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Brief encounter

11 months ago

Writer:

Peter Robinson | Journalist

Date:

20 November 2021

A few weeks back I found myself listening with more than usual interest to Andrew and Dan’s weekly podcast. This was the 79th episode, the one in which they discussed the life and times of the controversial John Zachary DeLorean. The reason? Forty years ago, I actually met the bloke.

This was February 1981 and having organised to attend the Arizona launch of GM’s new ‘import buster’ J-car (aka the second-generation front-drive Vauxhall Cavalier), a contact learned that DeLorean was planning the first public showing of its much-anticipated DMC supercar in Los Angeles. The timing was perfect, in that it was just two days before the five GM divisions individually unveiled their look-alike versions of the J-car. Invitation arranged, GM Holden’s chief engineer, the genial Joe Whitesell, who’d worked for DeLorean in his glory days at Pontiac, kindly wrote to DeLorean at his 280 Park Avenue, New York headquarters, on my behalf.

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