Listen to this episode of the “Backstory with Larry Potash” podcast in the player above, or watch the TV version in the player below.
CHICAGO — While many remember the DeLorean thanks to its appearance in “Back to the Future,” the story of its origins is just as entertaining.
Some may not realize the car is actually named after the man who created it. John DeLorean grew from an engineer into an icon who lived by his own rules. He was flying high until he turned to unsavory sources for money needed to keep his business afloat, and got caught in the middle of the war on drugs.
Then it all started to come apart.
For years, a number of people wanted to produce a movie about DeLorean. But no one could get it done, until a producer and passionate DeLorean fan from Chicago found a way.
Film producer Tamir Ardon has a mini museum in his garage about the DeLorean and even has the DeLorean car. In 1999, when Ardon was only 19 years old, he was able to call DeLorean himself at his Bedminster Estate in New Jersey.
“And he picked up the phone, I said hello — I had 10 second range for him to hang up — I’m huge fan can I stop by,” Ardon said. “He said of course, that’s where my relationship started.”
Ardon said DeLorean lived three lives in one, including issues with drugs, embezzlement and sports cars.
The DeLorean’s big screen role was as a time machine in the 1985 hit movie “Back to the Future,” which captured a new generation of fans and stirred their imagination. This was something DeLorean himself could appreciate, as he wanted a creation that was eternal.
Ardon secured the rights to produce “Framing John DeLorean” in 2005 when DeLorean died of a heart attack. Alec Baldwin will star in the film that is part drama, part documentary.
Of the 8,000 DeLoreans made between 1981-82, several thousand still exist today.
Viewings for “Framing John DeLorean”
June 19 – Tivoli Theater in Downers Grove
June 28 – The Music Box in Chicago
June 28 – Wilmette Theater