Pictured is a 1980s LMC-1500 Snowcat. Does that ‘LMC’ logo happen to remind you of any particularly famous, or infamous, 1980s automaker?
In 1978, John DeLorean, famed General Motors engineer and executive, and father of the famous stainless-steel-bodied DMC-12 sports car, purchased a snowcat company from Logan, Utah-based Thiokol, a government contractor that manufactures rocket boosters for NASA. DeLorean himself claimed to be a snowcat enthusiast, and is said to have purchased the company to serve as his own pet project. In the early 1980s, snowcats were actually produced under the DMC brand-name, and bore a similar logo as the DMC-12 sports car. However, within a few years — as DeLorean’s legal troubles grew — the company quickly re-branded to "LMC," for "Logan Manufacturing Company," in an effort to distance itself from the DeLorean name. Nonetheless, the company thrived in the early part of the 1980s.
Or did it?
Part of the accusations against DeLorean were that he misappropriated funding from the British government that was intended to support DMC-12 production in Ireland. Some rumors suggest that this funding was secretly "appropriated" to LMC, hence the company’s seemingly successful run under DeLorean’s ownership.
This crazy, short-lived story seemingly came to an end when DeLorean was arrested for cocaine trafficking in an FBI sting in late 1982. DeLorean was found not guilty, but the trial destroyed his reputation and sent the DeLorean Motor Company careening into bankruptcy. Still, LMC soldiered on through the decade, and DeLorean is said to have finally formally divested in 1993, with LMC as a whole dissolving around 2000 — presumably a casualty of industry consolidation.
Many LMC snowcats like the one pictured are still in use by ski resorts and private owners who favor them as backcountry transportation. I doubt many of the owners know the wild story behind their existence. Find a DeLorean for sale
Chris O’Neill grew up in the rust belt and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He managed to work in the auto industry for a while without once crashing a corporate fleet vehicle. On Instagram, he is the @MountainWestCarSpotter.
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