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Back to the future: The rise and fall of the man behind Belfast’s ill-fated DeLorean dream

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John DeLorean sitting on the bonnet of his car in 1981

John DeLorean sitting on the bonnet of his car in 1981

John DeLorean sitting on the bonnet of his car in 1981

Conman, visionary, charlatan, megalomaniac, fraudster, charmer, embezzler, innovator, born-again Christian, criminal... genius. All these words have been used, rightly, to describe John Zachary DeLorean.

His remarkable life is the stuff of Hollywood movies – and, indeed, two have been made inside the last two years.

Both ‘Framing John DeLorean’ and ‘Driven’ (scripted by Bangor author Colin Bateman) are well worth a look, but it says a lot when charismatic actors such as Lee Pace and Alec Baldwin struggle to replicate the almost messianic influence the larger-than-life, 6ft 4in ‘John Z’ had on so many of those he met.