Rosso Bianco Collection / P413002513/04/01
Motor PRV (Renault) V6 OHC
Robic Nr 284
In 1981, Colin Chapman (Lotus) became involved in a new venture with his friend John DeLorean. The DeLorean sports car is now best remembered for its role in the Back to the Future films, but prior to this the name DeLorean was best known for scandal. The British government gave DeLorean tens of millions of pounds to put his sports car into production in an unemployment blackspot in Belfast, at an axis between Catholic and Protestant communities. De Lorean used some of the money to pay Chapman to design the car (based on the Lotus Esprit), and further money was extracted from the government using a network of offshore companies. The car once produced was underpowered, overpriced, and extremely poor quality - DeLorean declared insolvency in January 1982. DeLorean's arrest on coke-dealing charges simply added to the chaos (he successfully defended those charges). In February, the British government appointed receivers and by October production had ceased, after only 8,550 cars had been built. DeLorean evaded extradition and was never jailed for his part in the operation. Colin Chapman died of a heart attack in 1982. Lotus MD Fred Bushell was left to serve a three year sentence. The frustrated trial judge commented that if Chapman and De Lorean had been there they would have each received 10 year sentences for "an outrageous and massive fraud".