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Tamir's DeLorean Site: Stainless Steel Obsession

Stainless Steel Obsession

Article Translation by: Yoko Greeney

Learning through passion

There is a saying in Japan, when you learn something when you are young, you remember it for the rest of your life. This saying applies to Tamir Ardon since he saw the movie Back To The Future at a young age. After the movie came out in 1985, the DeLorean became famous. Since then, both movie and the car have become cult classics and there are so many people obsessed with the car. And recently the DVD Trilogy box set has been released and because of that the DeLorean gets more attention again. They produced only one DeLorean model, but there are six shops that service DeLoreans, which is amazing.

Tamir saw Back To The Future in 1985 when he was five years old. And he was shocked and obsessed with the movie. And he started collecting and researching memorabilia and artifacts. The first thing he collected was some BTTF toys that came in breakfast cereal. To get this toy, he ate so much cereal and with so much milk, he became very tall. And he also started collecting anything related to BTTF, for example; newspapers, articles, posters, etc. By now his collection is huge. By collecting all these things, he learned social skills (schmoozing) to get everything he wants. By communicating with adults when he was young, he learned how to negotiate with adults. And another skill he learned was his reading comprehension from reading the box of cereal’s nutritional facts. So his parents were amazed by this since he was using dictionaries to figure out the meaning of words. Tamir’s parents were very surprised because he organized the stuff he collected in a very presentable fashion. Tamir’s parents supported his hobby and his Back To The Future collection became huge in a short time.

Meeting the Car

The first time Tamir met the car was in the summer of 1986 with his Mom at a gas station. He saw the car coming towards him and the guy who was driving it let him sit in the driver’s seat. Tamir says “When I sat in the car, I was so excited I thought my heart was going to stop. The owner of the car was very kind and let me sit in the car. I was six years old and I knew one day I would own one of these cars.” Before this, Tamir was obsessed with the movie, but since this event, Tamir was more impressed with the car. So the skills Tamir learned from collecting BTTF items, he applied to the DeLorean collection. “Among the things I collected, the best items are the articles from car magazines to Newsweek/Time and financial newspapers. As I got older and more financially secure, I collected catalogs and DeLorean novelty items.” Through this experience Tamir learned concentration skills. At this point in his life Tamir was 6 feet tall and a sophomore in High School. He went to the best high school in his local area.

Since he had everything he wanted up until this point, he had a hard time finding clothes and a car. Besides the DeLorean, Tamir liked the British sports car the Lotus Elan. He liked the style structure, and the creativity of the maker and characteristics of the car. He wanted to have this car, but it was too small for him. Tamir turned 16 years old and got a drivers license. He went to a car show for the Lotus Elan and tried to sit in it, but Tamir faced the reality that he cannot have this car. After he found out this car is too small, he started looking for convertibles. But even with the convertible Tamir had leg room issues and he had to drive with his left arm raised the whole time. Another problem with the convertible is it is always raining in Chicago and in the winter it is really cold, so a convertible is not a realistic choice. That is why he likes a coup style, and the ultimate coup is the DeLorean.

Charisma of the American Car Companies

Many people think the DeLorean was made in America because it was primarily sold only in the US. But it is actually categorized as a British car from Northern Ireland by the people who love cars in N. Ireland. Also, for many people it is a car you see in Back To The Future. But in the states, people think about JZD when people talk about this car. JZD was a charismatic person before the war of the DeLorean Motor Company going bankrupt and the scandal of the Cocaine deals. After these events, people forgot about JZD. JZD was born in Detroit on Jan. 6th, 1925 to a family of poor Romanian immigrants. And he says, “You never know how you feel to be poor, unless you really experience it, and I really know how this feels.” When he went to interviews, he was wearing suits, when he went to the army interview when he was 18 yrs old, the suits were bought for him when he was 12 yrs old, they were too small, but he had nothing else. Because he was really poor when he was growing up, he was hungry for success. After he finished the army, he went to Lawrence Technical Institute where he learned car engineering. And after he graduated he worked for Chrysler. And the Chrysler Company offered a PhD for car engineering, which JZD got there. After this he joined Packard. And at the same time, he went to Michigan state university and got an MBA in business. He learned most of his knowledge about cars when he was working for Packard. Because this company was small, they didn’t have the smaller people, so he had to do everything himself. He has to design, make parts, and he had to teach the factory line workers how to put it together. And he has to do test driving, from A-Z to put the car together. It was hard but he appreciated this experience because he learned so much about how the car works.

This is why JZD became a true car maker, he knows everything. In 1956 he started his real career at GM, the beginning of his success at Pontiac. At the time GM was trying to make the cars sportier than practical because it was the baby boom generation. But they didn’t have much money because the dept. he was in was young. So he wasn’t allowed to make something original from the very beginning. So he was told by the company to take Chevrolet components to make a new car at GM. So he took several new cars, like the Corvair 4 litre engine and he made the Tempest. This car debuted in 1961 and became a best seller and the car of the year in the magazine Motor Trend. This was his first big success. He found out amongst the young people that the hot rod and drag race was popular, so he made the GTO. The catch phrase Pontiac used was born at this time, “Wide Track.” He made the GTO and Tempest Leman. So the Leman and GTO were very successful cars, a lot of people bought these. Because of this, in 1964 Pontiac became the third best brand in the country. The Pontiac beat the Oldsmobile in sales and became the third best. First was Chevrolet and second was Ford. After this success in 1964 JZD became the head of Pontiac, he was 39 years old. In 1966 he produced the Firebird, which competed against the Chevy Camaro. After the Firebird, the sporty car became the symbol of Pontiac.

So JZD’s contributions helped GM basically corner the automotive market. In 1969 he became the VP of Chevrolet. He was only 44 yrs old, which made him the youngest VP in history. People in the public and world started paying attention to him. The reason people started paying attention to him was not only success but he was a really good looking person. He was very handsome and tall at 6’4” and his voice was very low. The girls went crazy about him. So he dated some famous singers and movie stars. That is why he became famous not only in the business world but also in the public consciousness. In March 1973, he quit the job even though he knew he was going to be the President of GM. People were very surprised and shocked. He also got married to Christina Ferrare, a top model, 25 years younger than him, and this was his third marriage.

Unrealistic Plan by JZD

There were two reasons he quit GM. First, he was very disappointed with the people who were working in the higher ups in the company. Second reason was he really wanted to make a car which had his name. JZD founded DMC in 1975 and this was the big news in the world. And the British Government supported him to make a factory in N. Ireland in Belfast. By doing this the British Govt. tried to improve the economy and job situation. They felt really lucky to do this at this time. So DMC ordered the design from Giugiaro on a due date, but the engineering was late, so the British govt. wasn’t happy with Giugiaro, and they changed to Lotus, which was founded by Collin Chapman. Because of this trouble, they couldn’t make the car in 1979, but they made the car in 1981. Another problem was they had to change the design a couple of times and the economy in the States was going down, so the currency of the British pound was strong and the dollar was weak. They were planning on selling the car for 12 thousand dollars, but they had to sell it for 26K dollars, more than twice as much. Because of this, DeLorean didn’t sell very much in its first two years. Wasn’t what they were expecting, but still people thought it was successful, because in 1981 DeLorean outsold Porsche by 2000 more cars. However the DeLorean model had many troubles, like leaking from the door and the throttle freezing. But they solved these problems very quickly. To solve these problems they had to spend so much money rebuilding the cars when they got to the States. So DMC wasn’t doing very well because they had to pay unexpected costs. They needed money, but everyone knew they weren’t doing well, so they didn’t want to give them a loan. And the British Govt. didn’t want to help them either. So JZD didn’t know what to do. So he had to rely on cocaine money. And in 1982 Oct. 18th, JZD was arrested at the Sheraton Plaza hotel in room 501 in Los Angeles. He was 57 years old. That was the time of the end of his success. So this cocaine trade at the hotel was planned by the FBI and DEA. But JZD wasn’t the one they wanted, there was another guy from the west coast, a big cocaine drug lord. So JZD was unlucky to be in this incident, since what he wanted to do was to make money to save DMC. So he did this to save DMC, but it is ironic that they had to file for bankruptcy a few hours after he was arrested. So after the long trial in 1984, JZD was acquitted of all charges. But still the cost of the trial was huge and his wife divorced him.

Let’s go back to Tamir. He bought the DeLorean when he was 17 years old from a newspaper advertisement. And it was in mint condition, 1982 model year, and he bought this car cheaper than what it was worth due to reasons pertaining to the former owner. As the author of this article, I thought even though the car was cheap, it must be impossible to buy the car as a 17 year old kid. How did you get the money I asked Tamir? Tamir laughed, “I could sell the BTTF collection for good money and I make so much money from selling the toys that came from the cereal. And also I had savings and borrowed money from my parents, I was very lucky.” Now Tamir is 22 years old and is a very nice person and last year he finished his Bachelors degree a year early. This year he is going to a different school for a Masters in Anatomy and Biology, and I have no idea what that is, but sounds like he is very smart. Tamir doesn’t drive his DeLorean everyday, only when weather is good on weekends and for special occasions. And with the DeLorean, he doesn’t have to worry about being too tall, because the car is designed for JZD as well.

Pictures for first page:

Main picture: Tamir’s DMC 12. In mint condition and has blackout headlight covers and it is lowered. It has a flat front hood, which is typical for the 82’ model.

Tamir is standing in front of the car and looks like he is a supermodel. He has a small head and tall body. The measurement of a model in Japan is the length of your head times 8, and Tamir is definitely a ten. His body to head size is amazing.

For early models the hood has a flap and both left and right side have indentations. Later there is no flap and the latest model there is no pressed lines and no flap.

Bottom pic. The dimensions of my car. It is very long, wide, but a short car. Hard to drive because you cannot see over the front very well. This is similar to a Lotus Esprit, 1976 by Giugiaro.

Left pic. The basic structure of the body of the car is two fiberglass shells. And there are three or four stainless steel panels, that’s why the car is so light. 1.3 tons even when the gas tank is full.

Very comfortable to ride in this car. The shape is similar to a BMW M1.

Green car is a Bricklin SV1. A very safe car and this car inspired JZD to make DMC.

Pics. from other pages.

Tamir with DeLorean Picture: Picture is from when Tamir visited JZD who has retired and is spending his time in NJ. And JZD’s favorite car is the Acura NSX. He says of the engineering that it is the best in maintenance and in a practicality.

Engine pic. Engine is tilted by 10 degrees and has flexible shaft, so the engine and transmission is connected,

Drag race car in 1963 by Pontiac. Under the floor of the Corvair there is not enough space for the proper shaft so JZD found a way to solve this problem.

JZD picture from 1960’s, a time when he helped Pontiac and GM. It was his idea to have the concealed wipers which becomes invisible by going under the hood and the power antenna was praised by designers.

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