John DeLorean | Before There Was An Elon Musk

John DeLorean

Well before there ever even was an Elon Musk there was John DeLorean. Perhaps DeLorean is Elon’s muse.


So in my book the Original Gangster or O.G. will always be the real O.G. no matter what comes after. Let’s just say Elon Musk will never be John DeLorean. And before you go bashing let’s give it context. DeLorean was a genius of extraordinary proportions. Yes. I know your retribution. Musk is a genius. He most certainly is, but DeLorean was on a different level. We have to consider not just what his goals were, but the time and the lack of so much that is available at our fingertips today

It’s a different time. We have to consider the upbringing, the background the burden of trauma and a lack of confidence that carried him to see his vision through.

He wanted so much to be acknowledged and respected after spending childhood with an abusive father who ensured him repeatedly he’d never amount to anything.

With those hateful whispers in his ears John Zachary DeLorean went on to change the entire automobile industry.

He was man of big dreams and even bigger ambition to conquer an attain that larger than life goal.


He seemingly got caught up in the lavishness of being a celebrity of sorts. He was iconic, charismatic, had dashing good looks and even Hollywood thought he was the coolest cat around. He fell into that mixing and mingling with Hollywood heavyweights and then the inevitable happen like it tends to in Hollywood. He started feeling insecure. He felt compelled to fix himself aesthetically with a little plastic surgery here and little touchup there somewhat changing his appearance.


As a child of an abusive father it seems Delorean was destined for greatness. Not only for himself, but for his father who constantly belittled him. It’s very common for people who are bullied or belittled as children to end up as over achievers and John DeLorean was no exception.

While there was no end to his ambition it’s not clear where his progressive thinking came from. Many times people of this caliber are just kind of born with an innate sense of a little something extra.


  • Both DeLorean and Musk are ambitious beyond belief.
  • They both have ideas that are larger than life.
  • They both came up with their car design.
  • They both revolutionized the auto industry in some way.
  • They both were progressive and ahead of their time.
  • They both love being in the spotlight.


Elon Musk seems to have brighter stars in the financial realm so to speak. He has lost tons of money, but still is sustaining Tesla, Space X and Solar City. Elon also dabbles in other industries as we know beyond just the auto industry. DeLorean however was an absolute original far ahead of his time. While it’s great what Elon is up to it goes with the times. DeLorean’s vision was so progressive for that time making him a far greater visionary in some respects. It’s the time and the era that speaks volumes.

Coming up with the idea of a luxury hybrid in the 21st century is just par for the course. Space X – well it goes with the territory. All the big wigs are jumping on board with this. Check out our previous article about Rich People heading off to space. And Solar City – Well we all know the planet is suffering and we need clean energy. Take a look at our previous post on the 6 biggest climate change threats or the prevalence of climate change now. It’s real. Not knocking the big things Elon is up to, but the times call for it.

DeLorean in his day was thinking beyond that time. He was dipping his toes far into the future with the DeLorean that ended up on the silver screen in the iconic “Back To The Future.”


In the end DeLorean’s greatest dream became his greatest nightmare. With his company sinking he went off to look for money to keep afloat and not long before the end he did the unthinkable – lining himself up with a Columbia cocaine boss to make a few cool mil to save DeLorean Motor company – he was busted in a sting in a hotel room in

He had even moved production overseas to Ireland to keep costs down and keep running cars off the assembly line, but in the end it was unsustainable.

While it was stupid there’s something so poetically admirable about a man willing to do anything to keep his dream alive. Too bad it all came crashing down. I imagine what his legacy would’ve looked like had he been able to keep it all afloat.

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Sue Dhillon is an Indian American writer, journalist, and trainer.

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