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Signed John De Lorean 1979 On a clear Day You Can See General Motors HBDJ Rare

Signed John De Lorean 1979 On a clear Day You Can See General Motors HBDJ Rare

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Signed John De Lorean 1979 On a clear Day You Can See General Motors HBDJ Rare: Signed by John De Lorean

by J.Patrick Wright

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  • Hardcover
  • Signed
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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
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About This Item

** 1979**







Up for sale is a 1979, Rare Signed by John De Lorean, Hardcover with Priced Dust Jacket of "On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors" by J. Patrick Wright. It is signed by De Lorean to someone (Attorney Annie Shuttleworth) on the first free flypage. The book has no other writing. Clean pages. The boards are clean. Square binding. The priced dust jacket is protected in a new Demco mylar. Lower points have a bump. Clean page block.

Upon leaving GM, DeLorean agreed to collaborate in writing a "tell all" book about his GM experience with J. Patrick Wright, a former Detroit Business Week bureau chief. Wright had covered the auto industry for 13 years.

As the book project got underway in the mid-1970s, and Wright proceeded with the writing, DeLorean began his quest for a new automotive business venture. He planned to build a new sports car, and would found a new auto company to do it; a company he called the DeLorean Motor Company (DMC). The car he planned to build and sell would be called the DMC-12 (more on the venture later below).

However, as DeLorean set about raising money and making connections in the auto industry for suppliers and production, he began to worry about the forthcoming book he and Wright were doing, and possible retaliation from GM on his new-car venture.

For several years, in fact, DeLorean vacillated about publication, frustrating Wright to the point of Wright mortgaging his house to stake the book's publication. Wright persisted because he believed that what DeLorean had told him about GM, and big business generally, was important for the public to see. Finally, in November 1979, after four years of holding the book off the market, and at least one blown publishing contract with Playboy Press, the book was published — and some controversy began.

"It is his book," said Wright of DeLorean and the story, which was written in the first person as told to Wright by DeLorean. "He told me several times that it is exactly what he wanted."

Wright, who had staked his personal reputation on the book's publication, also added in the introduction that "much of the factual content, anecdotes, tenor and tone of the book has been confirmed in my own outside reporting." Wholesalers sold all 20,000 copies of the first edition. Another 20,000 copies were quickly printed.

DeLorean, for his part, gave a two-hour interview on the book that November (1979) with several reporters. By then he was well along with plans for his DMC car idea and was then working out of a suite of ultra modern offices atop a Manhattan office building – which had a clear view of GM's office tower a few blocks away.

Regarding the book, DeLorean acknowledged On A Clear Day to be a true account, and said there were no significant errors of fact and no misrepresentations of his own views about GM. In fact, DeLorean reiterated that he didn't see a dramatic difference in the GM of that day (1979) compared to the company he had left in 1973. He also offered comment on one current hot Detroit topic: the financial troubles of the Chrysler Corporation. Chrysler at the time, prior to Lee Iaccoca, was near bankruptcy, and complained that government regulation was the cause. "That's bullshit," DeLorean said, pointing to stumbles by mistake-prone management, adding however, that he did support government aid to bail out Chrysler.

On A Clear Day, meanwhile, exposed a whole laundry list of GM misdoings — from industrial espionage and contempt for workers, to poor quality in manufacturing and misleading advertising campaigns. The book showed GM's fledgling attempt to produce the 1968 Vega, a car that was supposed to compete with the VW bug, but instead became an engineering disaster, and was dropped by the end of the 1977 model year.

DeLorean also revealed that the Corvair in 1959 "was unsafe as it was originally designed" and that GM knew it was unsafe and made "an immoral business decision" to produce the car. The Corvair had also been the central subject of Ralph Nader's 1965 book, Unsafe At Any Speed, to which DeLorean's charges helped lend further substantiation. On a Clear Day also described the efforts of the company to "squelch information which might prove the [Corvair's] deficiencies."

In the book, DeLorean also recounts one tale in 1971 of the company's attempt to destroy 19 boxes of microfilmed complaints from Corvair owners, only to have those boxes come back to GM by way of two Detroit junk dealers who found them, selling them back to GM for $20,000. DeLorean's management critique of GM, including the increasing centralization of management at the expense of its individual car divisions, would prove to be prophetic as GM and all of Detroit became victimized by their own inertia and myopia during the 1980s.

A number of journalists gave the Wright /DeLorean book glowing reviews. "What we have spread on the record is a stunning account of the venality, narrow-mindedness – yes, even immorality – of one big American business," wrote Washington Post business reporter Hobart Rowan.

Others, however, were more critical, challenging DeLorean's motives. Detroit News columnist Robert Irvin found DeLorean's memory a selective one, and the book "full of gossip" and detailed accounts of office politics and executive pettiness. Still, even Irvin said the book "should be read by students of the auto industry because DeLorean offers some interesting insights and opinions about GM corporate life."

The back jacket of the June 1980 Avon paperback edition leads with a series of press blurbs and offers a summary description:

"Controversial." – The New York Times

"Damming." – Saturday Review

"Riveting." – Chicago Sun Times

In the spring of 1973. John Z DeLorean stunned the business world by handing in his resignation as a Vice President of General Motors. His rise had been meteoric. By his mid-forties he was their most brilliant and flamboyant young executive, earning $650,000 a year and destined to become the next president of the industrial giant. But the higher he rose, the more disillusioned he became. When he saw what really went on along Executive Row – the corruption, the mismanagement, the total irresponsibility at every level – he decided the climb to the top was no longer worth it. He got out.

This is John Z. DeLorean's story, the unprecedented and unforgettable expose of America's most powerful supercorporation – the book that blows the lid off the king of carmakers.

On A Clear Day You Can See General Motors sold more than 1.6 million copies, and the book is still used today in schools and colleges for reference and the study of the automobile industry. Meanwhile, Part 2 of the John Delorean story was already in motion.


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The Woodward Avenue Bookshelf US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
Signed John De Lorean 1979 On a clear Day You Can See General Motors HBDJ Rare
J.Patrick Wright
Book Condition
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Wright Enterprise
0.00 lbs
Signed John De Lorean. General Motors,De Lorean
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Seller offers refund of purchase price if Book description is inaccurate. Payment via U.S. Postal Money Order, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, or Pay Pal Only. No Personal Checks (Pay Pal Preferred). U.S. Postal M.O. Payment must be received within 7 days

About the Seller

The Woodward Avenue Bookshelf

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2006
Knoxville, Tennessee

About The Woodward Avenue Bookshelf

Specializing in fine out of print First Editions and Antiquarian Books.


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First Edition
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