Hello, my name is Clint, I'm 24, live in Sacramento CA and welcome to the restoration thread on my car "Loreana" 1981 Delorean, black interior, manual VIN #1768. You will see just about every job a Delorean owner could need to perform to return this long abused car back into good health. In the 3 years I've owned and restored this car, many of my mechanic friends noted that this car would have been in the junkyard if it weren't for me, or that they considered Loreana a parts car when I bought her. When I began this project I was fresh out of automotive Tech school and working at a two man fabrication shop so I didn't have the proper money needed to simply replace everything that needed fixing. However, I was going to be sure this car still got what it deserved - a new lease on life through a lot of hard work. I've learned so much from this car and I want to share my experiences with you.
This thread was one of the longest and most popular back on the old DMCTALK.com site and some have asked that I bring it back. Luckily I've mirrored many of the posts on other car forums which helps to bring this back. I've cleaned it up and made some more logical posts this time. The content gets more defined and the posts towards the end are much better than these early ones. This is still a ongoing project so there is plenty more to come.
I hope you enjoy it and I hope it helps many of you new owners learn about the problems you have that may be similar to mine:
One of the most asked questions I get with my car is "Where in the world did you find that?" as if it was a wild unicorn from outer space. While I'm still working on a quick and easily explainable answer, this is the long version- It all started with a 1987 Yugo, I found one for sale at a junkyard in Sacramento and I just had to save it. It was a lot of fun repairing it and making it look better, but while it was very fun I wanted something RWD and a bit peppier but still with Italian flair. I found a '77 Fiat 124 on Craigslist but after months of work that car got nowhere (it caught fire many times) and always put up too much of a fight so I decided to move on and it went back on Craigslist. I had little trouble selling it to a man named Peter who had a warehouse shop in Oakland, Ca full of more interesting cars. I delivered the hateful Fiat to his shop and he showed me around his great collection.
There was only one car I was truly interested in. I was in disbelief, this car was the first one I'd seen in person for years. I've wanted a D since I was 5 yrs old because of BTTF and had been saving since I was 8.
These are the first photographs I have of her:
Peter explained this car did not belong to him, he was storing it for the owner Greg who worked in San Fran. After a quick call he was able to come over and talk with me about it. Here's the back story: Greg bought the car in '2000 back in Massachusetts from the 2nd owner. The car had been on the east coast since new and serviced by Grady. In 2001 Greg moved out west, stopping in Texas for some service in Houston then continued to its new home in Berkeley, CA. With very little spare time to repair or enjoy the car, Greg decided it was time to sell it to someone that would care for the car and enjoy it more than he did.
The original owner put about 20k miles on it in 2-3 years, then for unknown reasons it was parked in 1984ish. It sat 15 years mostly likely outside or in a wet garage and that's how the rust formed.
Circa 1998 it was bought by a guy who owned a gas station repair shop in Boston, this guy got it working and maybe put a few thousand miles on it.
2000 Greg bought the car and had a few repairs done by Grady. He says he drove the hell out of it up in the empty forest back roads of Massachusetts. In 2001 he moved to Austin, TX and drove the car there stopping in DMCH for some work. It broke down about 1/2 mile from the shop. Greg did a few other repairs after that when he lived in Austin for a few years but he never registered or licensed the car after he left Massachusetts in 2001.
2005ish he moved to the Bay area and drove the car from Austin almost non stop by himself, fearing it would never restart if he did stop. After moving to Cali the car was only driven about 100 miles as it had a bad hot restart problem. It was parked until I bought it April 2009 making me the 4th owner.
Since the car hadn't run in years and needed lots of work to be roadworthy I negotiated down to $5000. It was a good deal for me. I even found $1 in the ash tray!
Engine bay was very neglected, A/C frozen.
Minor dents in the roof, Mercedes 6.9 in the background.
Interior was intact and fair for the age.
There were quite a few dents however, this on the RR quarter being the worst.
The worst of the car was the underside that had been rotted by the Massachusetts winters.
April 18th, 2009 I returned and was able to see the car in sunlight for the first time. That day I took ownership of the car one of the happiest days of my young life. I loaded it up and took it back to Sacramento.
Look at that low mileage!
Got to dig that Atari plate frame!