April 5, 2021


What was discussed at that dinner?

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after John DeLorean did not get the position with Malcolm Bricklin on the Bricklin SV-1 car (mainly due to disagreement on who's name would go on the back!) , John invites Malcolm to dinner next time Malcolm is in Detroit and discloses to Malcolm that he is preparing to build his own car and asks for a little advice... 

YOU decide if John took any of it!



Mon, 4/5 12:26PM • 5:40


john, problem, general motors, talk, malcolm, car, stainless steel, attorney, failed, corvette, detroit, chairman, meet, money, remember, call, subarus, absolutely, build, thought



I got a call from john Malcolm. Now this is before it's going into production. I'm still just building the engine and doing the engineering work in Livonia. I want to talk to you when you come into Detroit next. I said I come every week Why? He said, I want to pick you up from the airport. I want to talk to you. Okay, great. Land. He's waiting for me in the stretch Chevrolet. Again, the Chevrolet says what I'm going to tell you is, is you can't be talking to other people. Okay, what is it said, I'm getting unhappy at General Motors. What would you say if I said I'd come be your president? I said, john, I kiss your ass. I have no idea what I'm doing manufacturing a car. I'm gonna do it got good, good people. But I'd rather not I'd rather have you, you know, be enjoyable that for me. He said, Well, I'd want to be your president. I said no problem. I'll go be chairman of the board. He said I'm going to need a million and a half dollars was that's how much I'm going to give up by quitting leaving General Motors. I said, Okay, no problem. So he said, but I want to meet your guys. I want to see what you're doing. Okay. I take him over there. And he knew most of the guys because I stole most of the guys from Corvette. So he meets him all everybody glad handed. He hung out for about a half hour look and talked and said I like it. He said, You Are you serious? He said to me. I said well, how bad you get your attorney and you're flying to Philadelphia tomorrow. And we'll meet with the Chairman of the Board of first Pennsylvania. I'll put up some stock and you're gonna have the million and a half. He said tomorrow I said yeah, tomorrow. Boom. He comes with his attorney. We go to see john Bunning Chairman the board. Hey, john, I want to hire a quarterback. Coach me a million and a half. I'll put up some more Subarus doc. Malcolm the smartest thing you ever did? Absolutely. No problem. Everybody shakes hands. And floating out there. Oh, this is the best thing that ever happened. Everything is good about it. As far as I'm concerned. I get a call from john Malcolm, I never saw anybody move so fast. It's really going to be fun working with your baba baba baba. He said, my attorney told me though, that for me to do it and be smart, I really have to have the money after taxes. So I thought for a minute. I said, What is it gonna cost me money? 30%. You know, I said, john, I have a feeling. This is really not the problem, you know, what I think is going to be our problem. Because both of us got a pretty big ego, I think we're going to end up with a conversation called who's going to put the name on the back of the car. And that's really not up for negotiation. And I'm really not looking for a fight. So how about if we call it off? He said, Maybe you're right. That was the end of that conversation. Fast forward. I go out of business. I get a call from john. Next time you're in Detroit dinner, absolutely. sat down is I'm gonna build a car. I said with your name on the back of it. He said, How did you guess? Do you have any suggestions? I said, Yeah, first are all the people that I stole from Corvette. They're now experienced in doing what you're going to need done. hire them. Second thing. You don't put gullwing doors don't build your car. That's the only reason my car sold at all is because of those doors. Without those doors is just another car. And nobody needs another car. And the last thing, and this you know better than me use some kind of material that eliminates you having to spend $300 million for a paint facility. He said, Yeah, I'm thinking of stainless steel. I said, that's great. Except for one thing. Stainless steel is one color. And I don't care how fabulous anything looks. If you make it the same. After you get too many units out there. It's no good. It gets boring. And that is I from a marketing point of view, a serious drawback, but I think stainless steel is beyond great. Because you're gonna have a problem if you want to start to sell any kind of volume at all. So that was it. He went off Oh, last thing he asked me. He said, You know, I have to raise a couple of 100 million dollars. I remember I just came up with a lousy 35 million. And he was going to do it the way they do it. He said even without the pain factory. He said, Yeah, have any idea where I can get the money? I said, Yeah, I know where you get the money. He said, where I said go to Ireland. I said they've been on my back to go there. But they killed people over there. And I like to be at the place wherever it is. I'm there. I don't think I want to play in Ireland to go look at my factory when they're killing people. But if you want the money, they'll give it to you. Actually with your name, no problem. He did and he got his money. Now, he didn't ask for 300 million. And when he got there it was getting a little bit much for them to again politically. But God bless his problem was he got the money but he couldn't sell the car. My problem was I got this. I could sell the car back we get the money. Like all life difference, I guess is the following what he failed. He couldn't take it the ego of himself failing. Remember, he had only been Fairchild all through his automotive career, which is reason why he didn't like General Motors because General Motors at the time Didn't like people to be getting attention. General Motors got attention, but individuals didn't. And he was out there and he was a Showboat, and he was handsome and he was intelligent. He was charismatic. You know, he was all those things and he loved the attention. So when he failed, it really it killed him when he failed. He died after that, but it killed Yes. And you you failed enough for 10 people. Absolutely. Those are the best things that ever happened to me in my life. This has been Jeff Sterns connected through cars