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Thread: Starting My Journey

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Mar 2013

    Posts:    24

    Question Starting My Journey

    Age 5....I see Back to the Future for the first time...I find myself captivated and in love with this new futuristic car that is like nothing else I have ever seen... Age 8...My parents arrange for a BTTF Delorean to come to our house for my Birthday at night and I go for a ride.... Age 17...I write a full documentary on the story of John DeLorean for school...the day I turn in my paper..I walk outside and a DMC-12 drives by...

    The DeLorean has inspired me my entire life and I have waited 23 of my 28 years on this planet to get one...and now...Its finally time...Age 28...I start looking for a car...

    Hello everyone, My name is Patrick, I live in Simi Valley California and I am CRAZY about DeLoreans. I finally have the financial means to pick up my dream car and I wanted to ask all of you what I should look for as I shop. Here is what I know so far, but please chime in at any time and give me some pointers, I could really use them.

    From the research I have gathered, some important points are:

    *check for frame rust, avoid cars with any signs of bubbling epoxy on the frame.
    *avoid cars that have been sitting for long periods of time and do not run as the fuel system deteriorates over time
    *avoid cars with electrical issues as they are a wiring nightmare
    *make sure to immediately install DMC Stainless Fuel Lines to avoid fires
    *avoid early builds before October of 81 as they have more flaws in the build quality

    Please tell me if I am wrong about any of the above information and any additional points you think I should be aware of going into this. My goal is to buy a car that needs some work, but starts up, runs and drives reliably, I dont mind a battered interior, or a car that needs new gas struts, weather stripping, etc. My price range is around 20-30k.

    I also would like to ask on your opinions of the "new" DeLorean Motor Company, are they reputable? Are their prices considered reasonable by the community? Do the do good work? Who do you take your car to/get parts from? All Input is welcome. Im new to this, any and all information is appreciated. Thank you all so much for any and all help you can provide! God Bless!



  2. #2
    Join Date:  Jan 2019

    Posts:    86

    Awesome to hear Patrick it’s great to see someone save for their dream. I recommend you pick up the Delorean buyers guide as it has all the key tips to look at for and will be a good guide going forward. Also something to be conscious of is to make sure you by the best quality you can afford and make sure you have budgeted for parts. I bought a really good quality car and I’ve spent at least $10k in repairs and upgrades. It’s a real addiction!

    In terms of DMCH Houston they are a good crowd. All Delorean vendors at the moment whether in the US or not are fine to deal with but I have to say some of the Chinese built parts may be good value but can often be more trouble than they are worth. Delorean Industries has the beat quality parts for those key items you don’t want to skimp on.
    Last edited by Jonty; 05-26-2020 at 04:43 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date:  Jan 2017

    Location:  Tempe AZ

    Posts:    39

    My VIN:    4792

    Club(s):   (AZ-D)

    Welcome Patrick,

    I think your budget might be a bit low for a "reliable" car that meets your other criteria.

    At nearly 40 years old, build date doesn't matter, maintenance and repair history does.

    It seems unlikely that someone would spend the money to make a car reliable, and then not change out weatherstripping, or a gas strut.

    If you're not able to leverage the purchase of a turn-key car, you'll need to reconsider what you're willing to tackle in terms of repair and restoration.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Mar 2013

    Posts:    24

    @Jonty ,

    Hi! I completely agree! I have budgeted for some parts. But depending on the price, as I mention below to Ethan, it may eat into that budget some... I am a grocery worker so I only make middle class wage. I planned on getting a car I could keep garaged and take out on days off and fix things slowly over time, that's mainly what I did with my last project, though a decent chunk of change was needed to restore its body in the beginning due to the paint being faded and ghe mount of rust present.
    As for the D, I don't plan on upgrading much, I want to keep it fairly stock with upgrades to safety and especially installing a security system with an immobilizer, only personalization stuff I want to add would be eventually an upgraded stereo with backup camera and the "UK" exhaust. Though I won't be able to do the exhaust until I move out of state as it isn't legal in California.

    @Ethan Rode ,

    The highest I could possibly spend at this time would be 35k, but it would have to be a darn good car. I've seen a few for sale both on here and on a few other websites around that price that seem to be in good running condition. I set my budget to 20-30k as it is what I am expecting to get for my last restoration I have done which was a 1970 Camaro. With the price exceeding that, the cost of the car would eat up a decent chunk of my parts money and I wouldn't be able to touch as many things on it right away as I would like to..

    I see a few people on YouTube who are my age that have acquired some of these cars for reasonable prices, some even lower than what I expected to pay and they managed to get them into a reliably running condition with around 5-10k and a decent amount of elbow grease, which is what gave me the inspiration to attempt to tackle this project at this point in my life.
    Being mechanically inclined myself and having done a lot of the work on my camaro myself I was hoping to save a lot on labor by doing the work myself.

    DMC Florida has 2 cars for sale, one of which is a manual and its 23k. I have inquired about it and am awaiting a response, though I am unsure that given the current situation they are even open, if I don't get a reply in the next 48 hours I'm gonna give them a ring on my day off and see if anybody picks up. The car does have higher mileage though so like you said, service and maintenance plays a huge part. But if there is any frame damage I'm not interested. Having dealt with rust on my last project and knowing full well how much it costs to fix, I want to steer completely clear of that can of worms....

    But I appreciate your insight and I will take it to mind as I begin to look for cars.

    Sent from my VS501 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rich's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  San Francisco Bay Area, Calif.

    Posts:    1,688

    My VIN:    0934

    Club(s):   (NCDMC) (DCUK)

    Happy hunting, Patrick.

    You're off to a good start.

    You didn't mention whether you've read The Illustrated Buyer's Guide to DeLorean Automobiles, the reference book by DMC's James Espey that all first-time DeLorean buyers will find useful. Get a copy if you don't have one.

    DMCH listing: the-illustrated-buyers-guide-to-delorean-automobiles
    March '81, 5-speed, black interior

  6. #6
    Join Date:  Nov 2019

    Location:  Pittsburgh, PA

    Posts:    86

    My VIN:    6791

    This might be the car for you:

    Stage II, needs ongoing cosmetic work.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Mar 2013

    Posts:    24

    @Rich Thank you! I appreciate the support. Ill order a copy, should be a good read just hope their open lol.


    O.O dude...I think you may be right...

    Sent from my VS501 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date:  Mar 2013

    Posts:    24

    Just curious, any BRP members on here? How was your experience?

    Sent from my VS501 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Sometimes Owner louielouie2000's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Austin, TX

    Posts:    639

    My VIN:    Previously 10115 & 5252

    Before you make any big decisions, I'd wait and see if any owners are getting together in your area this year. I know with the whole pandemic thing right now that may not be happening, but track down your local owners group on here or Facebook and find out. Getting to see multiple cars in person at the same time and speak with owners about their experiences is truly invaluable. It will give you a chance to see cars in different states of repair, and different option combinations. This will help you narrow down what sort of a car you want to look for. It may also give you a lead on a possible purchase: I bought both of mine through the DeLorean community itself. Plus, owners will be a bit more forthcoming in person about their experiences with particular vendors and/or replacement parts than they would be on a message board.

    Regarding the 2 cars at DMC-Florida which are priced in the 20s, I can almost guarantee they are either non-runners, or on life support. A pro tip: when reaching out to sellers, avoid texting and emailing. Pick up the phone and talk with the seller directly. DeLoreans attract a lot of people who are not serious buyers. Keep this in mind when you are speaking with a seller. If you have cash in hand and are ready to buy, let that be known.

    As far as the DMC franchises, DMC Midwest in particular has a very glowing reputation. Don't forget there are other DeLorean vendors not in the franchise which also sell and consign cars, such as DeLorean Industries in Ohio and PJ Grady in New York. Since you are split equally between DMC California and DMC Northwest in Seattle, I'd suggest calling both and seeing if you can visit either or both of them. It would make a fun road trip, and would be very educational. You can also let a vendor know you're searching for a DeLorean with specific parameters and within a certain price range, and they will notify you when one comes available.

    The best piece of advice I can give you is to be methodical and slow in your approach to buying. Most DeLoreans for sale privately are clunkers; they look cool but have been deeply neglected. Ask to see receipts for work done on the car in the past 5-10 years. Verify through Carfax/Autocheck to see if the car is being driven and kept registered/inspected every year. DeLoreans that aren't driven regularly are going to cause you the most grief. Go to some local tech days (surely some will happen this summer), go visit a vendor or two if you can, go see any local cars that pop up for sale. Educate yourself in-person before you buy. Otherwise you might end up with a car which will drain your finances and frustrate you to the point of selling. Good luck in the process, and have fun!
    Louie Golden

  10. #10
    Join Date:  Nov 2019

    Location:  Pittsburgh, PA

    Posts:    86

    My VIN:    6791

    Something that's implied in all this, especially what Louie said, is that many cars for sale aren't advertised at all. Instead, they're word of mouth through club members - this could be 50% of cars. That's why it can be great to get in with clubs and go visit. Such cars are often familiar to other club members, so they can be aware of any issues.

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