500 in 1965, who drove the first ever mid-engined car to victory at the fabled “Brickyard.” Clark and Chapman had become particularly close and Clark’s death devastated Chapman, who publicly stated that he had lost his best friend. Among a number of legendary automotive figures who have been Lotus employees over the years were Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth, founders of Cosworth. Graham Hill worked at Lotus as a mechanic as a means of earning drives.

In 1952 he founded the sports car company Lotus Cars. Chapman initially ran Lotus in his spare time, assisted by a group of enthusiasts. His knowledge of the latest aeronautical engineering techniques would prove vital towards achieving the major automotive technical advances he is remembered for. He was famous for saying “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”, as his design philosophy focused on cars with light weight and fine handling instead of bulking up on horsepower and spring rates. Under his direction, Team Lotus won seven Formula One Constructors’ titles, six Drivers’ Championships, and the Indianapolis 500 in the United States, between 1962 and 1978. The production side of Lotus Cars has built tens of thousands of relatively affordable, cutting edge sports cars. Lotus is one of but a handful of English performance car builders still in business after the industrial decline of the 1970s. Although these days Lotus is owned by the Malaysian Automotive Company “Proton”, Caterham Cars still manufacture the Caterham 7 based on the Lotus 7, and there have been over 90 different Lotus 7 clones, replicas and derivatives offered to the public by a variety of makers.

He pioneered many innovations and Many of Chapman’s ideas can still be seen in Formula One and other top-level motor sport (such as IndyCars) today. Such as struts as a rear suspension device. Even today, struts used in the rear of a vehicle are known as Chapman struts, while virtually identical suspension struts for the front are known as MacPherson struts, monocoque chassis construction, the tube-frame chassis, positive aerodynamic downforce, through the addition of wings, moving radiators away from the front of the car to the sides, to decrease frontal area (lowering aerodynamic drag). He also designed a Formula One car that generated all of its downforce through ground effect, eliminating the need for wings, which also had active suspension and a dual-chassis And eventually made its début with the Lotus 99T in 1987.