Twice acquitted of criminal offences, former auto maker John DeLorean says he is ready to start over with a new enterprise aimed at people who think of their cars more as toys than as transportation. “I’m looking to bring a high-performance, high-priced sports car into the market — I guess you would have to call it the exotic market — with a cost over $100,000 (U.S.).”
Mr. DeLorean said he has raised the $20-million needed to build the new automobile, but he would not name the investors who put up the funds, or the well-known West German designer he said would take part in creating the car. A federal jury in Detroit last week acquitted Mr. DeLorean of charges that he embezzled $8.5-million (U.S.) from investors in his previous enterprise, which built a stainless-steel sports car at a plant in Northern Ireland in 1981 and 1982 before failing.
It was his second successful defense against U.S. federal charges. A Los Angeles jury found him innocent in 1984 of trying to sell $24-million worth of cocaine. Mr. DeLorean, who turns 62 on Jan. 6, said he has lowered his ambitions since the collapse of his earlier project. “This is a much more modest venture,” he said, adding the $20-million in startup funds is less than the $27-million profit posted by his Northern Ireland enterprise the first half of 1981.
Globe and Mail (Toronto) Newspaper – Metro Edition : December 24, 1986 : pB2