John DeLorean dies
John DeLorean died Saturday. Those of you who know me know that I owned a DeLorean for about three years, and had planned to fix it up but never got around to it. Eventually I sold the car: to both free up my mind from constantly thinking about working on it, and free up some money to buy the loft I now live in.
[Image from DMC-News website.]
People say many things about John DeLorean, and about the DeLorean car. About the cocaine, the sting operation, the arrogance, the bad electrical system. But what always made the car special to me was that it was the embodiment of one man’s dream: to create a long-lasting, affordable car for everyone, and to do it as an independent – not working for Ford, or Chrysler, or GM. The story of the car is a story of a dream and the sacrifices one person had to make to fulfill it.
DeLorean quit his job as head of North American operations at GM, where he was making $650K/year. He teamed up with the British government, who was looking for a way to bring Protestants and Catholics together in Belfast, Ireland, and so funded his manufacturing plant. It’s clear from the cars themselves that they were dreams to many who worked at the plant, too – on many cars one can find signatures, smilie faces, and messages to the future owner in the door panels.
The spirit of independence and innovation, and of the importance of pursuing your own dreams, that is embodied by the DeLorean car is something to be celebrated. Our business climate today encourages the growth of larger and larger corporations, encourages meeting shareholder expectations, and rewards healthy year-on-year revenue growth. It doesn’t leave much room for dreaming.
On this day, take time to honor your own dreams. Cheers to John DeLorean and his dream, and for living a life to the fullest. Here’s hoping that it may inspire you, too, to pursue your dreams.