Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Junked DeLorean

Is this DeLorean a metaphor for John DeLorean's dreams??

A friend and I stopped by a rough-looking shop in New York state on the weekend and here's what we documented: a lost DeLorean. Vin# 17009.

Seeing the destruction of an exotic car usually makes me wince, but seeing a DeLorean in a deplorable state always hurts a little worse. John DeLorean, everyone in the DeLorean community, and each car are almost like family. And seeing a car in this condition feels like someone has stabbed my adorable gap-toothed nephew in the pancreas with a rusty steak knife.

This particular DeLorean is more rare than most; it's a 1983 model, built in September '82, just one month before John DeLorean's arrest.

The engine bay was empty. We were told it had been pulled, much like an overzealous Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors, yanking teeth, ripping heads off dolls and smashing doors into the staff's faces. This left the frame exposed which caused the epoxy to deteriorate to a powdery state. Other miscellaneous screws and bolts were missing or rusting.

Rust. Now that's a word you don't typically associate with DeLoreans. Sad.

I couldn't assess the interior as the windows were filthy and the garage owner's son was very reluctant to let us near it despite the fact that we arrived in a DeLorean. The headliner was starting to come down and the leather seats had fuzzy seat covers over them. Probably a good idea since the driver's window was stuck open.

A large crack ran haphazardly through the windshield directly over the rearview mirror. Yet strangely, the rear louvres weren't cracked. Upon closer inspection I saw the usual full-length brace spanning the centre support.

While I understand not everyone can afford to fix their cars at the drop of a hat, it is still heartbreaking to see. And instead of letting these cars rot, the owners could have just given them to me. C'mon guys! I want to own five DeLoreans! Stop crushing my dreams!

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Blogger Unknown said...

I agree, Martini. This car revealed to me "an opportunity" for a restoration, given the parts availability here in the USA. Why you were not allowed near it is strange. What if someone wanted to buy the car from them? I hope someone does. As you know, I feel DeLorean would have made a number of engineering changes. He was found innocent of all charges. I wanted to interview him but he passed away before I could contact him. Another person did visit him at his home and I read his story years ago.

2:57:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

Engineering changes, absolutely. After all, the car is 30 years old and so much has changed.

If you're still up for interviews, I can probably put you in touch with his daughter Kathryn. I've met her a few times at the various DCS shows. She's got some great stories.

9:15:00 AM


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