It is true that the L1011 was on paper before the DC10 was conceived. In fact, when McDD committed to the DC10 as a rival to the L1011, their corporate motto (unofficially) was "fly before they roll", meaning they wanted to actually FLY the DC10 before Lockheed's TriStar rollout (usually about three months before the first flight). They acheived it too, and the speed with which the DC10 was designed actually helped it in some ways technically, because the result is a very direct, simple machine that is not 'overengineered'. Whereas, the L1011 is a much more sophisticated beast, but with systems that are dreadfully overcomplicated - overengineered is the word that always comes up when I chat to L1011 flight and maintenence crew. It is a much less popular freighter because in it's old age, the type can't give the same dispatch reliability as the DC10. So, while the L1011 is rightly acknowledged widely as the "safest widebody ever built" (Flight International magazine), it's commercial prospects could actually have been improved by leaving the drawing board a little sooner.
On the DC10 at Chicago, yes it was the fault of the incorrect maintenence procedures at AA and CO that the engine left the wing, but the plane crashed because the hydraulics failed on one side, causing the slats to completely retract on one side. AND the stall warning devices failed, which meant that when the captain reduced to the best engine-out climb speed, one wing stalled and the aircraft rolled over. I don't know where the routing of the hydraulics is on the L1011 wing so it's hard to say for sure, but if an RR came off the wing of an L1011 with the same kind of damage done to the leading edge, the slats wouldn't have retracted, and if they had, the flight crew would have got a stall warning. If the L1011 is overengineered, it's because there's tonnes of redunduncy built in to it.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz