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Lesley
Lesley Dork
6/16/08 6:13 p.m.

So, I drove one on Friday. It was interesting. Total icon, got thumbs up and huge grins everywhere I went. Really primitive (granted, it's 25 years old) heavy, heavy steering, squishy brakes and really underpowered. But, it doesn't really matter, it's such a charismatic vehicle - despite that you really couldn't call it attractive (except for the rear 3/4 view). I'm glad I had the chance to spend some time in it.

Lesley
Lesley Dork
6/16/08 6:18 p.m.

Salanis
Salanis HalfDork
6/16/08 6:19 p.m.

Please say that you drove it at least 88mph.

Lesley
Lesley Dork
6/16/08 6:25 p.m.

Yeah, I did, but not for long as it was a privately owned vehicle. Somebody's baby. :) It's only got 130 horses.

Gad, you sit low in that car, and there are actually two indents in the head-liner for headroom. You're quite reclined in the leather seats. A straight, slab-sided centre console divides the entire cockpit, it's like having a half-wall between you and your passenger. It's pretty noisy, there's a lot of humming and whirring from the renault engine behind you.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver New Reader
6/16/08 7:30 p.m.

A friend mine's family had one when i was in highschool, I always preferred the bricklin. (my family had one for awhile)

wcelliot
wcelliot New Reader
6/16/08 7:48 p.m.

It always amazes me when talented people are successful enough to get the opportunity to do what they want... and then set out and do the polar opposite of what made them successful.

John D. was famous for building a (relatively) light weight, inexpensive, and simple car with performance that rivaled exotics.

So when he gets the chance to build his own car, he builds a heavy, slow, expensive, complicated car that the cheapest car for sale in the US at the time (Ford Fiesta) outperforms.

(I don't hold the poor choice of the PRV6 against him though... it didn't show itself as one of the worst engines ever built until slightly later... it did look good on paper...)

Bill

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
6/16/08 8:35 p.m.

Yeah, that was an interesting project for Lotus. I suspect The Old Man knew it was gonna blow and that's why he set up this terribly complicated financial structure involving Panamanian companies to insulate Lotus from the DMC. He told DeLorean that he built fiberglass cars. DeLorean said he wanted a stainless car, so he built him a fiberglass car with a stainless skin. He told DeLorean to put it mid engine. DeLorean insisted on rear engine, so he turned it around and kinda walked away.

I remember the hype when they came out. Or just before they came out. Then the press got ahold of them and said that they sucked, mostly because there was no power. That was the end of that. Near as I can figger, there was no power because of the crap JD picked for a motor, and he picked that so that everyone in Europe had a hand at making something for the car. There is at least one DeLorean with a Lotus 910 motor. The transmission is the same, just with the diff gear swapped.

neon4891
neon4891 HalfDork
6/16/08 8:54 p.m.

What would it take to make one, how do I put it nicely, not suck, in the performance department

Lesley
Lesley Dork
6/16/08 9:57 p.m.

I think originally he wanted a rotary engine in it.

Wonder what it would be like with a good s/c four cyl. swap. Tailpipes are pretty small too, so maybe a nice, less restrictive exhaust system. Dunno. It's more about making a statement than it is about performance. Kids sure like it. :)

Woodyhfd
Woodyhfd GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/17/08 10:28 a.m.
Dr. Hess wrote: He told DeLorean to put it mid engine. DeLorean insisted on rear engine, so he turned it around and kinda walked away. There is at least one DeLorean with a Lotus 910 motor. The transmission is the same, just with the diff gear swapped.

I always thought that they were mid engine. What was John Z. thinking?

16vCorey
16vCorey Dork
6/17/08 11:57 a.m.

Yep, there's one in my garage right now. It's a pain in my ass.

fiat22turbo
fiat22turbo SuperDork
6/17/08 12:18 p.m.

Perhaps he was thinking of making a newer Corvair?

There was a 4-rotor swapped DeLorean on the web someplace. I don't remember if it was swapped to be mid engined or not. I do remember that It was painted black, looked very Esprit that way

Lesley
Lesley Dork
6/17/08 2:51 p.m.

Corey, is there an "on, off" switch on the console? If so, what the hell is it for?

16vCorey
16vCorey Dork
6/17/08 2:55 p.m.

I can't remember. I'll have to check when I get home.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
6/17/08 3:43 p.m.

I drove one many years ago, it had old hard as a rock tires and the owner was with me, so no silliness. Slow, but fun because of all the attention it got. The gullwing doors were a beeyotch, you had to be very careful of where you parked. This one was also painted red, it seems there had been some body damage and the repairs left scorch marks on the stainless that couldn't be removed. So the guy had it painted it red, it was actually pretty sharp looking.

John Z started out with the best of (engineering) intentions and wound up with a car designed by a committee. The story goes that Chapman insisted on using the backbone frame (since Lotus held patents related to its design and use) and threatened to pull out of the project if John Z didn't go along with his ideas. As far as the multitude of components from all over Europe, if you look at European cars today they are done the same way. When I was with VW, it was not unusual to have 4 or 5 suppliers for the same component. The PRV6 wasn't the best choice for an engine, but at the time there was a lot of hullabaloo about this 'bleeding edge design'. Over here, it was best known for powering the Eagle Premier.

JZD and CC stole a LOT of money from the British government while developing the car; in fact, Chapman's money guy wound up taking the fall for the whole fiasco, so Lotus did not come out entirely clean. If Chapman hadn't died (or gone missing for you conspiracy freaks) he would likely have gone to jail as well. JZD got out by the skin of his teeth. In some ways, the FBI bust was the best thing that could have happened to him, since the Brits had a hard time extraditing him while he was facing federal charges over here.

EDIT: Chapman's money guy was Fred Bushell and he served 3 years in the slammer. The judge who sentenced him said that JZD and CC deserved 10 years each for their part in the thievery.

Chris_V
Chris_V SuperDork
6/18/08 9:06 a.m.
fiat22turbo wrote: Perhaps he was thinking of making a newer Corvair? There was a 4-rotor swapped DeLorean on the web someplace. I don't remember if it was swapped to be mid engined or not. I do remember that It was painted black, looked very Esprit that way

It was a 3 rotor, 300 hp version.

http://www.eliseusa.com/rotary.htm

fiat22turbo
fiat22turbo SuperDork
6/18/08 12:19 p.m.

Ah, thanks for the correction. I was being lazy and didn't fell like seeking it out. Looks to be a lot of fun!

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave SuperDork
6/18/08 1:25 p.m.
16vCorey wrote: Yep, there's one in my garage right now. It's a pain in my ass.

How did i not know this?

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/18/08 1:38 p.m.

The sad part is that I DID know about it...

Two words Eagle Premier.

confuZion3
confuZion3 Reader
6/18/08 2:42 p.m.

Small tailpipes mean less emissions. Hey, if it can't get out of the exhaust system, how is it supposed to pollute the air!?

I'd love to drive one of those some time. There were two at my local drive-in a few weeks ago. I think they're cool-looking cars. But is it true that the windows don't go down?

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/18/08 3:11 p.m.
neon4891 wrote: What would it take to make one, how do I put it nicely, not suck, in the performance department
  1. Take a giant mold of the Delorean
  2. Get an AW11 and remove all body panels
  3. Put aluminum replica Delorean body on AW11 chassis
  4. Fun!
16vCorey
16vCorey Dork
6/18/08 3:13 p.m.
DILYSI Dave wrote:
16vCorey wrote: Yep, there's one in my garage right now. It's a pain in my ass.
How did i not know this?

It's not mine, I'm just working on it for a guy. If it were mine, it probably would have been rolled down the hill and into the woods behind my garage by now. It seems to piss me off every time I touch it.

neon4891
neon4891 HalfDork
6/18/08 4:02 p.m.

Yeay, someone answerd my question, thoe not really grassroots. I think I have heard something about N.O.S. parts being used to make NEW models, that suposedly don't suck.

editI found it www.delorean.com $57k base, $5k for a H.O.(197hp) engine option

pinchvalve
pinchvalve SuperDork
6/18/08 4:02 p.m.

You are speaking about DeLorean as if the company was dead. It is in fact alive and well in Texas.

http://www.delorean.com

You can get parts, a complete "new" car, or have your car returned to as-new or better condition. These guys bought the name, the rights, all leftover parts, the whole ball of wax.

billy3esq
billy3esq Dork
6/18/08 9:07 p.m.

^ Yep, although I'm pretty sure it's a different company that purchased most of the assets of the original DMC. They're about 15 minutes from my house. I drive by it on my way to my parents' house.

One of these days when I've got an extra $60k lying around, I'll probably stop in and buy one. Meh, who am I kidding? If I had an extra $60k, I'd buy an Exige.

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