A lot of things go down when a high-profile company is in high-profile trouble – unlikely entities can arrive with unexpected sums of money and take the company in unpredicatble directions. Such was the case with DeLorean Motor Car – which is still in business in Texas – when the business, headquartered in Detroit and building cars in Ireland, was taken over by the Russian emigrant who founded discount retail stores Big Lots and Odd Lots.
Hemmings Blog has the tale of how Sol Shenk rescued a bankrupt DMC from the banks in 1982 after John Z. DeLorean's arrest. Shenk already had experience in the specialty car business having bought the bankrupt hulk of Malcolm Bricklin's car company and taken over the parts distribution business. Shenk set DMC and its inventory up in a Columbus, Ohio building on Dublin Avenue that had housed turn-of-the-century carmakers, hoping to make the most of a brand that still had clout.
Obviously, that didn't happen. From his corn-belt HQ, Shenk was able to have more cars built in Ireland and sell most of them and the inventory, as well as offering a gold-plated DMC-12 for a Big Lots giveaway. But he couldn't run the company and sell the cars at a profit, which led to him selling what remained and all the rights to the owners of the new Texas DeLorean Motor Company.
Said the VP of that company of the Columbus address, "When the BlueJackets [hockey team –ed.] came to Columbus, the Dublin Avenue address became much more expensive, and we moved all the inventory to a new facility in our hometown just outside Houston." Head over to Hemmings to read the whole story.