Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Rare DeLorean Spare

It says 'DMC-12000 series cars.' Weird.

While I've always had a curiosity to explore, I've never found anything valuable. However, that may have just changed. In preparing my DeLorean for DCS 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky, I discovered something that was previously unknown to, quite possibly, the entire DeLorean community.

I was skeptical at first. After all, thousands of DeLorean enthusiasts have literally pored over every scrap of paper that ever left the factory, and cars have been dissected and each part scrutinized. It is quite possibly the most documented car in the world.

So, I asked around. Other DeLorean owners checked their spare tires. Even people who didn't own one looked through old DMC documents. In the end every single response was the same. Nobody had ever seen a spare wheel like mine.

With my curiosity piqued, I brought my spare to Lexington Kentucky so the experts could examine the wheel, and possibly give me an answer. The first to check out the wheel was a super-jolly ex-DMC employee named Neal Barlcay. He had never seen the wheel, and suggested I speak to Nick Sutton, ex-DMC Parts Purchasing Manager. Unfortunately, the brilliant Nick Sutton was also baffled. He recalled only purchasing one wheel, the wheel everyone else has - a blank one.

Jeff Synor and others curiously examine my odd spare DMC wheel.Nick asked Jeff Synor, ex-DMC Technical Director (POG) to have a look. People gathered around my unusual spare and read the stamping aloud - "For use on DMC-12000 series cars only". There was lots of speculation. Was it a prototype wheel? Was it intended for the Pilot cars only? Nobody knew. Nick offered to buy my bizarrity. I laughed nervously. Was he serious? Did I really have a one-of-a-kind wheel?

Curious, someone checked a photo they'd taken of a pile of spares days earlier in their shop. Among them, shockingly, was one identical to mine. But that still doesn't answer any questions and Mr. Sutton, owner of a library of DeLorean Motor Company logs, promised to look through them. He apparently has every documentation of any stampings and tooling equipment used by DMC.

With any luck I may have an answer when I see Nick again at DCS 2012 in Orlando, Florida. And with any really great luck, my wheel will be one of only a very small handful stamped prematurely, before the company decided what the car would be named.

If you own a DeLorean and have a spare like this, please send me your VIN# and build date. I'll compile a list and give it to Nick and we'll solve this mystery!

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