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Thread: VIN 5609 The story of a remanufactured DeLorean

  1. #1
    Banned Michael's Avatar
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    VIN 5609 The story of a remanufactured DeLorean and an OCD owner

    5609 was doomed. There was to be no restoration. The well known Ken Koncelik had acquired 5609 in hopes of restoring her like so many before her, but after seeing the extent of the decay, he decided to part it out. Many in the community chastised him for doing so, even though he had restored several DeLoreans in the past, that didn't matter. Die-hards were up in arms and made their feelings known. But the truth was the truth, there was no hope for 5609, and she would be soon lost.
    Here she is circa 2003 during the parting out "death"

    After the carnage, and all the good parts were scattered across the globe, 5609(what was left of her) began her sunset years. She was to share the same fate like so many before her, to slowly rot away and become lost on a thicket of bushes and weeds....but this was 2003, and a new program was in the works 1,500 miles away. This second chance spawned by DeLorean of Humble was to rebuild, restore, replace, or refinish every single part of the DMC-12. The new venture would take a donar car in any condition and replace every single panel, interior trim, electrical part, nut, bolt, hose, clamp, rubber weatherstrip...whatever it took to make a DeLorean everything it could and should be. The remanufacturing process would include brand new 0 mile NOS engine and transmission, a frame stripped of the epoxy coating and powdercoated in the original factory color, the underbody would have all cracks or damage repaired before being refinished in factory satin black. The flaky shift computer would be replaced with a modern solid state unit, as would be the door lock module, and several other parts that were problematic in the 80's would be replaced with modern day reliable remanufactured replacements. This was to be an ultimate restoration program, and people would pay for it...almost double what a nice condition used DeLorean would sell for. This would be the salvation 5609 needed, and DMCH needed candidates. Around 2005, 5609 was sold to DMCH. There wasn't much left, but that didn't matter. All DMCH really needs is a set of vin plates and a clean title...they can provide the rest, and for the most part that's exactly what happened.

    In late 2005, a remanufactured DeLorean was to be commissioned. This car would have all the stops pulled out. It would have the Stage II engine package, Alpine/Genesis sound package which included the Alpine head unit, CD Changer under the bonnet, speakers, and a JL Audio 8" sub behind the driver. To drive all this would be the Genesis Profile 5 amplifier. These components all tuck away out of sight. The amplifier although large, was very thin which allowed it to be placed behind the parcel shelf. Only a small fan opening is visible.

    Also desired was the Eibach spring and performance shock package which gives the car the proper aggressive stance. Headlights were upgraded to xenon boosted halogen Cibie headlamps. Machined finished wheels, 140 mph speedometer, and a fitted cover rounded out the optional accessories. This guy knew what he wanted...everything. James Espy described the soon to be owner as a demanding PITA who often sent an employee to check in on the status of his dream machine. Here are a few photos of the car being brought back to life:

    On May 1, 2006, 5609 was finished and on May 9, the new owner took possession of his DeLorean. In the months that followed, he fell onto hard times, and 5609 was put up for sale after logging only 1,700 miles on her. It did not sell until he shipped it with 3 other cars from his collection to a car broker friend of his in Boca Raton Florida, who promptly put it up on ebay.

    Enter me. I had been searching off and on for a few years, never too serious at times, and at other times ready to drive home in the first thing I saw. Around December 2008, I got very serious and decided to double my efforts. After lurking for months, I joined and began PMing members and pestering the crap out of everyone with a DeLorean for sale. I already drove a 300 mile round trip to drive one car, and was looking hard at a second when I saw 5609 on ebay. Wow! A remanufactured DeLorean maxed out with a Stage II and only 1,700 miles on it? Is this real? After several phone calls, we negotiated a price and I bought it right over the phone. I would send a deposit to him and pay the balance in person. I took a chance, but he had 100% feedback, and I still had the cashier's check and the option of backing out if I didn't like what I saw.

    Several members assured me that I would not buy it for what I was going to offer and I was just dreaming. After receiving my deposit check that I overnighted to him, he ended the auction and I made plans to fly down and drive it home pending the inspection. To be honest, I am still surprised I got it, (in other words, I stole it). I think the reason I lucked out like it did was the economy was in trouble. The 07 housing bubble was still hurting a lot of people(and still is), and on the day I picked up my car, the Dow was around 7,500....panic was in the air, the car market was soft, and this was the right time and place for me to be if I was ever going to make this move.

    Part II coming soon.
    Last edited by Michael; 08-21-2013 at 01:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Domi's Avatar
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    Location:  France

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    My VIN:    16951

    Club(s):   (DCO) (DOA) (DCUK)

    Sounds an interesting car story

  3. #3's #2 MDC - Mike C.'s Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Huntersville, NC

    Posts:    1,405

    My VIN:    16336 (SOLD)

    Holy cow! Can't wait to read more!
    One of's original admins

    Mainly lurking, just passing through. Still enjoying reading about everyone's progress.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jimmyvonviggle's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jun 2011

    Location:  Calgary

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    My VIN:    3028

    That's an interesting read, enjoyed it!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Josh's Avatar
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    Location:  SK, Canada

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    This is a great story! I never knew you had a new build.

    5.3L LS4 + Subaru 6spd 314whp/348ft-lbs
    Getting it back on the road!
    LS Swap

  6. #6
    Banned Michael's Avatar
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    Part II, The way home

    I hung up the phone. My hands were shaky, my heart was pounding. I have been in some high dollar poker hands before and I hoped my poker face was better than my DeLorean face. "Guess what honey...I bought a DeLorean!" I exclaimed coming out of my office. She wondered if I meant another model or the real thing, but the look on my face answered that question before it was asked. The next few days she planned a flight down for me and my room for the night. D Day was set for Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009, about 10 days away.

    10 days later I rose from my hotel bed,... I didn't sleep one wink. I tried to sleep for the long drive in front of me, but it was a hopeless battle between logic and mind against sheer excitement and anticipation. We arranged a meeting point a block or two away from my hotel. As I was walking and on the phone with him, he says he is close. I happened to look up and I saw 5609 in person for the first time. It was a fleeting glimpse from several hundred feet as he exited the freeway, but I knew that was my car. A few minutes later I was in the passenger seat of my dream car being driven to the museum in Boca Raton to sign the paperwork. After inspecting the car and finding no serious surprises(CD changer didn't work, Sub didn't work, things I knew probably did work just needed to be "massaged"), he took me to show me his own car collection.

    He was not very familiar with DeLoreans at all, but he did have a nice museum, I got a quick tour of about 70 cars and I would have liked to have stayed longer but I needed to get on the road. I was in Boca Raton and home was almost 1000 miles from me. We parted ways and I was off about 11am. What a shame it was that I was so close to Daytona Beach but didn't go, I was too worried about this unknown car that I had never seen before today. I was about to rely on this car to carry me 1000 miles and over 2 mountains, this car that even when new didn't have the best reputation for reliability. Set course for home...Engage.

    The trip home was indeed uneventful. It was a picture perfect day, 70 degrees, sunny, a perfect day for a road trip, and a perfect car for it. After a lunch break, I started reading the mountain of manuals that came with the car. Not just the car itself, but the books for the speakers, sub, amplifier, head unit and CD changer. I fooled around with the stereo and figured out how to turn the sub on, and the audio was all out of whack probably due to a dead battery sometime in the past and nobody knew how to set the speakers up.

    I did have one incident. I was unaware of how the bonnet release felt, so at a gas stop I pulled the release handle trying to feel the distinct "pop" of a panel under pressure being released, but the bonnet was already open. I fueled up and a few hundred miles later I repeated this step at the next gas station. Something was different, there was nothing but a dangling handle. At the last stop I pulled too hard and snapped the cable, now I couldn't open the bonnet! I slowly clicked in my little brain that I couldn't put gas in my car! Now that gas flap thing makes sense. Ahhh but I was clever, I purchased a small cheap tool set before the trip for just such an emergency. I would just use the wire snips, cut the cable housing exposing fresh cable, and pop the bonnet with a pair of where is that tool kit? "In the trunk" my clever mind remembered.
    So off to another parts store for another pair of cutters, then get some gas. An hour later I was fueled up and back on my way.

    I crossed into Georgia around sunset and stopped at a rest station. I took this picture, the first pics of my car under my care. You can still see the Texas state inspection sticker in the windshield:

    Another 4 hours of driving and I was still in N. Carolina. It had turned colder now and I was thinking I could be home in 3 hours, but I have one more mountain to cross, did I want to do that in this car that I still wasn't sure of? I decided since I was so very sleepy and tired I would stay the night and be home by lunchtime tomorrow. I updated my thread on, took a shower, and went back outside to look at my non-functioning CD changer. 2 minutes later it was fixed, someone had incorrectly loaded a CD tray in the magazine. After a quick once over, I locked the care and went to bed.

    late the next morning I arrived home hoping the neighbors were out so they could see this sleek stainless marvel of mine. I rolled into my driveway, honked the horn and in my excitement, somehow locked the door while at the same time opening the latch...and trapping myself in my sleek stainless marvel. "OK, don't let the neighbors come out just yet" I crawled out through the passenger side, fooled around with the lock for a minute and to this day I don't know why that happened, and it has never happened again.

    Now the OCD starts. I grew up in squalor. We were very poor, and my parents did not bother with keeping anything in our trailer clean or tidy. It was horrible filth. I was out of that place ASAP. Now I am anal to a fault, I think my childhood home has a lot to do with that. My home stays clean, it stays orderly. I don't even like it when my wife leaves magazines on the table(especially when she leaves them open and folded over, that really bothers me for some reason). I am always organizing things and if things get too cluttered(I hate clutter), I go into "clean mode" and trash everything that I can't find a home for. My wife hates this as I toss out a lot of stuff she wanted to keep like coupons, magazines, or boxes.

    I had to wash this car right away, even though it would just be a quick wash, I needed to knock the dirt off. My wife came out and shot this:

    I of course didn't stop with just a wash. I had already taken the day off so what else was I to do? I gave it a light detail and familiarized myself with the car. I read the owners' manual, checked the tires, oil, trans fluid, etc. to make sure nothing had leaked out from the trip. That night, I cleaned myself up and went for a quick drive in familiar territory and introduced 5609 to her new stomping grounds. It was a nice cool night, I was refreshed and I was calm now that my car had made it home. I could trust her now and I could relax and finally truly enjoy driving my dream car. I stopped and took a few more pictures. This remains one of my favorite pictures of my car, not because of the aesthetics, it's deeper than that.

    Part III, the journey to take my car from nice to flawless.
    Last edited by Michael; 08-22-2013 at 01:32 AM.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Great story. Its like watching A Christmas Story the movie. I bet you can still remember the smell of that night!

  8. #8
    Aussie Member Tillsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Ahhh but I was clever, I purchased a small cheap tool set before the trip for just such an emergency. I would just use the wire snips, cut the cable housing exposing fresh cable, and pop the bonnet with a pair of where is that tool kit? "In the trunk" my clever mind remembered.

  9. #9's #2 MDC - Mike C.'s Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Huntersville, NC

    Posts:    1,405

    My VIN:    16336 (SOLD)

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post

    I absolutely love these two pics of your car. The second one I copied reminds me of my car because I loved taking night shots of it.
    One of's original admins

    Mainly lurking, just passing through. Still enjoying reading about everyone's progress.

  10. #10
    Banned Michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I absolutely love these two pics of your car. The second one I copied reminds me of my car because I loved taking night shots of it.
    Thanks all. Night shots are nice with good lighting because they really enhance the stainless panels. Personally I like dusk settings. There was one member who shot his car in a parking garage, those looked very nice.

    I am enjoying writing it as it is bringing back all the memories. Do you notice a small..very small difference in the two pictures of me washing the car and the night shot? They were taken only hours apart but there is one small little thing that is different about the car. In the anticipation of my new DeLorean, I ordered some things and had them waiting at home for me. I had all the maintainence items needed such as oil filters, plugs, fuel and air filter, and one item that I noticed missing from the eBay ad, but I liked the look. Answer below:

    The DeLorean hood badge was missing. I really liked the way it finishes out that area of the car, so on the very first day home, she got her crown back. Just a little present to let 5609 know she was now in very good hands.
    Last edited by Michael; 08-22-2013 at 09:13 AM.

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