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

Friday, May 17, 2013

Run For Your Life! It's Victoria Day!

Canadian fireworks with impossibly absurd warning labels.

The first time I was nearly killed, a Buzz Bee tore through the air straight at my face and forced me to dive into the soft Florida sand. The Buzz Bee followed suit, exploding right beside me. It was unexpected.

Buzz Bees had a plastic pair of "wings" clipped to them which enabled them to fly around. But I never foresaw it flying out over the Gulf of Mexico, turning 180 degrees and zooming straight back at my face.

You'd think I would have learned from that experience, but you'd be wrong. Every Victoria Day I haphazardly light off fireworks with friends, clad in minimal protection (read: t-shirt and jeans).

For the first time possibly ever, I read the warnings on the fireworks I purchased for Victoria Day 2013. And boy was I shocked. The warnings are absurd. In fact they're literally impossible to adhere to. So what are these warnings? I'll start with the 50-Shot Strobing Missile cake.

The strobing missiles state "Light fuse and stand clear 60 meters." That's right, 60 meters. That's just shy of 200 feet. The fuse is 5 seconds, give or take. Usain Bolt, are you reading my blog? Well, Mr. Bolt, how long does it take you to cover 200 feet? Please leave me a comment!

Hot Tamale fireworks are spiffy AND neato.Next up is one of my fav's. It's small, but cool: The Hot Tamale. The Hot Tamale instructions tell spectators to stand clear 70 meters! That's 230 feet! In five seconds I can barely run the length of my driveway, let alone the ENTIRE width of my block!

And now for the best. The Cherry Bomb. A single shot, one big bang. Are you ready for this?

You must stand clear a whopping ONE HUNDRED METERS from the Cherry Bomb. Can you even begin to fathom that? Here, let me help you. Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, lights the fuse and starts sprinting. After five seconds the Cherry Bomb launches into the air. Usain has covered 50 meters - just. Twenty-six seconds later, nearly the entire length of a bad Pizza Pops commercial, Usain Bolt hits the safe point. The Cherry Bomb exploded 5 years ago, a new President was sworn in, and everyone's 11 year old daughter now has her driver's license.

It's Victoria Day! Run for your lives!

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Shave Your DeLorean Eyebrows!

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Although the DeLorean's stainless facade allows it to withstand the elements for 115 to 117 years, there is one thing that can make the 80's icon look atrocious.


In the DeLorean world, "eyebrows" are what we call the warping of the front fascia above the headlights. When the fascia rises over the high beams, it replaces the strong, confident look of the car with a comically worried one.

I don't know if there has ever been 100% consensus on the cause, but it is generally accepted that the sun is the culprit. My car is a good argument for that theory. The original owner had two homes - one in California, the other in Arizona. He spent years driving back and forth in the blazing desert sun between the two, rocking out to A-ha.

Over the years my eyebrows worsened until, in 2010, I had had enough. The solution: steel bars. I bought two, each 1/8 inch thick, approximately 1 inch wide, and 15 inches long. To adhere the bar to the underside of the fascia, I bought a tube of SikaTack-Drive windshield glue from Speedy Autoglass for around $27. It is fully cured in only 2 hours. (The Speedy employee told me to work FAST, as I would only have about 5 seconds of fiddling time if I didn't set the bars right.)

My stick-arms trembled as the front grille resisted my attempts to remove it. When it popped off, I then removed all four headlights followed by the headlight mounts. This gives access to the fascia.

SikaTack-Drive windshield glue is horrible stuff. Scaaaary horrible. Its tar-like properties allow it to adhere to anything, including air molecules. It must be heated up an incredible amount before you can use it. I placed it on my engine and ran the car. During this time I used my heat gun to warm up the top and underside of the fascia until it was pliable.

The wood protects the paint from the clamps.After nearly an hour, I put the tube of warm SikaTack- Drive in my caulking gun. With great difficulty I managed to apply it to one side of the steel bar. I then slid the bar inside the fascia and clamped it down (or "up" rather) using a piece of wood to protect the paint.

I repeated this on the other side and left it clamped for the afternoon.

Six hours later I removed the clamps. Instantly I watched the fascia strain against the steel bars as it tried to pull itself back into its warped state. The steel bars actually bent! At first I threw a temper-tantrum. However, considering how bad my eyebrows were, the result was actually good. My driver's side eyebrow was diminished by about 90% while my passenger side looks about 95%. And for now, it's better than forking out a grand for one of these.

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