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OP/ED: John DeLorean Father Of the Muscle Car Has Passed

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posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 02:18 PM
A giant from the 1960's Muscle Car Era heyday John Z. Delorean has died. Delorean who is perhaps best known for his attempts in the 1980's to finance a car deal selling coc aine to undercover FBI agents was the godfather of a whole generation of cars that defined many aspects of life in the United States in the 1960's.

Riding a wave of post war euphoria and prosperity following World War II cars became the center place of American life where they remain today. Few cultural aspects, especially in the West of the country are as integrated as the car.

In the 1964 he created what is arguable the true first muscle car the Pontiac GTO. It was simple as putting a high horsepower big block motor into a intermediate size family sedan. It was fast and it was a big hit. They appealed to the Youth of the day and even had its own snappy little song that to this day I remember:

Little GTO, you're really lookin' fine
Three deuces and a four-speed and a 389
Listen to her tachin' up now, listen to her why-ee-eye-ine
C'mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO

You oughta see her on a road course or a quarter mile
This little modified Pon-Pon has got plenty of style
She beats the gassers and the rail jobs, really drives 'em why-ee-eye-ild
C'mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO

The car launched a bigger is better era for horsepower. Who could forget the first time we laid eyes on a 1970 Hemi Cuda or a 1969 Chevelle SS. The muscle care era was by and large an extension of the era or "Cruising" which inspired such movies as "American Graffiti" or the oh so forgettable "Hollywood Knights". Much like here on ATS, muscle cars enthusiast will and can talk for hours about why thier favorite car is clearly the best of breed and remain perplexed as to why anybody cannot see that.

For me, the 1964 GTO is and will always remain a special car. I am not old enough to have bought one new, and was still a newborn when the famed RAM AIR IV Judge GTO came out in 1969. But, despite this I had the luck to own one through my highschool years. The faded black Goat with a 4 speed, posi, and tripower was simply an awesome ride. It handled poorly, stopping was done with a few Hail Mary's and sweating, but in a straight line the sheer feel of the power under the hood was mind blowing. Working as a teacher at a high school auto-shop allowed me an endless series of tweaking and performance upgrades. One wonderfully summer in 1987, I spent half the time at Baylands Raceway in Fremont, California. The pinnacle of that summer was a 12.78@109 mph in the quarter mile. The biggest memory of the GTO I have is the fact that i defied my father to purchase the car. Its was the first time I had done so on such a large scale.

The muscle car era ended with the high gas prices and the oil embargo of the early 70's and most of the muscle cars passed on during the forgettable 70's. The 80's saw a bit of a revival with the ever popular Pony cars the Mustang and the Camero/Firebird. In the 90's things began to heat up again. In 1996 after 6 month wait, I was the proud owner of a WS-6 Trans Am. It was almost as fast as the GTO, but had all the moder comforts and could actually get through a corner without major effort. But as much as I like the car, it lacked the soul of the GTO.

The last few years we are engage in a horsepower wars of sorts and cars are faster than ever. Even the GTO has returned in the form of a 400 horsepower sedan. Pontiac dropped a Corvette motor into an intermediate size car. The more things change the more they stay the same.

What ever happened to my 64 GTO? The realities of going to collage and paying for gas and insurance forced me to sell the car. But the sale was to the man that eventually would stand by my side as best man at my wedding. I could not have asked for the car to have a better home. He is almost finished with a frame off restoration f the car. The type that was simply not within my reach at the time. I can't wait to take my son for a ride!

Gonna save all my money (turnin' it on, blowin' it out) and buy a GTO (turnin' it on, blowin' it out)
Get a helmet and a roll bar (turnin' it on, blowin' it out) and I'll be ready to go (turnin' it on, blowin' it out)
Take it out to Pomona (turnin' it on, blowin' it out) and let 'em know (turnin' it on, blowin' it out), yeah, yeah
That I'm the coolest thing around
Little buddy, gonna shut you down
When I turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO

Song Lyrics From:
Little G.T.O.
Ronnie and the Daytonas
Written by John Wilkin

Related News Links:

posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 02:47 PM
He was awsome. Too bad he got into trouble with the Delorean project becouse he was definetly an automotive rebel. No telling what else he could have created otherwise.

One of my favorites was the Pontiac Gran Prix SJ.

(can you guess what the "J" stands for?)

[edit on 20-3-2005 by smirkley]

posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 02:52 PM
"j"?? John?

posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 02:58 PM
FredT, yup.

He had a stint with GM, and performed amazing feats of business there...


"People either loved him or hated him," said business journalist J. Patrick Wright, who penned the 1979 DeLorean memoir, On A Clear Day You Can See General Motors. DeLorean was vain, impulsive and sometimes overbearing. He wore trendy clothes and earned a reputation as a swinger after his second divorce, when he started dating celebrity beauties like Ursula Andress and Raquel Welch. In 1972 he met supermodel Christina Ferrare, who was half his age, and she moved in with him. Detroit did not approve of DeLorean's lifestyle, so in 1973 he "fired GM" and set off on his own. The DeLorean myth grew. He was a maverick, a risk taker, and he had bold dreams.

The Rise and Fall of John DeLorean

[edit on 20-3-2005 by smirkley]

posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 04:03 PM
John DeLorean was eventually acquitted of the drug charges, even though the video tapes of his conversations with his drug dealing investor was pretty damning.

[edit on 05/3/20 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Mar, 23 2005 @ 09:10 PM
DeLorean might get the credit, BUT the first modern muscle car was the J-2

Hubcap Cafe
This 1957 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday coupe has the optional J-2 engine,a 371 cubic inch, 300 horsepower V8 engine with three two barrel carbs.

DeLoren on GTO
Fantastic car- changed everything for years.

Here's another 'old' Rod

Lincoln Zephyr
This 1939 Lincoln Zepher coupe has a 267 cubic inch V12 with 110 hp.

All kinds of Exotic old cars
Supercharged Dusenberg anyone?


[edit on 23-3-2005 by JoeDoaks]

posted on Mar, 23 2005 @ 09:40 PM

Originally posted by JoeDoaks
DeLorean might get the credit, BUT the first modern muscle car was the J-2

The J2 was a fine car but hardly a true muscle car. The first real muscle cars all started with the Ford Mustang series.

You do have to give Delorean a lot of credit though for designing a car that was all Stain-less steel.

posted on Mar, 23 2005 @ 10:45 PM
The Pony car was close, but the 1964 GTO was the first muscle car. The Ford did not even have the HP to compete untill the advent of the awesum Boss series later on in the 60's

posted on Mar, 23 2005 @ 10:52 PM

Originally posted by FredT
The Ford did not even have the HP to compete untill the advent of the awesum Boss series later on in the 60's

That's right- they just looked cool. 260 V-8 had no, uhhh *stuff*

posted on Mar, 23 2005 @ 10:56 PM
I was always a fastback stang person myself If forced to get a Ford product.

The fast Ford was the Fairlaine Thunderboltwith the 427 engine, light chassis, and the tear drop hood bulge needed to clear the carbs. That was a fast beast!

But if you took a Royal Bobcat GTO with a 421 Tri Power (looks almost like the 389, only a hard core nut can tell the diff) assuming you could get traction with it you could simply kick some butt!!!

[edit on 3/23/05 by FredT]

posted on Mar, 24 2005 @ 08:21 AM

Originally posted by FredT
The Pony car was close, but the 1964 GTO was the first muscle car. The Ford did not even have the HP to compete untill the advent of the awesum Boss series later on in the 60's

Yes Fred you are correct that is why I stated, "The first real muscle cars all started with the Ford Mustang series.

Mine only had the 6 cylinder but that first 289 or 302 were nothing to sneeze at for sure.

I think that when it comes to muscle cars, it all boils down to ones personal oppinon, and then you have to remember the Shelby GT which came out all ready for racing unlike the GTO's that were nothing more then basic fast street cars.

One thing that has always bothered me about the Delorean issue is I wonder if there was a conspriacy by other auto makers, who never wanted the car to make it into production. You have to admit one thing is for sure they were not rust buckets like other main stream cars of that era.

[edit on 3/24/2005 by shots]

posted on Mar, 24 2005 @ 08:47 AM
As a former GTO owner and current Trans Am owner I am saddend by this news. Hopefuly people will remember him for the cars that he designed like the GTO and not for the DeLorean. BTW the muscle car started with the GTO, The first Pony car was the Mustang. My father orderd his GTO in the summer of 63 and picked it up in October 63, mustangs came out late 64 as 641/2.

[edit on 24-3-2005 by thehamsamiam]

posted on Mar, 24 2005 @ 11:03 AM
I worked at a car lot in the early 70's (yikes-old). We had a 350 Shelby that had to be re-tightened seemingly every week. The thing shook worse than a GTO until it was moving. An old Judge (421?), an un-beliveable Buick Stage I (455?) 4-speed that no one could power shift and the most awesome ride on the lot- 426 Hemi-Charger, it was the 'killer' on the lot.

We also had two 440s, one with the 3 dueces, but the Hemi-Charger was king. Very low rear axle, torque flight (thank goodness) and wide slicks. All the young kids with money looking for a fast car got to drive it up and down the main street just to clear their heads (hee hee). I don't think it would go over 60- it was 'unsafe at any speed.' Then they would settle for something a little bit tamer.

We had a 289 Cobra that no one could even touch. Rumor was the skin would dent. A MK I GT 40 351 Windsor sat on in the showroom a few days- drew an enormous crowd.

Every rodder from Phoenix to Lubbock, Denver to El Paso had heard of the Orange Blossom Special (blown Hemi-Charger)- I think it was Phoenix but others tell it was from Las Cruces. I can't remember anymore. This beast sat on a Ford lot (of all places) in El Paso for awhile as throngs came for an auto show. As I have discovered, there were lots of cars with that name.

Yes, those were the days. The GTO made it all possible. First Goat I saw was so cantankerous no one wanted to race against it. The reputation surely surpassed the machine but it had charisma. Guys with 392 hemis would decline- what a hoot. The 409s claimed they needed to be spotted. This, in retrospect, is amusing as 409s were to become the true drag kings of their day.

The guy with the Goat had a really low axle ratio and he could shift! I'll bet his top speed wasn't 100. For a brief period in time the mighty GTO was truly 'king of the hill.'

for Delorean


[edit on 24-3-2005 by JoeDoaks]

posted on Mar, 24 2005 @ 11:36 AM
Yes he made some great cars,.... but I dont think I would have ever wanted to work at Delorean Motor Company....

DeLorean's alleged vindictiveness toward former employees was described by another former executive this way: "John had a favorite expression when somebody left him, which was, 'We've got to get some **** on his shoes.' I don't care who it was, (innuendos and rumors would be circulated) that the person was a drunk, an incompetent, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, a crook, dishonest or some such thing. In every single case he has tried to discredit people who left him. "

DMC DeLorean Motor Company
This sounds like some places I've worked before.

The irony, considering how the DMC was brought down, by John attempting to make large illegal drug transactions to generate cash.

[edit on 24-3-2005 by smirkley]

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