Most people will recognise the name John DeLorean from the hit 1980s movie Back To The Future.

But a new documentary on BBC Two sheds light on not only his life as a car maker but his spectacular rise and fall.

Here’s everything you need to know about the extraordinary life of John DeLorean.

John DeLorean and his world-famous car
John and his world-famous car (Credit: BBC)

Who was John DeLorean whose car was in Back To The Future?

John was born in 1925 in Detroit, Michigan.

After serving in World War II, he sold life insurance.

Unfulfilled by the job, he then landed a role with car manufacturer Chrysler.

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He then studied for a master’s degree in Automotive Engineering in 1952, and joined Chrysler’s engineering team.

From that moment his life changed.

John DeLorean and his world-famous car
John found fame as a car engineer (Credit: BBC)

How did he become famous?

DeLorean quickly moved to the Packard Motoring Company and then to General Motors.

After designing the world-famous Pontiac Gran Tourismo Omogalato, he became the company’s youngest-ever division head.

After a stint with Chevrolet and then a return to General Motors, he set up his own company – the DeLorean Motor Company n the 1970s.

The company released the much-heralded DeLorean Safety Vehicle in the mid-1970s, which would go on to be featured in Back To The Future a decade later.

Despite the anticipation, the high price tag and lukewarm reviews meant that the car did not sell well.

By the early 1980s, around half of the cars remained unsold and the company found itself in debt to the tune of $175million.

John DeLorean and his world-famous car
From riches to (almost) rags) (Credit: BBC)

What were the scandals?

DeLorean enjoyed a meteoric rise, but in the 1980s he suffered a huge crash.

In 1982, he was arrested and accused of cocaine trafficking.

However, his lawyers argued that the FBI had illegally entrapped him and he was found not guilty.

Around the same time, DeLorean was also accused of fraud and tax evasion.

In 1985 he was acquitted of all charges, but his reputation was in tatters.

He said after the trial: “Would you buy a used car from me?”

John DeLorean and his world-famous car
John died in 2005 (Credit: BBC)

Is John DeLorean alive today and what was his connection to Donald Trump?

Married four times, DeLorean had applied for new patents in his later years.

Because of debts, he was forced to sell his 434-acre estate, which was bought by Donald Trump.

Trump promptly turned it into a golf course.

John DeLorean died aged 80 from a stroke in 2005.

His tombstone portrays the DeLorean car with its wing-style doors open.

How much is a DeLorean worth in today?

In 2016, the DeLorean Motor Company announced that it would build a “limited number” of DMC-12s.

However, thanks to legal wrangling, had not been slated to begin until this year.

Road and Track website says that the cars will receive a “modern makeover” and will cost around $100,000.

Where are the original DeLoreans from Back To The Future?

After being immortalised by Back To The Future, the DMC car is part of pop culture history.

Some of the original 9,000 cars produced back in the 1980s still exist.

It’s thought that around 6,500 are on the road today.

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As for the three original DeLorean cars in Back To The Future, one was destroyed during filming.

Another was refurbished and loaned to a museum, while the third fell into disrepair and some of its parts ended up on a sign at Universal Studios Japan.

Great Scott!

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