Was John DeLorean working on a new car before he died?
John DeLorean was one of those people who wasn't afraid to think outside of the box, from the Pontiac GTO to the DMC-12. Even weeks before his death we was reportedly working on a radical new engine
The DeLorean DMC-12 is an automotive icon, for better or worse. The futuristic sports car was ambitious and truly captured the imaginations of onlookers, but sadly the dramatic fall of DeLorean is just as well documented as its brief rise.
What isn’t so well known is that John DeLorean was reportedly working on something just weeks before his death.
The breadcrumb trail begins with American national radio show host Tom Torbjornsen and the various accounts he’s given on a phone call with John DeLorean. At the time Tom was researching a claim made by an inventor called Tom Kasmer that he was soon to collaborate with John DeLorean on a new car.
More on DeLorean...
Kasmer had been working on a highly unusual powertrain known as a hydristor or axial. In essence three cylinders surround a driveshaft and are connected via what is called a swashplate which, as each piston fires, causes the shaft to rotate. As if that wasn’t mind-bending enough, each of these cylinders would contain two pistons. Ahead of its time? Overly ambitious? Maybe — but that had been John DeLorean’s MO his whole life.
Torbjornsen then claims to have received a call from DeLorean himself confirming that plans were afoot for a new car that would make use of the hydristor powertrain. Arraignments were then reportedly made for a live radio interview on the subject scheduled for a few weeks later. Tragically John DeLorean would die of a stroke before the interview in 2005.
What’s even more interesting is that if you scour the internet you’ll find a few other clues that DeLorean had been contemplating a similarly unorthodox engine since the 1980s. A set of notes and sketches emerged, now owned by DeLoreanWiki and published by Jalopnik, of a hydristor type engine that appears to be in John’s handwriting.
A letter to his lawyer enclosed these drawings and even suggested that these ideas dated back much further than the 1980s. There’s also mention of a means to recover kinetic energy and redistribute it to a turbo or supercharger. Amazingly this doesn’t sound too dissimilar to the KERS we see today, but this is completely combustion driven as opposed to electrically. It isn’t known if these designs were originally intended for the DMC-12, or if they served to inspire what would never become his next venture post 2005.
Sadly we won’t know the true extend of Jon DeLoreans plans, but these fascinating clues suggest that whatever he was working on, it would have been just as attention-grabbing as his past ventures.
Thanks to Studio 434 whose DeLorean DMC-12 is pictured.
Classic Cars for Sale
Millage: 56000 (WARRANTED) FSH HPI CLEAR JUST BEEN SERVICED. 3 OWNERS FROM NEW NO RUST Next MOT due 25/06/2018, Air-Conditioning (Automatic), Cruise Control, Parking Aid (Rear), Alarm, Alloy Wheels (17in), Computer, Electric Windows (Front/Rear), In Car Entertainment (Radio/Cassette), Air conditioning, CD Player, Electric windows, 3x3 point rear seat belts, Electric door mirrors, Chi
Immaculate, low mileage W220 S-Class. Very rare now in this condition. 1 family owned before me. Full Mercedes-Benz main dealer service history as follows: 11/2006 4903m 02/2008 6983m 02/2009 8180m 02/2011 10,439m 02/2012 10,942m 05/2014 11,814 m 05/2016 19,192m 05/2017 22,451m 06/2018 28,762m All MOT’s present, no advisories, ever! 2 sets of keys, all manuals, documents an
[[email protected]](/cdn-cgi/l/email- protection#ef9c9b9a8e9d9b9f838e9b9bd9ddaf868c83809a8bc18c8082). or p ex with classic car ,American or Hot Rod my 2002 Indian Chief. Only up due to injury. Beautiful condition and showing less then 3000 miles with mot’s to substantiate this .Comes with original duel seat and fishtail exhaust and more parts, all paperwork from new with owner delivery pack an
Range Rover Classic full leather interior in Green. A good opportunity to restore to original complete and drives well. The engine sounds amazing however we suspect the head gasket will need to be done. Can quote for transport nationwide or further. Payment by bank transfer or cash on collection. £1700. I`ve also a 1994 absolutely Imaculate RR Classic £5750. 07453 129544