Thursday, August 23, 2007


Steve Parker
All you folks out there who have been taught through your TV and movie screens that there is something almost magical about the DeLorean, well, to quote a line from many other films, fuhgeddiboutit.
DeLorean wasn't a good car to begin with, and practically nothing which can be done to it now improves it abilities, either in speed, handling, comfort, dependability, etc. It fails, as a car, on many, many levels.
But that's like saying Paris Hilton shouldn't be famous because she's a lousy actress. DeLorean the car, and Ms. Paris, have this in common: Being famous for being famous; fame is drawn to them because of the extremely well-crafted marketing campaigns which swirl around them. If the DeLorean car had not been in the movies (ok, in case you don't know, it's in the many "Back to the Future" movies which, for the record, we really enjoyed, especially the first and second ones). it would have remained an automotive oddity, too new to be considered a "classic" at auction, thus never drawing high bids, and eventually to fall into the "auto orphan" category, with a factory which could never service the cars or make an adequate number of spare parts. But a guy in Texas (where else?) thinks he has the answer.
Here's part of a Salt Lake Tribune story on the topic from August 20, 2007:
"A quarter century after DeLorean Motor Co. began making its glitzy, $25,000 two-seater - an operation that collapsed after two years - Stephen Wynne's small automotive outfit plans to bring the vehicle back into limited production at a 40,000-square-foot factory in this Houston suburb. DMC eventually made fewer than 9,000 cars, distinctive for their gull-wing doors, stainless-steel exterior and rear-engine design. An estimated 6,500 remain on the road. Already, the Humble (TX) operation will take an existing DeLorean, strip it to the frame and rebuild it for a base price of $42,500. The company also handles routine maintenance, such as oil changes and tuneups, and ships between 20 and 50 parts orders a day to mechanics and individual owners worldwide." ---end of story quote---
Wynn is also planning to re-create fully-running, "better-than-new" with interior, exterior and drivetrain improvements DeLoreans for about $57,500. Even venerable old Carroll Shelby once told me, "Ya know, Steve, it takes just as much money to build one car as it does to build a million of 'em", speaking as he was of Federal regulations, crash-testing and all of those other little petty "annoyances" our government demands. We well-remember all the tooling for the Avanti winding-up in the hands of some midwest mall-builder, and living as we do in the area in Palm Springs, CA, where the Avanti was designed by a team of young, eager stylists striving to save the Studebaker Corporation in 1960, led by the incredible Raymond Loewy, we do feel for this guy. And other than, "Remember the Avanti!" our other advice is: "Good luck".

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