The reason anyone gives a stainless-steel crap about the DeLorean isn't because of how it drove, or how fast it went. It did neither very well. No, it was because of those beautifully angular time machine looks.
But whatever happened to the dies used to stamp those sleek panels of the iconic gull-wing? Were they — as is the oft-repeated rumor — destroyed by the British government to keep anyone from re-creating the company? No. It turns out they're being used to anchor nets for the Bradan Mara Fish Farm in Ard's Bay up in Northern Ireland. Here's the real story.
30 years ago, when DeLorean died as a company — for cocaine trafficking, cruel conspiracy, mismanagement or whatever you want to believe — the automaker was forced into receivership. As part of the process, its assets were sold off.
Those assets included the moulds and dies used to build the exterior panels of the car. But of course, no matter how sophisticated and cool the final product may have looked, few car companies seemed eager to get their hands on the technology behind stamping out obscenely heavy stainless steel body panels.
So the stamping dies went to a scrap metal company — and then, as the folks at DMC News tell us:
"the dies were purchased from Belfast... by a scrap metal company in Cork, Ireland."
From there they were sold to a rather unlikely final owner — the high-tech salmon farming industry. It seems that only in their hands could they be used to maximum potential — holding salmon school nets to the bottom of the ocean floor.
As Captain O'Donnell of the Severn Princess (Non sequitur: The Princess was primarily used as a car ferry and ran through the terminal that Bob Dylan is standing in front of in the promo shot for the Martin Scorsese film "No Direction Home." —Ed.), the ship that dropped the dies, said:
I don't think the fish farm ever prospered, and there is no news of it today. And that's where all those beautiful moulds are, under the sea and quite lost for ever. What a waste.
That company was, at the time, a subsidiary of the Irish tobacco manufacturer Carrolls. But chin up and look on the bright side. Salmon's a really tasty fish, and has never been saddled with an anemic V6 engine.
(Thanks to DMCNews for the help!)