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Category: General
Posted by: Derek
Today I had my second lesson on "How to drive a manual transmission car for dummies" and it went rather well. I was able to catch on much quicker today, and only stalled the car a few times, mainly on inclines at an intersection. Thats something I will have to practice, but is not of the upmost imporance, as my hometown is very flat. Much better at going from a dead stop into first gear now though.

In addition, today I received the wheel caps, labels, and key blanks from DMC Houston. Also, the bumper reconditioner from Griots Garage came in. Along with the reconditioner, they sent a nice size bottle of cleaner to sample, which I thought was very nice of them. Looking forward to trying these things out on the car when it arrives home.
Category: General
Posted by: Derek
Well today was my first lesson on how to drive a manual transmission.

Yes, I bought a car before I knew how to drive it. However, as I still have 3 days before I pick the car up, I have some time to learn. It has been something I have always wanted to learn, and still do, after my first lesson today.

Luckily my uncle has a manual truck, and he was nice enough to take the time out today and tomorrow to show me how things work. I have read some walkthroughs online before so knew the gist of what not to do to cause damage to the transmission. I knew better not to grind gears, or stop without the clutch engaged. That helped very much, but the hard part was getting used to the feeling of going from not moving, to moving.

My uncle tossed me the keys right from the start, and I was a bit uneasy. After stalling several times at two stop signs, I was on a main road and on the highway. Shifting once I was moving, as well as stopping, and downshifting to go around corners was not a problem. We went to an open parking lot where I had more time to practice starting and stopping. The practice definitely helped, but even after 30 or so odd times of going from stopped to first gear, I still was stalling occasionally getting back home.

I think several problems came about today that caused the higher ratio of stalls to successful launches than I would have expected. First was that I was wearing big work shoes that were not the most easy to feel or control while easing off of the clutch. Second, my uncle suggested that I sit closer to the clutch for a better feel, however I think this caused problems as I was not as accurate letting the clutch out just using my heel as I would have been using my entire leg. Third, I think the truck has a bit too much torque than a normal car would, and the gas was more touchy than I expected. None of these are excuses for my stalling, but things I will try to fix tomorrow if I can control them, and others I will be more aware of. Hope to have better luck on lesson #2.

In other news, I was driving to work and spotted a DeLorean at the shop. First one I have seen in the area in two years. I stopped by to check it out after work, and it was vin #4027, an automatic with plain hood (no grooves, no DeLorean logo) and I believe black interior. Also of note was it had a front mounted antenna that it looks like the owner snapped off, or it broke off. At least I know I am not the only person in the area that will have a D, and the garage working on it was one I noted earlier as having experience. Good to know!

Jun 27, 2005: More parts purchased

Category: Interior
Posted by: Derek
In addition to the parts purchased for the exterior of the car, I purchased a refurbished dash binnacle from SpecialT to replace the current cracked one on the car. I have not seen the dashboard in much detail, but depending on when the dash cover was installed, the dash itself may also need to be repainted.

One thing mentioned from the owner was that the A-pillar (or A-posts) were warped from the sun. While talking to DMC Houston I asked to order the two to replace, but Warren said to do it correctly the windshield would need to be removed. This is one step beyond what I am capable of, so I decided to skip it until I could investigate furthur. After reviewing some information on the DML I read an article from an owner who removed and replaced his without removing the windshield. I am going to take a look at how they are set up and installed before I order these parts.
Category: Exterior
Posted by: Derek
Today I called up the Delorean Motor Company of Houston and placed an order for seveal parts to spruce up the look of the car. First I needed some black plastic wheel caps to replace the silver currently on the car. I decided to do this because it is the original look of the late model car, and I did not care for the full silver rim by itself. Along with that I picked up two blank keys with the DMC logo on them that I can have cut once the car arrives.

I also called up SpecialT Auto and talked to John for a bit. We touched on some work that I would like done in the future, but for the time being I ordered a stainless steel license plate frame (as the car does not come from a state that requires front and back plates) as well as a stainless throttle cover (recall issue, especially important for the cars future winter driving).
Category: Exterior
Posted by: Derek
Today I stumbled across a post on the DML regarding recoloring the bumpers to make them look black again if they have sun damage. One user suggested Griots Bumper & Trim Reconditioner and posted pictures that showed amazing results. He said that it has lasted so far for the year it has been on the car. I ordered 2 bottles which I assume will cover the bumpers and louvers, as well as any other trim. The website of the company that sells it can be found here.

Jun 27, 2005: Insurance is done

Category: General
Posted by: Derek
Just came back from the insurance agent where I had my policy set up to begin on Saturday, July 2nd. This will be the first day I am driving the car, and the first day on the adventure back to Niagara Falls. The insurance actually worked out to a lower cost than what I was first quoted, totaling $760 every 6 months rather than $825. The agent at Allstate was incredibly nice, and I am pleased to have changed offices to a closer location to my house. Now that I have the insurance card that states "1983 DELOREAN" I can just feel the weekend getting closer.
Category: General
Posted by: Derek

Its official now. The transportation method for this car from Kansas to its soon to be new home in New York will be the hands on driving experience. A friend will be going down with me on July 2nd to pick the car up. We will be flying into Kansas City via Delta Airlines, renting a car and driving to Wichita, and taking ownership of the car. Then we will start our 18 hour, 1,200 mile trip back to New York. Obviously, we are not expecting any sort of problems. However, I may be bringing a spare fuel pump with me taken as advice from current D owners. We hope to get 600 miles done in one day, sleep for a bit, and then finish the trip up so we are home Sunday night and still have the 4th of July to relax. Should be interesting.

Jun 23, 2005: Made the leap...

Category: General
Posted by: Derek
Ok, so I did it.

Actually I did it yesterday. I was bidding on a car on eBay and won. Even though I knew what I was doing, I was still shocked to have had it happen. I was in a state of shock for the entire day, and never had a chance to post about it. I am just starting to hit that feeling of excitement, and the queeziness is starting to subside. It feels like it is not really happening, as I have been in love with the car since I was 8. I have a lot to look forward to over the coming weeks.

The car itself was a good deal, one of the lower cost (working) cars I have seen sell on eBay in the past few months. The car was originally in California/Nevada, and then sold to a person in Kansas. He started fixing it up and has put a lot of money into getting the engine rebuilt, a lot of the car updated, and safety issues taken care of (such as the trailing arm bolts, and electrical components). I was debating picking the car up and driving it back the 18 hours, but I think I have decided just to have it shipped.

The car, while being mechanically sound, does have some small issues that need to be addressed. First the LAMBDA counter needs to be reset, second the speedometer angle drive assembly needs to be replaced, and third, the passenger window needs to be reseated on its track, or the track adjusted so it closes strait. Altogether most of these jobs are just spending the time, and the total cost to fix all of these will be about $60.

The main job that needs to be done is the cosmetics of the car. The front and rear fascias need to be repainted (possibly the louvers) due to fading since it was a Nevada car. The dash binnacle needs to be replaced due to cracking, along with the a-pillars due to warping, all from heat damange. I may need to repaint the dash (not sure yet as it has a dash cover on it, cannot tell how faded it is from the pictures). Along with those items, the side panels behind the passenger and driver will eventually need to be replaced, as the drivers side is missing the bolster, and the passenger side is coming away from the metal (may be an easy patch job). On a not as important note, the carpets are not original and I do not believe the seat covers are original. While in good condition, they may be replaced in the future to bring them back to stock.

Altogether these interior and cosmetic issues should not be too much to fix, and can be done over time. I decided on this car because since it is going to be a daily driver, I want something that I have more faith in due to the updates having been done. I do not want a car with original components that I am replacing a new one every month with the car out of service. We will see how it goes, I just need to wait the several weeks now for delivery. Below are some pictures of the car as well as some shots of the probelm areas. Most of all, this car needs some TLC to shine it up, a good cleaning, wax of the bumpers, thorough cleaning of the interior, as well as the engine bay should spruce it up quite a bit.
















Category: General
Posted by: Derek
Today I called up my current insurance company, Allstate, again. I talked to a girl who was extremely rude and basically blew off my request. She said she would call back with a quote in a few hours, and six hours later still nothing. So, per a recommendation from the DML I tried Farmers insurance. They told me they would not insure the car for collision. Of course this is vital, so I said thanks for the help, and moved on.

I decided to try a different Allstate rep, as I like the company, but everyone at the office I called were jackasses. I called an office closer to my house and the lady I spoke to was extremely nice, and we even discussed how she had never insured a DeLorean before. I gave her some DeLorean facts, and after 1/2 hour we had a nice insurance policy set up. I was quoted $824 for every 6 months. Now, this is for a 21 year old with a driving record that is by no means bad, but not fully clean. I had a minor moving violation over a year and a half ago, and a small claim over three and a half years prior. The quote did include a discount for a defensive driving class. This quote is about $160 more than my current insurance for a 2000 Mustang, although the current insurance is on my familys plan, and the quote for the D is on a solo plan. The coverage was better than average, only a step down from their highest. And, from the way it sounds, when a policy is set up they set a value for the car.

On another note, I called a few local mechanics in the hope to find somebody to work on the car when some jobs are a bit too much for me. For example, the first thing I will do when I get the car is get new trailing arm bolts put in. Two specialty shops in the area that focus mainly on imports and exotics say they have worked on a few DeLoreans before, and as long as I provide literature, they would have no problem working on the car. Prices I was quoted was $68 and $75 per hour. I expected a much higher rate, and was quite pleased to find a place that has experience with these cars.
Category: General
Posted by: Derek
So today I called up State Farm (which seems to be one of the few insurance companies that covers daily driver DeLoreans) and was quoted a fee of $965 every 6 months. I tried to call my current insurance company, AllState, but my rep was out for the day. Will try again with them tomorrow. I may also give Progressive a call. Posted a message on the DML asking what companies other daily drivers go with, so I can get an idea of what percentage of people have what company, and which one has the best coverage. It was amazing, if I only drive my car to shows and such insurance can be as low as $245 a year.
Category: General
Posted by: Derek
Well, I checked out the eBay auctions today and there were a few new listings. One was for a car in California that had one owner, 33k miles, and has been stored for 8+ years. They had a buy it now of $8,200 on the car. I figured by the time I added shipping and repair of fuel lines/pump and flushing out the gas tank, it would be upwards of $10k. I am always a bit leery of buying a car without seeing it until it is delivered at my doorstep, as I cannot fly across the country to look at it before it is loaded on a truck. The owner quickly responded to a few of my questions, and seemed fairly nice. I was contemplating bidding on it (and likewise disabling the buy it now ability) but I went back to check on it and somebody had already purchased it. Oh well, I must move on.

There is a possible car in Michigan that is a bit out of my price range, and would need to try to knock the owner down a bit to obtain it. Also, there is another auction on eBay right now for a car in Ohio. The reserve is set over my price range, but I do not think the car will go up that high in bids. Maybe if I am the top bidder (under the reserve) the owner will sell it for that price. I am driving myself nuts searching for D's day and night online...

Jun 18, 2005: Grand Bend 2005

Category: General
Posted by: Derek
This weekend I traveled with Jen on a 3 1/2 hour adventure to Grand Bend, Ontario. We met there with several DeLorean owners in a meet put together by Marv from the DeLorean Mailing List. Everybody was extremely nice and supportive, and I received plenty of information from the owners. I have a list started of maintenance that needs to be done to the car once I receive it. So far, this is what I have:

- Replace Trailing Arm Bolts (IMPORTANT!)
- Replace Battery
- Update Relays and Fuses
- Install Air Bleeder
- Install Ice Shield
- Install Fan Fail Component
- Install Lockzilla

Of course, some of these items may have been checked and done by the previous owner. However, aside from these maintenance parts, there are several other updates I am looking to do to the car:

- Install Lockzilla Remote (or Wings-A-Loft Remote)
- Install Alarm System
- Update Lighting with LEDs
- New Alternator (higher powered)
- New Hoses/Plugs/Wires
- Install Battery Cutoff

Thats it for now, I am sure more will be added to the list before I purchase a car. Here is a picture from Grand Bend:

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Category: General
Posted by: Derek
(Or to explain more percisely, has already begun...)

Well, after being in love with this car for more than twelve years, I have begun my search to obtain a DeLorean for use as a daily driver and show car. I know it sounds a bit ackward, but I want to take a car, give it the full update while still keeping it close to stock (in looks, at least) but making it stand out as my own. I cannot afford to own a DeLorean on the side, as I have just graduated college and am getting married in a year. However, I plan to make the car my daily driver, but also keep it in good condition and clean so I can take it to the occasional show.

So far, I have been searching for D's on eBay, Collector Car Trader, as well as Auto Trader, DMC News for sale board, and DeLorean owners classifieds. I have come close to purchasing a car, but not close enough. The qualifications that I have set are to find a car in good condition, in working condition, or as close as possible with the need for minor repairs. I need the car to be manual, and have a nice frame, as well as be around or under $12,000. I plan on documenting this process for future owners who would like to have an idea of the process, as well as time and money spent on the project.

Right now people think I am crazy for wanting an early '80s car as my only means of transportation. Only time will tell...