John Z. DeLorean, one time G.M. of Packard, Pontiac and Chevrolet, and maverick founder of the DeLorean Auto Co., has passed away at the age of 80.

DeLorean, best known as the creator of the ill-fated DMC-12 and one time target of the federal government in a cocaine sting, deserves credit for producing a car whose iconic status looms far larger than any vehicle with only 9000 owners ought to possess.