Another of the rare 1981 DeLoreans, one of which played a starring role in Steven Spielberg’s Back to the Future movies, changed hands in Ireland this week. At first, the famous DeLorean was put up for auction on July 2 at auctioneer Bonham’s “Goodwood Festival of Speed,” but it did not sell that day. Finally, car collector Michael Gallagher of Crossmolina, in Mayo County, Ireland bought it directly from the previous owner, Miranda Guinness, the Countess of Iveagh. Gallagher is showing the DeLorean in the Mayo Old Engine and Tractor Club Show this Sunday. Then he will put it into a secure storage facility with the rest of his car collection.
DeLoreans were designed by former General Motors executive John DeLorean and were famous for having doors that opened up, “gull-wing” style, instead of to the side. But the DeLorean Motor Company closed in 1982, two years after it opened, when DeLorean became the defendant in a trial. (He was found not guilty.) Consequently, not many DeLoreans were ever produced.
Until recently, Guinness kept the car on display at Dublin’s Robert Guinness Steam Museum and at the Irish Museum of Transport.
“I love this car,” she commented in The Belfast Telegraph a few weeks ago. “I have many happy memories of driving my sons to school in it. They weren’t so positive about it since I had a knack of knocking myself out on the gull-wing door.”
In 1985, a DeLorean played what some might call the leading role in a trilogy of movies about an inventor who makes a time machine out of a DeLorean. “The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?” explains inventor/scientist Emmett Brown in Back to the Future, the first movie in the series. Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd (who played Emmett Brown) also starred in the movies.
This year, Guinness decided to sell her DeLorean in the “Goodwood Festival of Speed,” an annual English auction famous for its sales of rare and wonderful cars. Afterward, when the famous car failed to sell for its original estimate price at auction, she sold it to Gallagher instead, who seized the opportunity to buy it for less than it is thought to be worth.
“I am a great fan of this particular car and always hoped to own one. I’m happy to bring it back to Ireland,” Gallagher told The Independent this week.
Now that Gallagher has the car, he has decided to show it one last time, at the Mayo Old Engine & Tractor Club show in Crossmolina (where he lives).
“After that I will be putting it into storage in Wicklow along with other old cars which I have collected,” he said in The Independent.
“Guinness countess selling DeLorean car as iconic as her own family’s name.” The Belfast Telegraph. June 21, 2010.
“Mediation efforts aim to avoid repeat of last year’s Traveller family feuds.” The Independent (UK). July 11, 2010.