Category: DeLorean

Could this turbo engine have saved DeLorean? – Chris Theodore @Hagerty

Could this turbo engine have saved DeLorean? – Chris Theodore @Hagerty

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The twin-turbo kit from Legend Industries transformed DeLorean’s PRV V-6, and the potential was hard to deny. Courtesy Fred Dellis & Chris Theodore

Forty-two years ago, as rumors of strife and impropriety were only beginning to swirl around his fledgling car company, John Z. DeLorean entertained the idea of boosting his stainless steed. If ever a fast-looking slow car deserved more oomph, it was the DeLorean DMC-12 and its anemic 2.8-liter V-6. New York’s Legend Industries had just the thing—a twin-turbocharger upgrade that transformed the car from lamb to lion. For a tumultuous few minutes, engineer Chris Theodore and his colleagues thought they were on to something …

One day in mid-May 1980, I was sitting at my desk in Chrysler’s Highland Park Engineering Center when the phone rang. “My name is Fred Dellis,” said the voice on the other end. “I understand you’re an expert in turbocharging.”

“I have some experience,” I said. What can I do for you?”

Dellis told me he was president of Legend Industries, that they had several turbocharging programs in the works, and that Legend was looking for a vice president of engineering to lead them. I was gainfully employed at the time and told him I wasn’t interested. “You will be,” Dellis said.

He turned out to be quite persistent, and the calls continued. Finally, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to check out a potential opportunity, even if I was happy at Chrysler, so my wife and I flew to New York on a Friday evening to spend a weekend with Dellis. It was the beginning of a two-year saga I will never forget.

He turned out to be quite persistent, and the calls continued. Finally, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to check out a potential opportunity, even if I was happy at Chrysler, so my wife and I flew to New York on a Friday evening to spend a weekend with Dellis. It was the beginning of a two-year saga I will never forget.

The next morning, we were off to Long Island to visit Dellis’s Porsche/Fiat dealership in Amityville, where he introduced some of the Legend officers. In addition to his dealership, Dellis had successfully started an aftermarket turbocharging company called Windblown Systems. Emissions testing had already been completed and the kits could be dealer-installed; Windblown had even set up distribution throughout the country for Porsche 924 and VW Rabbit/Scirocco turbo kits that provided a full warranty. But Dellis wanted to take turbocharging to the OEM level. He already had a contract in hand from Fiat of North America to build a thousand Fiat Spider Turbos. He had also been in contact with John DeLorean, he said. Then he showed me the cryptic series of notes he had exchanged with John:

Dellis: “Are you interested in a turbocharged DeLorean?”

John: “Yes.”

Dellis: “Shall we meet?”

John: “Yes.”

Dellis: “When?”

John: “June 10.”

It was the John DeLorean part of the business that intrigued me. Every car guy dreams of designing his own car and starting his own car company. John looked like he might pull it off. Knowing that I would never fulfill my own dream, the next best thing would be to have a hand in helping someone else fulfill theirs.

“What will it take to bring you on board?” Dellis asked me. Before I’d even finished telling him I needed to think about it, my wife blurted out a figure. Dellis topped it, and now I was stuck. Joining Legend was a risky proposition, but I couldn’t resist the John DeLorean hook. Back in Detroit, I gave my notice at Chrysler and began preparing for the move. Then came another call from Dellis: “I need you to put together a proposal for John,” he said. “We’re meeting with him in two days.”

Proposal in hand, on June 10, 1980, I flew to New York. Dellis and I estimated the cost of the proposed twin-turbo, twin-intercooled package and headed to John’s office at 280 Park Avenue. Taking the elevator to the 43rd floor, we entered the magnificent lobby of DeLorean Motor Company.

John’s secretary, Marian Gibson, came out to escort us to his office (it was Marian who would later become a whistleblower to the British government). John was standing behind his desk as we walked in. “So you’re the guy who likes to write letters,” he said to Dellis. “Well, Mr. DeLorean,” Dellis said, “it got me in this office today.”

The whole discussion that day was very casual. I took John through the proposal, and Dellis closed the presentation with the price of the kit. Before the meeting was over, we all agreed to draw up a contract. I couldn’t believe how easy it had been, even though it was what I call a “something for nothing” deal that would be hard for an automaker to refuse: Legend would do all the engineering, development, and tooling up front, with those costs amortized into the piece price. Dellis was on cloud nine when we left DMC, and we went out on the town to celebrate.

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What Does DeLorean EVolved Actually Promise? – Jay Ramey @Autoweek

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  • DeLorean Motor Company appears to be planning a battery-electric coupe under the DeLorean brand, with a reveal set to take place sometime this year.
  • The Texas-based company, which acquired the rights to the automaker’s name, currently sells parts for the original model.
  • Italdesign is involved with the new sports car project, with Giorgetto Giugiaro having designed the original DMC-12 coupe.

If you’ve been waiting this whole time for a cyberpunk EV and don’t necessarily want it to look like a truck, there could be another option not too far in the future.

The DeLorean Motor Company, or rather its successor in the IP rights, has shared a short teaser video previewing an EV with gullwing doors, set to a Chris Nolan-style trailer soundtrack with ominous-sounding horns.

The vehicle is promised to arrive in 2022, perhaps under the name DeLorean EVolved, as the company’s tweet suggests.

Curiously enough the previewed vehicle does not really suggest a design composed of mostly flat geometric shapes, especially when it comes to the profile of the roof. If you look closely, the teased design appears to feature a pronounced curvature to the A-pillars and the hood.

It does, however, feature gullwing doors, which at this point appear to be the sole element carried over from the original, along with the badge up front. To us the rendering in the teaser video looks far more like a front angle of the Bricklin SV-1 rather than the original DMC-12.

The only thing clear at the moment is that it is intended to be an electric sports car with gullwing doors.

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Myth and Mogul : John DeLorean – New Documentary @Netflix

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Netflix have released a recent documentary on the rise and fall of John DeLorean

Plus a look back at previous DeLorean content here on Automotive American

The documentary is a mixture of footage from a previous documentary and interviews with those involved at the time including family members.

For me it’s the best one so far and I guess may be the last?

For John’s back story you can go to Wikipedia

Information on the documentary can be found here at Netflix

A few years ago I interviewed Chris Parnham historian of the DeLorean Owners Club UK for my podcast, and I thought this would make a good companion to the new documentary. Details of the club can be found here

Chris is a lovely man and the interview can be found below

https://automotiveamerican.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/chris-parnham-delorean-blog.mp3

I was lucky to be given a copy of Chris’s and Andy Withers excellent book – DeLorean – Celebrating the Impossible 

The original article is here

A pair of De Loreans with ultra-low-mileage and sequential VINs makes us ask: What do you think of the “barn find” trend? – Terry Shea @Hemmings

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In recent years, you can’t go far in the world of collector cars without coming across a seemingly unending litany of “barn find” examples. Covered in dust, dirt, grime, chicken droppings or perhaps used as an impromptu shelf, a place to stack wooden pallets—whatever the case, the more inglorious a special car was treated, it seems, the better the story.

Articles and videos abound of people uncovering and rescuing these cars, whether found in an actual barn or some other structure. Perhaps we’ve become bored of stories of incredibly restorations (say it ain’t so!) or one-owner cars kept pristine for years.There’s no denying the allure of the barn find.

A couple of years back during the Scottsdale auctions, a barn-find Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing outpaced several restored examples sold that year, including some by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Years ago, these sort of cars might have been found and restored before anyone knew anything about them.

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DeLorean confirms plans to produce “new” DMC-12s – Jim Koscs @Hagerty

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Now that SEMA’s lawsuit has prompted the feds to finally issue regulations stemming from the 2015 Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, it’s back to the future for DeLorean… again. James Espey, vice president of DeLorean Motor Company, confirmed to Hagerty that plans are underway to prepare for limited production of a new, much-upgraded version of the classic stainless steel, gullwing coupe.

If this sounds like déjà vu all over again, it’s because the new DeLoreans were originally planned for 2016, a year after the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act was signed into law. Obviously, that did not happen according to the expected timeframe.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was charged with implementing the Act, but any work toward implementing the regulations stalled after the 2016 presidential election. DeLorean’s plans, and those of other low-volume makers, screeched to a halt. One problem, Espey explains, was that NHTSA hasn’t had a permanent administrator since the previous presidential election, and the acting administrator would not sign off on the regulations. In addition, old cars became a low priority for an agency dealing with the rise of autonomous driving tech and the Takata airbag recall.

Espey credits the SEMA lawsuit with prodding NHTSA to release the Low Volume Manufacturer regulations. He suggests that the 120-page document had probably been close to release for some time.

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DeLorean – Celebrating the Impossible – Interview with Author & Historian Chris Parnham

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My latest guest is Chris Parnham, the co-author of “DeLorean – Celebrating the Impossible” an excellent book which is available from Amazon or the better option of a signed copy from The DeLorean Owners Club UK here

https://automotiveamerican.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/chris-parnham-delorean-blog1.mp3?_=1

Chris is currently the historian of the DeLorean Owners Club UK after performing Secretary duties for a number of years.

Chris has owned 17 DeLorean’s many of which are very rare, and has also managed to buy his original back!

Listen to the informative and entertaining interview with Chris below:

https://automotiveamerican.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/chris-parnham-delorean-blog.mp3?_=2