- 26 Feb 16
Glenn Patterson’s latest novel tells the extraordinary story of John DeLorean’s time in Belfast – a saga of federal agents, undercover sting operations and alleged cocaine trafficking.
Most people remember the DeLorean DMC-12 car as the time machine from the Back To The Future trilogy. For people living in Belfast during the early 1980s, however, the rise and fall of the DMC-12, and its creator John DeLorean, is a wonderfully murky tale of overvaulting ambition, missing funds, cocaine trafficking and financial disaster.
The DMC-12, with its unpainted stainless steel body and distinctive gull wing doors, first rolled off the factory floor in Dunmurray, Belfast in January 1981. The man himself was just as striking – tall, handsome and rich, DeLorean was married to a model and was almost as much of a celebrity as his friends, Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis Jr.
Despite hundreds of millions of pounds in investment – much from the British government – the car never lived up to its promise and the company was in serious financial difficulties almost from the start. In October 1982, John DeLorean was arrested by the FBI for cocaine trafficking – and two months later the company was bankrupt.