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DMC = Disassembled Motor Car

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June 11-17, 2000

Quote(s) of the Week:

1)  Anything & Everything that John Z. DeLorean Said.

2)  "Dave... I'm Nick Pitello... The other guy as crazy as you" - Nick Pitello

3)  "James Espey drove this car here from Texas with no tape deck.  He's a brave, brave man" - Gus Schlacter

4)  "I just took some pictures of the dock from above.." - Delorean17
"From... above?..." - Me
5)  "Oh... yeah...  I rented a helicopter and took a few pictures..." - Delorean17

6)  Anything & Everything James Espey said, (after a couple of beers).

7)  "Mom?  How can these people tell which car is theirs?  They're all, like, the same..."

 

CLEVELAND!

May 16th (Day One):

Sooo... it's been one really, really long day.

I got on the road around 10am and began the trek to Cleveland. I'm towing the D behind my 14 year old Mercury Grand Marquis (named "Prowler". Yes, I name all of my cars). Now, the owner's manual for the Mercury says that she's able to tow a 10,000 lb trailer weight total, but Prowler seemed sluggish and resentful of having to tow a mere 2,500 lb load on her made-for-luxury rear end. She really didn't like going over 55 mph at all.

Well, Prowler is about the same age as me in "people-years". I guess if someone strapped a DeLorean to my butt and tried to make me drag it to Cleveland, I'd be sluggish and resentful, too...

But about the trip... it was long, hot, and nerve-wracking. I kept hearing a really loud scraping/grinding noise from the dolly... almost as if it was breaking loose. Every time I stopped to check it out, I couldn't find anything wrong. Maybe there's something wrong in the D's rear end? Hard to say.

I stopped on the Ohio turnpike and checked how things were going. The D was holding up fairly well, but I noticed that the passenger side torsion bar (in place, but not loaded) had broken free of the tape I was using, and had started to slide out. I re-taped it, but didn't do the driver's side (more on that later).

Finally getting into Cleveland, I made several wrong turns but eventually ended up near the Science Center, and made my way to a parking area. It happened to be the wrong area, I found out later, but I had already unloaded the Vixen so I prepared to just drive her over to the parking garage. As soon as I got back in the car, the engine just quit. After a bit of diagnosis, I found that my brand new fuel pump had stopped dead. I hate when things like that happen. I pulled it out to try and get it working, but no luck.

Now the car is off of the dolly, and in the wrong place. I can't get it back on the dolly without starting it, and I can't push it a half-mile to where it needs to be. I hated leaving the car totally unsecured and helpless in an area I knew nothing about, but I figured that I had to do just that. I walked up to the Holiday Inn, and began my search for a fuel pump. No luck. Oh well.

I walked back down to the car, and decided that maybe with a strong enough push, I would be able to get the car up on the dolly again... and it worked. Whew. Everything is fine now, except... where is my driver's side torsion bar? You've got to be kidding! I lost it? I don't believe this.

Well, I figured that I'd have to bite the bullet on that one, and buy a new one. I hate when stuff like that happens, and hate it even more because it was preventable.

I pulled over to the correct parking area, and shortly thereafter, a mobile home the size of an aircraft carrier pulled in carrying the whole DMC Houston gang. I told James Espey about the lost torsion bar... and he asked me which side. I told him driver's side and they all cringed. It seems they are in short supply, (Anybody got one they can part with by the way?)

So, licking my wounds, I went back to the hotel, checked in, and headed off to the reception. It was a very nice event. I won't go into much detail... it's getting late, I'm really drained after today.

I stole a beer glass from the bar at the hotel here, and I have my fuel pump sitting in it to try and clean out any goop that may have gotten sucked up in there. Hopefully, it'll break free and start working again tomorrow. What a day.

To wrap up, it's really nice walking through a parking garage where every other car is a D. That's the way the world -should- be. =)

May 17th (Day Two):

I started the day at 7 am and dragged myself down to the parking lot where the Vix was sitting. It appeared to have really poured overnight... my trunk had about 8" of water in it on top of what remained of the cover, and the inside of the car was soaked. Lucky there's no carpet or anything that could get damaged by the rain.

Anyway, I kinda loitered in front of DMC Houston until Stephen Wynne came out. Fuel pump? Not yet... Being brought in from Columbus.

I had tried to break my old pump free by soaking it overnight in fuel injector cleaner. I started with putting it in a coffee cup from the room, but it was way too short, so I ended up stealing a draft glass from the bar. So, it had soaked overnight, and when I hooked it up with a bit of juice, it started spinning. However, it sounded more like a coffee pot than a fuel pump; it made a kind of 'perking' noise, but there was no fuel pressure. Oh well. Have to wait for the new one.

The driving tour: Steve S.???? (forgot your last name, Steve -- sorry) from Florida gave me a ride while I navigated. You've heard a lot about the tour, so I won't repeat it here. Thanks to Steve, Dennis, Tamir, Scott, and Elan for a lot of good times on this leg of the trip.

We got lost, naturally, but we rushed back to town. I was supposed to meet Stephen Wynne for a fuel pump at 4pm. They still hadn't arrived yet, so I cleaned up the car a little bit. A major thunderstorm rolled in. I tell ya, the winds must have been around 50 at least. It was shredding what was left of my cover. Rain was pouring down in buckets. I had to keep the water off of the relays and ECUs, so I ended up laying across the back of the car holding the cover together for a few minutes, until the lightning made me get back into my other car.

I started to drive away, but didn't get very far. I just couldn't leave the poor D sitting there like that. Hadn't this poor car been through enough in her life already? How could I leave her, with no protection from the elements, in the middle of a thunderstorm, on a dock in some strange city? The least I could do was stay by her side so she wouldn't suffer alone.

I wasn't the only one who felt that way. Through the rain, I could make out a few other owners sitting silently in 'other' cars next to their D's, riding out the storm.

So eventually I made it back to the hotel, changed clothes, and headed to dinner. I met nick Pitello and his dad, also Gus Schlacter, and so many other DMLers I won't repeat them all here...and then... John Z. DeLorean just casually walked in. That's something I never thought I'd see. Quite a nice guy. We're very lucky that Mr. DeLorean made himself so accessible to us for the event.

After that, I went to Mike Substelny's house for a bit to see the new DeLorean documentary, and to pick up an old air compressor for parts (thanks, Mike!) After that, I stopped back down to the DMC Houston trailer, but all their lights were off, so I left him alone. No need to wake them up at 2am for a fuel pump, eh?

May 18th (Day Three):

Staying up so late and getting up so early starts to really take it's toll.  At 6:30 am I made a pot of coffee and showered.  The coffee tasted TERRIBLE.  I mean, like, really, really bad.  It tasted almost like it had lighter fluid in... wait... those @#$%#$ maids!  They didn't even wash my coffee cup from the fuel injector cleaner the other day.  Ugh!  I'm going to trash the room.  =P

Well, with that kind of high-octane start to my day, I went down to the parking area, and at 7am stood outside of the DMC Houston mobile home. By this point, Stephen Wynne had gotten used to seeing me on his doorstep each morning anxiously awaiting my fuel pump. It finally arrived, and I put it in post haste. The new problem was that Vixen now "cycled" up and down in RPMs severely, and would barely maintain an idle. It seems the new fuel pump was a slightly different pressure than the old, and it was wreaking havoc on the sensitive K-Jetronic plumbing.

Up until this point, all I had wanted to do was drive my half-resurrected D over to the show. This was my goal. This would be my victory; my vindication over the folks who said it couldn't be done... but... it just was not to be. I couldn't keep her running long enough to drive her across the parking lot, let alone over to the show. With a heavy heart, I muscled her back up on the trailer and dragged her over to the show.

Arriving at the pier, Ken Koncelik pointed me to a space where he wanted the car to be displayed. However, I had already pulled too far up onto the pier, and for those of you who have ever used a car dolly, you know that you simply cannot back up. It's like trying to push a piece of chain... they pivot in too many directions at once. Sooo... I unhooked the D to push her off in order to free the trailer and allow me to get out of the way.

I jumped in the Vixen, put her in Reverse, and bumped the starter to bump her down off the ramp. To my complete and utter surprise, she took off backwards like a bat out of hell -- running strongly and perfectly. 

Now normally I would consider this a Good Thing, however, with the three inches of water sloshing around inside the car, it made it nearly impossible for my wet size 13 boots to stay on the pedals long enough to stop the car. I was flying backwards at great speed... heading directly at another D. The look of terror on the owners' faces was likely only matched by my own petrified mug as I slammed the emergency brake and swung the wheel hard left. The car spun 180, and stalled.

There was a stunned silence for a moment as everyone tried to figure out exactly what had just transpired. I had wanted a grand entrance. I guess -that- was accomplished, and then some. I regained my composure a bit, restarted the car, and with a bit more control, parked her where she was supposed to be.

Aside from a severe sunburn, the show went well. I truly enjoyed having the "Visible Vixen" available for others to see. Few folks ever get the opportunity to see what I have stared at every day for the last seven months -- a D sans skin.

At the end of the show, I decided to 'make a run' for the parking area. The car cooperated fully and I achieved a simple goal... one I had looked forward to for months. I shifted into second gear. =)

And that's the story of Vixen's trip to Cleveland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    
Costs for Week 34:
  
Date Purchase Store Price
No purchases
Week 34 Total $0.00
Running Total $12,074.24

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