Silver dream machines return to the place of their birth
by NEIL GREENLEES
DeLorean owner Robert Lamrock and Chief Executive of the Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau Gerry Lennon with two examples of the famous vehicle. S22/710
Delorean Owners Drive Vehicles to Former Plant At Derriaghy
IT'S hard to believe, but 20 years ago the world's then number one dream car was rolling off its production line at Derriaghy. Transporters carrying the famous gull winged `De Lorean' were a common site on the roads around Seymour Hill, Dunmurry and Finaghy as they headed down to the docks for export. Sadly, for the plant's workforce the De Lorean dream ended all too quickly. However, the car was immortalised in the `Back to the Future' films and remains one of Northern Ireland's most famous ever exports. And last weekend saw the assembly in Belfast of the biggest number of De Lorean cars to visit the province since the factory closed.
The Eurofest 2001 Convention was also the biggest ever international De Lorean Convention and was organised by the DeLorean Owners' Association and the Delorean Owners' Club (UK) which represent more than 2000 members worldwide.
The highlight of the weekend was a visit to the former Derriaghy factory by a convoy of Deloreans last Friday. Prior to this the cars called at the Ulster Folk and: Transport Museum.
On Saturday a special rally was held at the Waterfront Hall car park, moving to St George's Market in the afternoon.
On Sunday the cars drove once again in convoy to the Giants Causeway and Bushmills Distillery. The DeLoreans arrived for the convention from all over Europe.
One owner even drove his vehicle all the way from Norway with others travelling from Germany, Holland, England and Ireland. One of the province's few DeLorean owners Robert Lamrock described the festival as "one of the biggest celebrations for fans. "It's only fitting I suppose the famous car returns to the place where it was manufactured 20 years ago," he said.
"The car is synonymous with this area and is known throughout the world due to its distinctive styling and its place in Hollywood history. "This is the only place to be to celebrate 20 years of this famous car.
Owners stay at former DeLorean house
THE Warren House Guesthouse at Thornhill Road was owned by the DeLorean company until, it went-into receivership.
And last weekend the current owner Mrs. Mary Hughes played host to one of the classic vehicles and its owner.
Stian Birkeland and his father Hans drove the car all the way from Norway to Dunmurry.
Other American De Lorean owners also stayed at the guesthouse although they were unable to bring their cars with them.
"We were able to go up to the De Lorean track on Saturday and have a drive in one of the cars," explained Mrs: Hughes who thoroughly enjoyed .the weekend.
She explained she and her husband purchased the house from the receivers in September 1983 after the company went bust.
However, because of the legalities of the situation they were unable to move in until 1984.
"I think the company actually had a flat in it and a couple of the managers used to stay in it," she said.
"But John De Lorean used to commute in and out of Northern Ireland from London."