Sunday, March 20, 2005


John DeLorean, a maverick in the auto industry, died the other day. In his day, he owned Detroit, at least the portion named GM. He single-handedly changed the industry with the creation of the "muscle car."

Had DeLorean stayed with GM and not gone off to create his own car, the DMC 12, the auto industry of today would probably look quite different. He had vision and he was way ahead of his time, though his cocaine trafficking skills were lacking.

I followed DeLorean over the years because my first car was his creation, a 1967 Pontiac GTO. Simply put, it was a rocket ship with an ashtray, and not something your average 15 year old had any business driving around without adult supervision. Trust me, I had no supervision, and I'm lucky to be alive today typing this post. My "Goat," as they were called, had a 400 cubic inch engine with a 3 speed turbo-hydromatic trans with a Hurst dual-gate shifter. In '72, it took $13 to fill the tank with SUNOCO 260. If you've never heard of SUNOCO 260, you wouldn't understand. Let's just say 98 octane and leave it at that.

This GTO is the same color as the one I had, except mine was a convertable. And if you're not an expert on cars, that model was called a "Monkeemobile."

Everything DeLorean designed seemed to end up famous and in the movies: The GTO; The Trans Am Firebird; and the DeLorean(DMC12). Or, The Monkees, Smokey and the Bandit, and Back To The Future. I don't think there's another engineer that could match DeLorean's track record. Like I said, this guy was ahead of his time.

Many have said DeLorean had a superiority complex. I think they said that because he did.

Like the GTO of old, you don't see many guys like DeLorean around anymore.

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