My colleague Graham Brownlow has recently been doing some research on the De Lorean Motor Company (DMC) - press release here. His working papers on the DMC are available here and here.
Graham's main insight is that the political violence which erupted in Northern Ireland in the 1970s created an institutional environment where industrial policy was used to quell civil unrest. This resulted in soft budget constraints and a lack of due diligence on support for inward investment projects. Into this environment stepped the entrepreneurial, yet psychologically flawed, John De Lorean with his now-iconic winged sports car, which was made famous in the Back to the Future movies.