Not sure of regrain
Fix drivers door and rear left quarter panel.
Not sure of regrain
Fix drivers door and rear left quarter panel.
DeLorean One Season Ownership Report
Well, I hate to admit it, but the driving season is winding to a close. All the regular cruise nights have finished for the season and the only car shows I can find online are “Fall Fair” type events. Yup, summer 2017 is done. This summer was a significant one for me since I bought my first DeLorean in April of this year.
This was a long time in the making for me. My fiancée, whom I’ve been with for over 7 years, was not at all surprised when I approached her with the news that I had found another DeLorean for sale online. She knew I had a mental list of what my dream DeLorean would be, and this one had everything I wanted. When I told her that the car I found was a 1983, with a 5 speed, black interior, UK spec exhaust, and only 41,000 miles, she told me to contact the seller and get a price. Lucky for me the seller was none other than Wells Auto in Milton. This was perfect. I’ve known the owner of Wells Auto for a few years now, and the shop was about a 15 minute drive. I emailed Wells Auto that day, which was a Friday, and I had purchased the car on Tuesday. Five days was all it took to get everything in order. Of course I didn’t just drive away. The car had sat for about a year, so it needed a few minor things: tires, rear suspension, fuel pump. That was probably the longest month ever, waiting to pick up my car.
The delivery date was set at May 7th, 2017 at Wells Auto’s annual DeLorean Tech Day. However, the weather department at our local news stations decided to rain on our parade. Tech day was cancelled a few days in advance due to the forecast calling for thunderstorms. I was sad because I couldn’t make the rain date, and I was looking forward to showing off my car to other owners, stepping up from Associate Member, to Full Member status. When May 7th did roll around, it turns out the weather people were wrong. It was a beautiful day. My fiancée dropped me off so I could go through a tour of my new car with Justin, the owner of Wells Auto. The sun was out and the stainless was shining. After some driving tips, an email titled “DeLorean Care and Feeding,” a test drive, and a few pictures, I drove my dream car home.
I don’t think I’ve ever been to so many car shows in one season. Everyone wanted to see my new car. The car I’ve been talking about since I was a teenager. This meant going to lots of shows and answering lots of questions from old friends and new friends. I put over 2000 trouble-free miles on my car this summer, driving all over southern Ontario. I was out with my DeLorean about twice a week, every week through the summer. I probably went to 50 shows and cruise nights. I’m more sunburnt than I ever thought I would be, I’ve walked a crazy amount around parking lots and fields, and ate way too many food truck French fries, and I wouldn’t change a thing. My fiancée went with me to almost every major event and answered almost as many questions about the DeLorean as I did. This summer was perfect, but I think maybe it’s time I take the car out for just coffee dates for awhile. I don’t anticipate doing 50 car shows in a summer ever again, but it was a great experience.
As owners we regularly deal with commonly believed myths surrounding the DeLorean: unreliability, a ‘weak’ engine, poor design. Most will recognize these are altogether subjective or, in some cases, simply not true (alternative facts *cough*). One such annoyingly pervasive myth that is regularly proclaimed by auto journalists is that the PRV was designed as a V8 and subsequently had two of its cylinders chopped off in a knee-jerk reaction to the 1973 oil crisis.
This, quite simply, is not true.
The tale of two cylinders being axed has been told for likely 3 decades now. This, plus the math involved, has resulted in a believable story. V8 engines are normally designed so that the cylinders fire evenly around the 360 degree crankshaft. This works out to 90 degree firing intervals. Conversely, most V6 engines are designed to fire at 60 degree intervals (360 divided by 6 cyl. = 60) to keep everything balanced. You can see where this is going. According to the story, a 90 degree V8 had two cylinders removed, resulting in a 90 degree V6.
When things are repeated over and over again people begin to believe them whether or not they’re true. It’s the hallmark of a great marketing campaign! And this V8 story is no different. I have found a copy of the original Engineering report by the SAE which states the PRV was conceived as a 90 degree oddfire V6 right from the onset, and the reasons why. Considering the math above, a 90 degree V6 does seem illogical. But engineers Francois Gastinne of Peugeot, M. Laliere of Renault and Stephen Wallman of Volvo have spelled it out for us straightforwardly.
The 90 degree configuration allowed the engine 1) a broad RPM range (for the time period), 2) to be lighter and more compact (with the wider vee shape giving the engine a lower centre of gravity), and 3) “greater freedom in choice of engine mounts” due to a sinusoidal torque wave running perpendicular to the crankshaft.
Also worth noting is the engineers’ calculation of maximum gross horsepower as 140, attained from 2.7L of displacement.
It’s that time of year. The evenings are dark, the temperatures are colder. The never-ending election in the States has finally concluded. If you let your imagination go a little, you may notice a certain hint of magic looming in the air as we approach the season of Christmas. Tis the season. Tis the season where you can actually get away with saying the word “Tis” without getting arrested by the word police. It is the season when greatest lists, and favorites-of-the-year lists, and best-of lists for the last 11½ months appear. But yet, for me anyway, there are sad memories in the background particularly early in December, like Pearl Harbor, and John Lennon. But the saddest of all has to be the fact that DeLorean owners in our part of the planet must put their cars away for the next few months! It is a sad experience but one that cannot be avoided. It is a painful task for some of us but one must carry on. Driving our cars on salty roads is not a great idea, and if there is any snow accumulation, you may as well forget about trying to drive our DeLoreans as some of them are quite low to the ground. And there is the question of traction. Can our mega powerful sports cars actually get any traction in slippery conditions? If you slide into first gear, and ease off the clutch will your car actually move or will you just spin your wheels and not move forward at all??? Oh wait…. this is a blog about DeLoreans, right? Apologies! Of course you will not just spin your wheels – not enough torque in a DeLorean. They’re torqueless! Sorry about that! Aside from the lack of torque there is the question of tires if you plan on driving in the winter. Personally, I use winter tires every year — on my daily car, that is. I have had the same set for seven winters now and they are still in great condition. Two cars and seven winters. Admittedly, they are only on the car for 5 months each year, but still. How amazing is that? Seven times five months is equal to almost three years of continuous use, and they are still far from worn. Most DeLorean owners do not have winter tires on their DeLorean. This fact will increase the risks involved in attempting to drive a DeLorean in the snow, along with the low profile of the car. All things considered it is no surprise that DeLoreans owners do not use their cars in the winter weather.
Putting our cars away for the winter opens up something of a perennial argument among classic car enthusiasts about what is needed to store a car. I am not going to get into it now. I don’t believe there is a definite right and wrong way to do it. Some people do certain things, others do more, while some do less. Of course, this does nothing whatsoever to ease the sadness of parking your DeLorean for the last time this calendar year, knowing that it may be the second quarter of next year before you can drive it again. Those of you who know me, will know that I have another classic car which must go through the same hibernation every winter. So this process is a double whammy for me. Twice the sadness…… twice the pain!
When I put my cars away I also have to winterize a bunch of small engines; lawnmowers – several of various sizes, capacities, styles and types. A leaf blower. A chain saw. A couple of edge trimmer/weed whackers. If I ever decided to sell my small engine tools and toys, the fuel stabilizer manufacturers would surely go out of business! But I have found over the years that there is no advantage to be gained by having stale fuel flowing through a lawnmower or a chainsaw in the Springtime. Firing up a small engine that has been asleep for a few months can be tricky at the best of times, but having treated fuel may help the process. So, trying to preserve the quality of the fuel at the beginning of winter seems logical to me – at least for small engine tools.
And so the snow will come down. The temperature will come down. Home heating expenses will go up. Ah yes, for some this is a happy, joyous time of year. For others, not so much. For me, it is sadness. Sadness personified. Automotive sadness. It’s like telling a kid that he cannot have fun with his favorite toy for the next few months. What sort of reaction do you think you will get to that? Well I’m that kid, dammit. And I am not pleased! I’m going to my room!
by Cody Cherrington
I’ve been an Associate Member of ODOC for a couple years now and I lurked in the background for a few years before that. I’ve known I wanted a DeLorean since I was about 13. Like a lot of DeLorean owners, I was first exposed to the car watching Back to the Future. When the car rolled out of the trailer in that first scene, and Doc Brown stepped out from underneath that gull-wing door, I told my mom “I’m going to drive one of those one day.” For me, that day was last week.
I’ve been in contact with quite a few of ODOC Members over the past few years, but mostly just in passing at car shows. Earlier this year, I decided to attend a DeLorean-only event for the first time. I felt a little strange pulling up to a parking lot full of DeLoreans in a silver Toyota. Fortunately, I was met with smiles, handshakes, and introductions of the friendliest group of car enthusiasts a person could meet. It felt like I had just shown up to a backyard barbeque with old friends. After awhile I snuck out back to take a few photos of the cars. An owner I was talking to earlier walked up beside me and asked “Ever sat in one before?” as he opened the driver’s side door. Oddly enough, I had sat in the exact same DeLorean last year, but only in the passenger side for a quick photo at a car show. I settled into the driver’s seat and gripped the steering wheel. The owner walked around and sat in the passenger seat. After quite a lengthy conversation about the history of the car, and some DeLorean history lessons, I finally worked up the courage to ask for the keys. I expected a “no,” but instead what I got was “Not today. Can you drive stick?” He handed me his business card and said “e-mail me, and we will take it out later this summer.”
Fast forward to about a month later and I’m waiting in a mall parking lot at 9:00 am on a bright Saturday morning. I saw the DeLorean off in the distance. It’s not a very inconspicuous car and is easily picked out of a crowd. With the windows down, the owner said “hop in!” I pulled open the passenger door and slid into the seat. We went out for a cruise around town for the better part of an hour talking about classic cars. After a few kilometres on the road, numerous waves and thumbs up from passing motorists, we ended up back at the mall parking lot. I was given a quick lesson on how the car runs and the keys. I sat down and was told I had to slam the door. I’ve always been gentle with classic cars, so I must have not taken him seriously, because it didn’t close. It’s a rather strange experience trying to slam a door that opens upwards. As with any manual transmission car, brake first, then clutch, then turn the key. The clutch pedal in the DeLorean is the heaviest clutch I’ve ever stepped on. The car rumbled to life and we started to roll. Clutch out, feather the gas. The gas pedal is just as heavy as the clutch. With the engine in the back, and the car using a cable instead of a computer, the cable on the gas pedal has to travel quite the distance to get to the engine. Its one of those things that you never think about until someone points it out. I loved my experience in the driver’s seat. One of my childhood dreams had been fulfilled. Finally, I had driven one of these, and it was everything I expected it to be. The car looked fantastic, it drove like a dream, and everyone on the sidewalk was smiling and waving. After my drive was over, I pulled into an empty section of parking lot and turned the car off. After some photos, and a joke about going 88 miles per hour from a passing pickup truck, it was time to go home. I watched the DeLorean pull onto the road and down the street.
Any doubt in my mind I had about not getting a DeLorean had vanished. It’s no longer “I want to own a DeLorean.” It’s changed to “I NEED to own a DeLorean.”
I wish there was no snow on the ground. Actually it’s not really all that bad today, but look at the winter road salt that’s spread everywhere. That’s more of a problem, really. I wish there was no salt on the roads. Surely in this day and age they can invent something that helps to melt snow and ice without simultaneously dissolving our cars.
I’d love to be able to take the car out for a blast in the countryside. It’s a nice sunny day. But it’s minus 20 degrees and there is too much snow and salt on the ground. Dammit! Maybe I’ll just go out and sit in the car. Yeah, I will. If it is possible to get the workshop door open, I will do so, and let the sunlight in. Then I’ll sit in the driver’s seat and let my imagination go….!
Hmmm… Maybe I’ll connect the battery and start her up. OK. I’ll do it. Wow it started perfectly. No trouble at all. Idles nice. Never really noticed how little room there is in the car when you have your big mad winter coat on, your slush pants, your Canadian Tire Winter boots and your hat and gloves. I guess I am usually dressed in shorts and t-shirts and runners when I drive this car under normal summer circumstances. Of course there is also naked Fridays, but let’s not talk about that here!!!!
Let me tune in the radio as I sit here with the engine running. Yay! This is the closest thing I can get to actually driving the car at this time of year. Maybe I’ll move the car back a few feet or so. Yay. Ok, now I’ll move it forward again. Alright!!! Is the heater working? Check. Holy smokes it really is hot! Does the horn work? Check. Is the blower motor working at all speeds? Check. Can I slot into each gear as if I was driving? Check. Do the wipers work? Check. Not that this car ever sees rain unless I get caught out in a sudden summer shower. Do the windows buzz up and down? Check. Lights, indicators? Check, check! What else can I do? Not much. Lemmee check the horn again. Yep, still works. I wish I could go for a drive. Ah, did you hear that? The radiator fans just kicked in, right at the correct temperature on the dashboard gauge. They always come on when the gauge points to 8 o’clock. Let me take a peek around the engine. Looks good. No leaks. No strange smells or sounds. Nothing to cause any worries or concerns at all. Great! Back inside the car, everything seems to be working correctly. Did I check the horn? Better be sure. Yep, it still works. Ok, may as well shut her down and disconnect the battery again. It’s such a nice bright day. I really wish I could go for a drive.
Well, may as well close the workshop door, lock up the car and say good night until next weekend or the next mild day. Maybe there will be an above-zero day soon and if the roads look clean enough I can take the car out for a blast. Maybe. But probably not!!!
And as I walk away from the workshop, a thought enters my head: “Did I check the horn?????” ☺
– Sheckulous Wilberforce Tiberius Moriale.
When filling up at a busy gas station, this exchange (or something like it) is not implausible for most DeLorean owners:
“Hey, look; a DeLorean. Wow, you don’t see many of them any more do you? Looks pretty good…considering. What are you doin’ there – putting gas straight into the engine?”
“Well the engine is in the back and the fuel tank is in the front, so you fill it from here”
“Back to the Future, eh? B A C K T O T H E F U T U R E !!!!! Marty McFly wasn’t that his name? Marty McFly. So how does it drive?”
“It’s nice. It’s got a five speed transmission. It’s a nice car to drive.”
“Oh yeah? Well I guess. These things had a V8 right? A Ford V8. Should be pretty fast”.
“No, it’s got a V6, a PRV V6”.
“A what? A Pee-orr what?
“A PRV: It’s a joint collaboration between Peugeot, Renault and Volvo.”
“No they had a V8. My uncle worked in the factory in Newfoundland. He worked on the hood section. They only made the hoods in his department. I remember. I’ll tell ya, he had some crazy stories about how badly these things were made.”
“No you are mistaken; these cars were built in Northern Ireland”.
“No, no, no… they were built in Newfoundland. They are a heap of junk aren’t they? Yeah, built outta aluminum. Heap of junk alright”.
“Whaat? OK, the DeLorean was built with a PRV V6 in Northern Ireland from 1981 to 83. It is not a heap of junk. You may be thinking of the Bricklin which was built in New Brunswick not Newfoundland around 1975 or so, and it also is not a heap of junk. Yes both cars have gull wing doors, but the DeLorean is built with stainless steel body panels whereas the Bricklin was made of fibreglass”.
“Oh… well everyone said they were underpowered and a heap of garbage, so they can’t all be wrong. So they are stainless steel? Well that explains it, doesn’t it? No wonder whey were underpowered, they must weigh a ton if they are made of stainless steel.”
“Actually they do not weigh a ton. They are 2700lbs. A Corvette from the same era was 3200lbs and a Mustang was almost 2700 lbs. And if you are interested in power, you might like to know that the DeLorean has more horsepower than the Mustang of the same year”.
“Well I dunno… but even the doors were hysterical. How do you get into those cars if you are in a tight spot in a parking lot? I guess they didn’t think of that did they? Ha ha. Another failure for sure”.
“Actually all you need is 14 inches of clearance. Because the hinges are closer to the center of the car, they need less room to swing open than a regular car door. You can easily get into this car in a tight spot whereas you would not be able to get into a regular car with regular doors in a similar tight spot”.
“ Delorean sure was in a tight spot with that suitcase full of coke. Talk about a scandal!”
“He was actually acquitted as the jury felt he was entrapped. By the way, speaking of scandals… Is that YOUR Volkswagen Diesel” ?
Written by Shecky Moriale
Cover photo by Grant Thomas
From a writer’s perspective it is difficult to form an opinion of a car by driving it one time. Unfortunately that is often what writers have to do in order to meet deadlines or scoop the next guy. What does this mean? Writers have a short amount of time to experience a car. The need to write confidently leads them to write hautily; the thought that driving one once qualifies them as an expert. Every miniscule flaw is exaggerated and assumed to be present on every other car regardless of its age, condition, or maintenance history.
Compounding the problem is the DeLorean’s generational popularity, making it oft-compared to modern cars instead of its contemporaries with, unsurprisingly, negative results. This kind of behaviour can be good-natured and fun, but in many instances it’s simply an unprofessional and unnecessary attack on the car. So why do it? It’s trendy to knock DeLoreans simply because they, like Back to the Future, are so prominent in 2015. They’re the hero car of 2015, and as the Green Goblin said in another Hollywood blockbuster, “The one thing they love more than a hero is to see a hero fail.” Unfortunately this practice hurts car enthusiasts and collectors, as facts become muddled among the pervasive untruths and exaggerations.
Writers and editors are in a position of power. When car-centric websites regurgitate imaginary or incorrect information they’re potentially jeopardizing their own credibility, but more importantly they negatively impact car values and collectability. The demand for higher web traffic drives writers to review cars quickly and carelessly, scraping together anecdotal information and adding their own dramatic adjectives. Hot Wheels designer Manson Cheung puts it so concisely: “Restating misinformation and popular opinion does not make it fact.”
The concept of the DeLorean being terrible isn’t new but it is perpetuated by lazy writers, unreasonable comparisons and irrational expectations. Any sensible DeLorean owner won’t deny its quirks (horn on the stalk), faults (too high front springs) and flaws (weak trailing arm bolts). But the assumption that the very earliest 1981 cars’ flaws (I.e. Johnny Carson’s) are current, or the extrapolation made from test-driving one poorly maintained example is unacceptable in responsible journalism.
In my experience, when writers and editors can’t back up their claims or don’t want to engage in genuine conversation, (or suddenly discover you are an owner with more knowledge/experience) they’re quick to shut the conversation down. All other arguments aside, if my 121,000 miles cannot attest to the DeLorean’s reliability, surely Dan Harris’s (VIN 1150) 250,000+ mile daily driver, or Terri and Oliver Holler’s 500,000+ miles – can.
So many people seem to want to say something to the driver of a DeLorean. But why? I don’t get it. I know all the Back to the Future stuff, I get it. I really do. I love the movies too. Seriously, I do. But my car is not a Back to the Future car. It is an almost stock DeLorean from waay before the movie was released. Anyone who remembers the car from before the movie will probably appreciate my car as a DeLorean and not as a movie star. And there are so many of those people out there too!!! But why such a reaction? Seriously, why?
Does any other early 80-s sports car get this much attention? I suggest to you that the answer is no. But why not? What is it that the DeLorean seems to bring out in people? Is it the cool sports car built by a former GM big shot who thumbed his nose at the GM establishment? Is it the fact that it is an unusual car with stainless body panels and gullwing doors? Is it the fact that they were produced for such a short time and are now so rare? Or is it because it was the focus of one of the biggest movies in Hollywood history?
I don’t know the reason. I wish I did. It is sometimes a little tiring to have to give the usual smiling response, and the occasional explanation of what the car is, to other drivers at gas stations. But at the end of it all, every time I take my DeLorean out for a drive, I know that I will get some sort of affirmation and confirmation that my little car is either cool, or awesome or just a beautiful machine. I got all three this morning, and I drove home with a smile on my face! And these observations are almost guaranteed whether or not people make comments on the presence or not of a flux capacitor!!!!!
Or as a trucker yelled at me last week from his waay high up open window to my little ticket booth passenger window; Hey man, does it have a flux Kapasit-tayter???
What the hell is a Kapasit-tayter???
By Mike McPartland
First off Welcome to the ODOC Blog Page. It is our intention that this page be an open one, so if you are an ODOC Member and want to submit an article for publication here please feel free to send something along. It just needs to be Delorean related of course. I will get the party started with a situation that has been developing for many years now and seems to be increasing of late.. Goldmine Syndrome.
What is Goldmine Syndrome you may ask? Well it boils down to the mistaken belief that any Delorean in any condition is worth a boatload of money. This is certainly not the case.
Over the years, many ODOC Members have contacted me about derelict Deloreans that have been found in sheds, barns and pastures in Ontario. Sometimes covered in blue tarps and sometimes left open to the elements, these cars sit silently rotting away while their owners believe that they are increasing in value year over year. They believe they are sitting on a Gold Mine. Please be advised if you are reading this and your Delorean is not being maintained to at least some standard of mechanical integrity, your car is NOT an appreciating asset. Far from it.
Just last week, I got a report of a car east of Toronto. The ODOC member who discovered it reported it as an 83 Canadian Spec car which “had the pontoons behind the rear window gone as were the body panels. There was no drive shaft nor rear suspension. The passenger door was crumpled at the back and the engine is now seized. The interior smelled like a horse.” Now want to know the asking price? $12,000.
Most seasoned Delorean Folk know that is a ridiculous ask, but if you tell the owners of these rust buckets that their cars are worth perhaps $4000 tops and are conceivably too far gone to be economically viable to save, they think you are trying to low ball them and cheat them out of their Delorean Lottery Ticket. The end result is that the car will sit there for another 5 or 10 years in the field, as frames turn to dust, binnacles crack and fascias fade and warp. I hate to see this happen with any vintage car, but particularly so with the Delorean, as it is such a rare piece of automotive history.
My only hope in writing this is that it may reach at least one of these derelict car owners, and they might realize you are not doing yourself or the car any favours by letting it rot. Your non running car that has been sitting on blocks behind a barn or even in a garage is not likely a $12,000 car and certainly no where near the $50,000 cars you might happen to see on Barret-Jackson.
No well-schooled Delorean buyer is trying to swindle you with a sub $4,000 offer. To be clear, I am not interested in buying another Delorean, I am fine with the one I have now so I have “no skin in the game” as they say…. I am just tired of seeing these cars go past the point that they can be saved.