My wife and I purchased a 1981 De Lorean DMC-12 in the Spring of 1999. When we bought it, it had only 3500 miles on it. (Update: 20,000 as of October 3rd, 2003). For those who care, it's VIN 6820 with a November 1981 build date. It was, and still is, a great original condition car. Our new-to-us car only needed some very minor repairs such as new struts for the luggage compartment and rear engine louver, and a new radio antenna, and repair of a minor crack in the rear window louver.
There were only about 8500 to 10,000 DeLoreans built between 1981 and 1983. All of them came from the factory in Stainless Steel only. Any painted DeLoreans were done later by the vehicle owner or by the dealer. For more facts on the DeLorean visit the links at the bottom of the page. Knut Grimsrud has written an excellent FAQ that is available on the DMC-News site.
This section started off as just a place to list repairs and updates, but morphed into an almost blog or diary of at least that part of my life that impacted our car. The original section starts next.
To show that these cars are pretty darned reliable, even after 20 years or more since production, here is a list of everything I've done to ours:
Now we're getting into some heavy stuff. I decided that the car was old enough that it needed some things done to it as preventative maintenance. It still had only 17,000 miles on it at the end of the 2002 season, but combine that with the age of the car and it's time to do some preemptive work. This stuff was done between November of 2002 and March 2003 in time for the 2003 driving season.
Winter 2003/2004 to 2009
In the fall of 2003 I was still out of work and our money reserves were getting thin. We even put the car up for sale, but only had a couple of inquiries. In the spring we didn't pass the required state safety inspection due to the parking brakes and reverse lights. So, the car was informally put into storage and not much got done with it beyond adding some Sta-bil and keeping the battery charged.
In the summer of 2004 I finally got a job! I started work as the Network Administrator for a casino out in West Wendover, Nevada at the state line. The only problem was that my work week was Tuesday through Saturday, and all the car clubs meet on Saturdays. Plus I stayed out at the casino in a hotel room three nights a week to save on travel costs.
I really wanted to get back into things with the car, so I started a project at work where I tracked calls and problems on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I found that I had more calls and more problems reported on Monday when I was off than I did on Saturday. It seemed like everyone was busy on weekends with our customers and waited until Monday when it was slower to call me. I tracked this information for months, then went to the managers. I was able to convince them since I had such good data and I was allowed to change my schedule to Monday through Friday.
Once that was accomplished, I spent a few weekends with my wife just enjoying the almost forgotten sensation of having two days off with my wife in a row. Then in the spring of 2009 I started working on the car again in preparation for the DeLorean Car Show - West in Las Vegas in September of 2009.
Since the car had been stored for quite a while, my first task was to get some fresh gas in it and get it running again. That done, I moved on to repairing the parking brakes and reverse lights so we could pass inspection. One set of pads, and a new switch later, and it was ready to pass. I then renewed the license and was allowed to keep our personalized DMC 12 license plate.
When the car was for sale a few years before I had pulled the updated stereo and a few other things hoping I could use them on a later DeLorean once we were back on our feet. We still had the same car, and we were back in shape now, so the equipment was all reinstalled.
Once DCS-09 is finished I will get back to installing all of the new parts I've been collecting. It's finally time to replace the whole 28 year old cooling system, and re-do the stiff clutch.
Things I will be tackling this coming winter and spring include:
Well, the stuff for the past couple of years sounds like a lot, and it is, but most of it is just replacing parts that wear normally and/or go bad with age. We do have a 28 year old car, and I just want to replace all the stuff that ages. I'm doing a big batch of it all at once so it looks pretty major. But, none of it left me sitting along the road. I'm just changing most of it as a preventative.
If the job situation holds in this uncertain economy, then next year comes the good part: New springs (at least the front ones), along with new shocks and a few suspension bushings. This will be an upgrade, not repair or maintenance.
Back during the time when I was out of work I had located a New Old Stock BAE turbocharger kit, but had to sell it due to the lack of a job. Now I'm thinking about an Eaton M62 Supercharger setup or equivalent, with either Tec3 or Megasquirt engine management. And that stuff will get installed on a freshly rebuilt Eagle Premier 3.0L PRV. I just acquired the motor, which is still sitting in the Eagle. I will be yanking it and starting on a rebuild this winter. I'm planning on taking this slowly, like two or three years, so the updates on the stock motor won't be wasted.
|The Mid-State DeLorean Club||A Midwest (mostly Illinois) club.|
|The DeLorean Mailing List & DMC-News, the 'zine||Once the Best DeLorean site around, now it has some great archives.|
|DMCTalk.com Forums||The forums at DMCTalk.com seem to be the largest current gathering place for owners and enthusiasts.|
|The DeLorean Car Show
The DeLorean Car Show West
|The DeLorean Car Show has become the main event for DeLoreans. Starting in 2009 there is a western US show|
|DeLorean Motor Company (Houston, Texas)||Original parts for your DeLorean|
|PJ Grady Inc - Delorean parts, restoration, etc.||Rob Grady and the bunch are among the few DeLorean specialists who have not joined up fully with DMC Houston. They have a great reputation.|
|Red Line Synthetic Oil||Lubricants Designed For Performance|
|The Tire Rack Home Page||The Tire Rack has a very wide selection of tires and wheels at great prices, including a few to fit a DeLorean|
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Last modified: September 03, 2009
Please note that I spelled De Lorean with and without the space in various places above. This was done so that search engines would pick up both spellings. With a space is correct, but most people don't use it.
New scanned images