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matt clark
06-11-2018, 01:49 PM
Like a lot of people in their mid-30s, I was introduced to BTTF at quite a young age, and it was easy to fall in love with the time machine - but I didn't really think of it as a car, or even a real object - it was just a cool movie 'thing'. A couple of years later - in 1997 - I was beginning to take an interest in cars, and by chance I looked at a classic car mag in the shop I worked in, and the first page I opened it to was this piece featuring Rob Lamrock's car.

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The article hooked me; it focused more on the 'so near yet so far' aspect of the history rather than the scandal, and was a largely sympathetic write-up of the car. As I did more research I realised that in the UK, at that time, articles like this were rare - most very sour about the car due to the money invested and the scandal surrounding it. For contrast, a car book in my school library had a section on the DeLorean written by Quentin Willson, and you can imagine what that was like... From there I hoovered up everything I could on the car; before the internet, I paid a book finder to track down Ivan Fallon's book for me, and I found the Gold Portfolio (the collection of magazine articles reprinted as a book). That led me to the UK owners club, at that point run by Dave Howarth, who was always good enough to patiently chat to me about the cars whenever I phoned up with whatever collection of dumb questions a 13-year old could muster (a lot, as it turned out). Eventually he invited me up the the big annual classic car show in Birmingham on set-up day to see my first car, and it was: awesome.

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I think everyone remembers the first time they saw one, mainly how in real life they look nothing like they do on TV - it always surprises me how low and flat they are. I took a saturday job working in an exotic car body shop, around Countaches and 308s all day long, and none of them seemed as incredible as the DeLorean did. From that point onwards, I was determined to get one - which ended up proving difficult as I was also chasing a career in TV / film which typically means waiting a few years for it to pay off. I was still at uni when John died in 2005; the price of cars here didn't really spike much, and, still having a terrible reputation, I thought I still had plenty of time to get one at what now seems like an absurdly low price. After that, though, they started to rise and the race was on to get one while also having to pay London rents, save up to buy a house, and keep a daily driver on the road. It was touch and go for a long time, but Dave and Chris Parnham of the DOC were great at keeping me engaged with the idea of getting a car. Chris in particular kept me in the loop with all the RHD cars he was uncovering, or photo archives he found, or factory workers he was meeting. One of the best things about this car is the community behind it - I think that's the perk of being in the club of an underdog or not overly prestigious marque.

For my 30th birthday my girlfriend secretly got in touch with Chris and arranged for him to lend me one of his right hand drive cars for the day - getting handed the keys to #522 and told "come back in the evening" was hands down the best, and most terrifying, present I could have asked for. I was always worried actually driving one would be a bit of a let down - and to be fair by that point my daily driver 3-series was a lot quicker... but that didn't make it any less special.

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A year later, having managed to not drive it into a wall, he also gave me the keys to another of his RHD cars, VIN #5683 - the factory-made auto, to take down to the same car show where I saw my first car, while he drove Pilot 20 down on a trailer.

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Interestingly, that second RHD car was advertised for sale in that first magazine I'd bought back in 1997. This was back when the RHD cars were slowly being discovered - you can get even get a decent LHD car here for that price now. The red car listed there for 10,500 seems like such a bargain now.

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About a year ago, I started seriously looking for a car - by which point prices here had risen to 3 times what they were when I first became interested, and the disparity between the /$ wasn't as favourable as it was then. I was a bit despondent - I was seeing project cars here go for 20k on occasion and I felt like they were rising faster than I could catch up with them (owning a house, it turns out, is an expensive thing to do). A few months ago, my girlfriend sent me a link to a BHCC car - I'd stopped checking there as they were selling some real basket cases - but the one she sent me actually didn't look *too* bad. Rough overall, but the fundamentals looked solid enough, and certainly savable for the money. A day later I got a call starting me on a big Netflix show, which I took as a good omen, so I tentatively reached out to them - asking first about the shipping process because that would be the make or break of it - and to their credit, they were really helpful and it was surprisingly cheap, so, following some haggling, and after 21 years, I pulled the trigger on #4267.

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It took about two and a half months from buying it to it arriving in Southampton - I finally got to go see it on Friday - only for 20 minutes, and even in this state, it's pretty amazing to have my own car after all this time. Seeing it in the warehouse like this reminded me of the very first car I saw at the NEC - I think these cars look best under warehouse lighting conditions! I'm having it transported to where it's going to live this week, so on Saturday I'll have a chance to fully inspect it and figure out where to start...

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For those of you who use Instagram, I've set up an account for my car here: http://instagram.com/delorean4267/ - I'll be posting the work there over the next... few years? I guess? As well as stuff from DeLorean events I've been too, memorabilia I own, that sort of thing.

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Dangermouse
06-11-2018, 02:57 PM
Great story Matt. Glad you got the car at last. Can't wait to hear what those blue lights are all about :)

MML
06-11-2018, 03:32 PM
Nice writeup Matt! Hope to see it at Eurofest 2021! :)

matt clark
06-11-2018, 05:48 PM
Nice writeup Matt! Hope to see it at Eurofest 2021! :)

I *really* hope it's up and running by then. Taking it around the track is as big a dream as owning the car! The 20 odd laps I did with you were awesome.


Great story Matt. Glad you got the car at last. Can't wait to hear what those blue lights are all about :)

Yeeeah. I've never seen anything like that?

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From the brief time I had to look at the car, the stainless looks mostly fine. I didn't see any dings beyond this in the LFF:

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....so on that front I'm quite lucky. There might be some smaller ones lurking but generally it seemed pretty good. The crash damage you can see in the BHCC listing is about what I expected:

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I'd like to solicit opinions on the DMCH fibreglass fascias versus tracking down an original. The rear fascia has a similar split along the black / grey divide so I'm not sure if they both need replacing. I'm assuming the wing/fender is a write off.

I'm a bit concerned with what's going on with the roof / T panel / door fit:

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Some of the interior plastics are salvageable, but not much. Eventually I want to do a retrim based on the Visioneering car but in grey, so that's not really the end of the world. The seats look oddly good, though.

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This, I assume, will be Not Fun:

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Oh, and the passenger door handle is gone, and so are the struts, so I didn't fancy trying to Indiana Jones my way in from the drivers side to attempt to open the passenger one - will buy some broom handles tomorrow to hold the doors up. I have new struts, at least, so that'll probably be the first job I do.

Current mood:

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DMC-81
06-11-2018, 07:35 PM
Congrats Matt! I remember my delivery day very well. How exciting for you!

Best of luck on the restoration. Mine took 4 years, but was totally worth it.

:cheers:

matt clark
06-15-2018, 09:15 AM
While I'm at work, the car is making it's jouney to where it's going to live for a while - people were sending me this on twitter asking if it was mine, and it was! This is a weird experience.

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Jonathan
06-15-2018, 09:28 AM
This, I assume, will be Not Fun:

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Is the ignition switch missing?

matt clark
06-15-2018, 10:09 AM
There's a small box of spares which I'm yet to check, but it's probably gone, yes.

matt clark
06-16-2018, 05:47 PM
The car is definitely better than I was expecting, a proper clean-up of the stainless was really heartening as everything looks in pretty good condition. It was great to see that the engine too looked better than expected and the box of bits was not critical stuff. With not much time this morning, there was some changing of struts and cleaning up - starting light! With that in mind, just exterior pictures for now...

We set off from home at about 5:30am to get to it's temporary home in time for the drop-off, and as I hoped, we caught up with the car on the flatbed.

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The rain did a bit of a pre-emptive clean:

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I like lower than stock ride height (the Visioneering car, as ever, is the perfect reference) and I think this one is actually a bit *too* low. Wondering if it's cut springs:

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We quickly worked out that the blue on those headlights was just spray paint - the finish was actually really good on it, but still, a strange thing to do. My girlfriend took over the scraping off of most of it as she really hated it. Having this gone really makes the car look less of a wreck. We'll get the rest off with the acetone for cleaning the tank later.


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With the stainless all cleaned up, and the black painted areas cleared of all the dust, I am amazed at how much better the car looks!

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The hood fits perfectly with no curling edges or visible 'x' in the skin, but the release cable is severed so we're stopping it from closing fully at the moment.

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21 years from this...

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...to this!

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I'll be back with the car in a few weeks so I'll start with cleaning out the fuel tank....

Riley88
06-16-2018, 06:28 PM
Hey man, you had the dream, the desire, made it happen and now you have your car! I was in a similar situation when i was on the hunt for mine. You definitely have alot of work cut out for you but remember in the end it will be worth it. Your car isnt too bad actually. Put in some hours and ask when you have questions this community is pretty darn awesome!

matt clark
07-27-2018, 07:08 PM
Big thanks to a group of local DOC members who came down the other night (in a much nicer car) to have a look over 4267. General consensus is that it's pretty good! I feel much happier about the car after having 3 owners look over it. We got it up on the jacks and had a look underneath - the belly plate isn't corroded - nor are the nuts on it sized - and apart from some general wear and tear (it's a 90k car) it seems solid.

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The fuel tank was, as feared, full of nasty petrol, and also, conveniently, missing a fuel pump.

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Chris P sorted me out with a new tank and I've ordered a new pump + hoses + fittings etc, so getting the old one out and the new bits in will be my task next week.

I also started removing what was left of the headliners. An easy job but the amount of nasty crumbly foam you get in your eyes + mouth kind of sucks.

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The car didn't come with any door headliners so I need to replace all of it. At least them being out makes the car feel a bit cleaner and less of a grotbag project.

In cleaning out the car, I found some interesting previous owner items:

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My t-panel area is a bit of a nightmare and I'd appreciate suggestions on it... You can see that it's off-centered, pushed too far to the right (camera left)

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But the holes/fittings suggest that it's not far *enough* to the right... The panel wasn't screwed in or attached anywhere - I did wonder why this was, I guess this explains it? Not really sure what to do about it.

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The roofbox shows no sign of corroding or separating, so it's not that... the panel was also binding on the doors, at the strut area and at the windscreen area. The struts were rubbing on the panel causing it to warp and lift, and the other owners pointed out that this was because the strut mounts are the wrong way around - the long ones are on the door and the short ones are on the body.

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That at least solves that issue (or at least it will when I get around to fixing it). The doors appear to catch the panel due to a number of things - one door's hinge is loose so the roof part of the door sits higher than it should, nipping the corner of the panel, and the other door seems to be pressed down - where the panel is closer than it should be - also causing it to rub/nip. The door/hinge issue sorts another issue, but I still can't work out why the T panel is off-centre (and why the mounting holes are even more off centre)

The tail lamps on the car have the indicators painted red (or a deep orange, hard to tell). I'm going to strip it off to see if the original orange is still there or if they've faded white. If they have, I've got an older set of lamps that are totally melted at the rear, but the lenses are fine.

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How do you get the lamps apart to remove the lenses? Is it under the gasket or is it pressure clips?