View Full Version : The DeLorean "Ship of Theseus" thread

08-24-2011, 07:05 PM
For those not familiar with the story; wikipedia actually has a very good write-up on it here.


The question comes up time and time again, most often in this section, of when does a modded car cease to be a DeLorean. Since there will never be a final answer and all of it is opinion, this thread, perhaps worthy of being sticky-ed, is a place to put those tangent ideas from other threads.

08-24-2011, 08:34 PM
that is a great question and ive always thought when the "heart" of the object has been replaced, its now different. like for a car the sub body ( delorean's underbody)
a bike's frame, a ships keel, etc but it all changes on case by case situations as well.

best not to think too deeply on it:wink:

08-25-2011, 12:36 AM
It's the same for other classic cars as well. My Mustang has had the hood, both front fenders, trunk lid, rear tail panel, lower rear tail panel, and passenger rear quarter sheetmetal replaced. She needs the driver rear quarter replaced and both doors reskinned (they are not the original doors). I might go as far as to replace the cowl as well. As far as the DOT is concerned she's still the same vin even though the only original skin left will be her roof.

I've seen car restorations that they might as well jacked up the vin plate and slid another car under it. When you replace 90% of the car...it isn't the same car.

Chris Burns
08-25-2011, 12:55 AM
I'm for keeping classic cars as original as possible, but there are some things that can't be helped.

08-25-2011, 01:24 AM
Another factor in this area is the legal aspect. To cite an example I find interesting: Fiero-based Ferraris. I've seen some amazing creations where a majority of the parts are actually from a Ferrari; tail lights, steering wheel, interior pieces, etc, and all the body panels are custom created to fit the lines of the desired car. The motor was also swapped with, if memory serves, a Porsche engine and transmission. Regardless of what the motor was, there was less Fiero on that car than there was of any other car part used. Though, in the eyes of the DMV, it was still a Fiero.

I think that William's abomination is going to fall into that class. When the frame is so heavily altered that it no longer resembles factory configuration, the steering system changed, the body remade out of aluminum, and every single line of the original car obliterated, it can no longer be considered a DeLorean. The only thing about the car that will remain will be the VIN tags.