Review : 45+ years without John DeLorean

Fresh from his fingertips after his first book, John Z the DeLorean and me, Barrie Wills writes about his often-turbulent times in the motor industry working with other manufacturers.

If you enjoyed his first tome, then this new one will not disappoint – especially as it contains plenty of British Leyland and MG Rover…

45+ Years without John DeLorean… and a little more with

Barrie Wills rides again in his new book, 45+ years without John DeLorean… and a little bit more with

Barrie’s first book about his times with DeLorean Motor Cars (DMC) was one hell of a ride, I enjoyed it immensely. Anyone who is old enough and into their cars will have some idea of what DMC and its subsequent failure was all about. It filled the evening BBC TV and ITV news for months and used up gallons of printers’ ink in all of the national newspapers of the day as well. In that book, Barrie tries to right some media wrongs and tell his own side of the story with conviction. Rightly so, and done very well in his capacity as DMC’s former Supplies Director.

In this new book, 45+ Years without John DeLorean… and a little more with, Barrie takes us on a journey that starts at the factory gates of the Browns Lane plant with him on a pushbike and about to embark on his industry career with Jaguar. He went on to complete one of the legendary Jaguar apprenticeship courses, steadily rising the ranks with projects involving Daimler buses and Guy trucks. Following the formation of British Leyland, Barrie became involved with one of the biggest projects of its time – getting the Leyland National and its factory up and running.

The book tells all sorts of wonderful stories from all around the world, experiences and anecdotes of his times working with or alongside some of the biggest (and smallest) names in the automotive sector. Some parts are laugh out loud funny, some leave you speechless, while a few make you exhale a little sigh in sorrow and disbelief. It’s a real roller-coaster of emotion – the part about the slow decline and death of Reliant for example could have a lesser man reaching for the tissues.

A well-written account from a seasoned industry insider

It’s written extremely well, and in a style that’s engaging, gripping and in some parts straight from the heart. The book also has the advantage of not relying on hearsay material. A read like this is so much more enjoyable and carries more weight when the writer was present when the events concerned were unfolding. Barrie’s memory is amazing and some scenarios are so well explained and scene-setting that you can almost smell and taste the cigars and brandy as you strangely get drawn downwards into the pages.

The book’s highlights include:

  • Being mistaken by Donald Stokes for being a local journo despite Barrie being a Leyland senior manager
  • The MG Rover production move to China – the politics behind it all explained
  • Rubbing shoulders with royalty, leading politicians and a certain lady Prime Minister
  • Working with the Indonesian Government on modernising its motor industry
  • Getting the new Lotus Elan up and running

There’s a great deal of archive material from his own photo collection, not to mention trade press cuttings and other media clippings. 45+ Years without John DeLorean… and a little more with runs to more than 450 pages, hasin excess of 1000 images and is a high quality book – one we heartily recommend if you share the passion for British vehicles or the industry in general. From Tamworth to Tehran, Barrie’s been there – and most probably done that, too!

Produced by Woodbine Publishing ISBN-13: 978-0-9856578-2-6

Price, including free postage to the UK, is £45 and you can get your copy by visiting his website.

3 Comments

  1. Didn’t know about the first one so will now order both – I am a huge John Z fan! Thanks so much for letting us know about these books!

  2. DeLorean home and estate he had for years and lived in to his death in Bedminster, New Jersey eventually came to be owned by current President Donald J. Trump and used for one of his golf courses and his summer home.

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