Colin Chapman, DeLorean Motor Company, And 8.5 Million Dollars Unaccounted For

By Peter Nelson

June 17, 2019

Everything surrounding the history of DeLorean Motor Company and all of the players involved is fascinating. Besides the widely known history of John DeLorean and his run in with undercover FBI agents regarding his between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place drug trafficking charge, there are a few tales of shady activity not too far removed from him. One in particular is with his business partner, Colin Chapman of Lotus.

Lotus had earned quite a bit of success in motorsports throughout the 1970s and have been hailed since their birth as masters of chassis engineering. They shook hands with DMC in the late-70s because nobody else would work with DMC to bring their iconic DMC-12 to production. They had also partnered with other brands on a couple of cool vehicles, such as the Ford Lotus Cortina and Talbot Sunbeam Lotus. Anyway, before I digress any further…

I use the word “tales” above because the following doesn’t exactly hold much journalistic integrity, but it’s fun to think about, nonetheless. It’s an automotive industry conspiracy theory that was posted to, and was recently brought to my attention. To briefly summarize: Colin Chapman might not have died of a heart attack in the early 80s, but instead took $8.5 million dollars of the Queen’s money and fled to Brazil. The article has some strange formatting and the years are slightly misconstrued, but a fun read regardless.

Pretty wild to think about! If he indeed continued to live happily ever after on the other side of the equator, what do you think he would’ve thought of automotive and motorsports development for the rest of the 1980s, the 1990s, and possibly later?