HARD DRIVING: My Years with John DeLorean by William Haddad

HARD DRIVING: My Years with John DeLorean

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A dirt-dishing addition to the DeLorean story from an inside source whose probity and perceptions appear at least as suspect as those of the auto-industry renegade. Haddad has been an investigative journalist, top political aide (Estes Kefauver, Robert Kennedy, Marie Cuomo, et al.), bureaucrat, and businessman. His ties with DeLorean date back to the 1960's when he was editing a text entitled Black Economic Development. Haddad included a chapter credited to JZD (then an image-conscious General Motors executive), but ghosted by a hired hand. Haddad later accepted a consulting retainer from Chevrolet, headed by the determinedly maverick DeLorean. He eventually signed on as a well-paid spokesman when his patron formed a company to build a so-called ""ethical"" sports car in Northern Ireland with English capital. Haddad's responsibilities evidently went well beyond those of the average corporate flack, ranging from preparation of damning dossiers on officials at rival car makers through the black-market purchase of GM's file on DeLorean and participation in a harebrained scheme to seize control of Saudi Arabia's oilfields, in addition, Haddad mediated many a dispute between the mercurial, confrontational JZD and disaffected subordinates. Only with the benefit of hindsight, however, did it occur to this sometime reporter that he might have had a ringside seat at an awesome scam, which almost surely involved diversion of very large amounts of money from the British government to a JZD account in Switzerland. ""I had grave doubts about John and the entire enterprise,"" the author explains at one point. ""But like the others at DMC I was swept away by the excitement of it all."" Perhaps, but Haddad (who left the company's employ under parlous circumstances a year before the 1982 bankruptcy) had wit enough to retain his files, which he opened long after the fact to The Sunday Times of London. Notwithstanding a wealth of revealing detail, the Haddad version of DeLorean's self-destructive wheeling and dealing is as much an apologia as an expose.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1985
Publisher: Random House