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John DeLorean of sportscar fame dead at 80

SUMMIT, N.J., March 20 (UPI) -- John Z. DeLorean, the high-flying General Motors executive who came to grief with his DeLorean sportscar, has died at the age of 80.

Paul Connell, owner of a Michigan funeral home, told CNN that DeLorean died Saturday at a hospital in Summit, N.J., after suffering a stroke.

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DeLorean became known as an iconoclastic executive at GM who later wrote a book critical of the company, "On A Clear Day You Can See General Motors." But his attempt to create his own company in the 1980s foundered in spite of large subsidies from the British government for the DeLorean manufacturing plant in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The DeLorean, like some other failed cars, has developed a cult following among car enthusiasts. The car was used as a time machine in the "Back to the Future" movies.

DeLorean's later years were marred by an indictment for money laundering -- he was acquitted -- and bankruptcy.

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