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How a DeLorean Inspired One Man to Change his Future [VIDEO]

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Geoff Ombao's 1982 DeLorean DMC-12 is featured in a new Petrolicious video

Geoff Ombao’s 1982 DeLorean DMC-12 is featured in a new Petrolicious video

Honda may have declared 2015 “the Year of Honda,” but so far it feels more like “the Year of DeLorean.” Already, we’ve had DeLorean iPhone cases, a potential free DeLorean giveaway, and awesome artwork inspired by the gullwinged classic. The DeLorean DMC-12’s resurgence in popularity this year is, of course, almost entirely attributable to the fact that 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the Back to the Future franchise, which turned the futuristic sports car into a movie icon.

But as this great new video from Petrolicious points out, the DeLorean is more than just Doc Brown and Marty McFly’s signature ride. It’s arguably the crowning achievement of legendary automotive engineer, John Z. DeLorean, whose sad “rags to riches to rags” story is recounted by proud DMC-12 owner, Geoff Ombao:

To summarize: DeLorean left General Motors to found his own DeLorean Motor Company, but when the economy took a nose dive and people stopped buying extravagant sports cars, he quickly became desperate to keep his company solvent. In a videotaped sting operation, undercover FBI agents convinced DeLorean to agree to bankroll a $1.8 million cocaine shipment in exchange for a $24 million cut of the profits (according to DeLorean, he tried to back out of it at one point, but they threatened to harm his family).

DeLorean successfully argued police entrapment and was found not guilty, but the damage to his career and reputation was irrevocable, and DMC was forced to file for bankruptcy.

But DeLorean’s life—and his namesake car—continue to inspire many, including Mr. Ombao, who decided (in his mid-forties) to quit his corporate job and pursue a long-held dream of becoming a car designer.

1982 DeLorean DMC-12 engine

A look under the hood of the DMC-12

“So this poor guy, he got set up by the government, lost his reputation, lost his company, and that’s sad,” Ombao says about DeLorean. “But, maybe that’s not the point. Maybe the cool thing is that he actually was brave enough to buck the system and do something different and do things his own way.”

Mr. Ombao’s midlife decision to abandon the corporate world and chase after his dreams is also a nice reminder that it’s never too late to put the present on hold in order to get back to your future.