Automotive History: Back to the Future?

Photo (c) 2019 Frederick Ingram

Framing John DeLorean trailer: youtu.be/FhyaYaK9lC4

Well I got Hulu, because I have that Jeep in Reprisal, and I ended up catching the semi-documentary #FramingJohnDeLorean.

The “framing” part has a double meaning of course, and it was neat to have Alec Baldwin getting the full #HMU (hair & makeup) treatment to become a quite convincing doppelgänger.

But I skipped the second half ~ yeah I felt DeLorean was framed, entrapped, at least a little bit, in that drug sting business. And the fallout was so destructive ~ gutting the fledgling auto industry in Northern Ireland, so direly in need of jobs coming out of the Troubles. And to be done in by the perfidy of Margaret Thatcher, who otherwise bore the mantel of Ulster’s defender, really stung.

I never really knew about DeLorean’s womanizing and treachery of his own. But the film documents his own kids saying what a loving father he was, which is a really neat accomplishment for such a high level executive.

And the namesake car is quite a legacy in itself. I even saw one on the set of Legacies on the CW when I brought the Jeep to Covington, Georgia (Dukes of Hazard country) for their ’80s episode. It’s a hard car to ignore.

They also had a vintage Nissan 280z and 300ZX, which brings me to our latest auto outlaw, Carlos Ghosn. Seems I was just reading about his role in uniting the best parts of Nissan and Renault, a globalization success story.

I’m not up to speed on the current chapter of his story ~ something about escaping house arrest in Japan and ending up in Lebanon of all places? It all just seems so incredibly weird.

Which means one day it will make a great movie. By that time there may even be a TV channel devoted to international corporate history.

Good news for business history buffs, and nondescript background actors with vintage vehicles.

3 thoughts on “Automotive History: Back to the Future?

  1. Very cool piece. I’m a Hulu subscriber, so I’ll check out the quasi-documentary.

    I LOVE Deloreans—not surprisingly for a kid who cut his teeth on BttF (and had a brass ensemble with a name inspired by said film franchise). I wish auto manufacturers still made cars with that sense of style. The Tesla Cybertruck is a poor substitute, but at least it takes some risks.

    A final apropos note: I bought a car today! Talk about serendipitous timing. Nothing classic, sadly, but I like it: a 2017 Nissan Versa Note SV. It’s a spunky little subcompact hatchback that is surprisingly spacious.

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  2. Oh yeah. I remember hearing Brass to the Future warming up behind New Brookland Tavern when I lived next door. It’s worth remembering that the DMC-12 was envisioned as a sports car made to last decades, hence the stainless steel.

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  3. Will Ghosn’s 130 days of solitary confinement in an unheated cell have a chilling effect (pun intended) on the kind of capitalists Shinzo Abe was hoping to attract? Damn skippy it will. All justice is political, I like to say, and there’s a lot of nationalist, even patently racist blowback against globalism here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnlippert/2020/01/03/prior-to-carlos-ghosns-daring-escape-his-wife-talked-of-japans-fake-democracy/

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