John Z DeLorean decided to create his own company, following a stellar career at General Motors. He had made it to the sixth floor at a famously young age, thanks to the success of his Pontiac GTO muscle car. However, he wanted to produce top-flight sports cars, and that ambition was never going to be realised at a famously conservative GM - so he left.
During the early '70s, he started work on a new gullwing sports car and, thanks to Ital Design, Lotus and the British government, managed to get the DMC-12 into production at a new factory in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, in 1981. However, the car sold poorly, and the company went bankrupt the following year – following allegations that DeLorean was selling drugs, a charge of which he was acquitted in court.