The weather forecast looked promising as NIIMC members met in the Premier Inn carpark in Lisburn on Saturday 5 August before travelling the short distance to the Montupet site near Dunmurry, formerly home of the Delorean Motor Company.  It is remembered for the one model it produced — the distinctive stainless steel Delorean DMC-12 sports car featuring gull-wing doors—and for its brief and turbulent history, ending in receivership and bankruptcy in 1982.

Due to some members being on holiday our numbers were a bit lower than we would have liked but nonetheless the sunny day gave Johnny and Alan the opportunity to drop the hoods on their ultimate poser machines – a Lamborghini Gallardo Spider and Maserati Gran Cabrio. James and myself joined them in our Fiat and Alfa Romeo.

The event turned out to be an enjoyable day with plenty of activity from the autotesting that was taking place, courtesy of the precision drivers from Larne Automobile Club as well as a broad mix of cars and vans. The Porsche Club members were there in force and General Lee (Dukes of Hazzard), Kit (Knightrider) and even the Batmobile made an appearance. If you were a fan of fast Fords and Vauxhalls you wouldn’t have been disappointed with an interesting selection of cars from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

The highlight for many was the opportunity to drive round the former Delorean test track, a little overgrown in places but perfectly driveable thanks to the organisers who had invested time in a clear up operation ahead of the event. It was an impressive sight to see the gathering of Delorean cars parade round the track, as if they were being test driven on their maiden journey over 35 years ago.  Other cars followed, attempting to keep up with paceman Rob in his Munich taxi (Mercedes E63 AMG). The big Merc growled round the track with Rob constantly having a big grin on his face.

Despite a few exhibitors not weighing in (which was disappointing for the organisers) the “Back to the Factory” was a good idea, a worthwhile charity event and successfully run. There was plenty of action, plenty of screeching tyres and burning rubber from the autotesters and plenty of variety in terms of cars. Johnny’s powder blue Gallardo probably stole the prize for being the most photographed car, beating Alan Tyndall’s (Plum’s) Aston Martin Vantage into second place – proof if ever it was needed that Italian cars exude a level of style that others envy.


Tim Logan

Club Secretary