DeLorean owners mark car’s 30th anniversary in Belfast
The gleam of brushed stainless steel and the rumble of DeLorean engines was seen and heard in Belfast once again yesterday as dozens of DMC-12s were seen touring the city.
The gathering signalled the 30th anniversary of the first DeLorean rolling off the production line here.
Eighty of the iconic cars have roared into Northern Ireland from across the globe to celebrate the landmark in style this week.
Some 228 delegates from 21 countries including Australia, Japan, America and across Europe have made their way to Belfast for the four-day Eurofest 2011 event.
Robert Lamrock, director of the DeLorean Owners Association, said the car has sustained its appeal for all these years because it is “unique”.
“It was built and designed around the needs and desires of the consumer, not the corporation,” Mr Lamrock said.
“John DeLorean was the vice president of General Motors and he wanted something different.
“It was one of the first cars in Europe with a catalytic converter. You couldn’t even buy unleaded petrol here in 1981, you had to import it in. That was forward-thinking.”
He added: “We have about 80 cars from the four corners of the world here to celebrate the DeLorean.
“One guy has driven his car all the way from Hungary.”
Jaroslav and Judith Podhradsky, originally from Czechoslovakia, travelled to Belfast from Switzerland.
Mr Podhradsky bought his first DeLorean in 1992.
“I love the whole car,” he said. “It’s special, and not just like the usual Porsche or Audi or whatever. It’s something really special.”
Adrian Roth is president of the DeLorean Club of Germany. “I have a couple of them,” he said.
“They have a unique character and I like the gull-wing doors.
“This is my third time here. It’s very nice. I enjoy meetings and trips to Ireland, Italy, Austria and other places.”
Joe Murray (66) from Twinbrook had worked as a maintenance painter and decorator at the Dunmurry DeLorean plant.
He was the 65th of 2,500 workers to be employed there. “It was the best job I ever had,” he said.
“They built 8,500 cars in the factory and there are still about 6,500 left all over the world.
“I’m an ardent supporter of John DeLorean. He was a brilliant engineer.
“He gave me the best job I ever had in my life. The atmosphere was fantastic.
“It was a special job and it was one of the saddest days of my life when the factory closed.
“The car is unique. I’m showing the delegates around the plant during a private tour. I love coming along to the conventions.”
For a full programme of events visit www.eurofest2011.com.