29 December 2012

The RLC Special Edition DeLorean

Matching plates
I totally forgot this came out during the holidays.  This is the ultimate DeLorean, at least at the 1/64th scale.  I started working on this over a year ago by working off the 2010 New Model version.  There are some areas of the 2010 model that I just did not get right.  I did not have my car yet, so I was working off pictures, things are a little off.  I took measurements off my own car and reworked it for 2012 version...and, this one has opening doors. After all, this is for Red Line Club, the top of the line Hot Wheels.

Chrome plated ZAMAC body

Neo-Classic wheels with bent axle design

Recognize the plates?
There is no brushed finish, but we had to keep with the look of the line.  So chrome body and Neo-Classis wheels.  Here is the write up from HotWheelsCollectors.com:

After much anticipation in the marketplace, the DeLorean DMC-12 arrived on the scene in the early '80s. Despite a disappointing performance, it became an icon of the era after being used as a time machine in the Back To The Future films. A New Models edition in 2010, the first Hot Wheels casting of this vehicle performed well as a collector favorite. Now we present a new tool -- this time with opening gull-wing doors!
Hot Wheels Designer Manson Cheung took measurements from his own 1:1 DeLorean in order to painstakingly recreate the most accurate Hot Wheels representation possible of the actual car. This casting was engineered with authentic opening gull-wing doors, the interior of which features hand-spray painted detail. With a hand-polished chrome-plated finish and Neo-Classics Redline wheels, this is one release you will appreciate time and time again!
  • Features: Opening gull-wing doors
  • Body Color: Hand-polished chrome-plated finish
  • Body Type: Chrome over ZAMAC
  • Wheels: Neo-Classics Redline wheels w/bent axle suspension
  • Base: Full-metal, matte black chassis
  • Window Color: Light smoke-tinted
  • Interior Color: Black
Hey, I even got my plates on there.  My car is immortalized in die-cast.

The car behind the car, literally and figuratively
There have been quite a few Hot Wheels DeLoreans released in the past two years.  Especially, if you include the Back to the Future Time Machines.  Recently, I was asked on DMCTalk to list all the Hot Wheels DeLoreans. 
2010 New Model - 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 Retail $1

- Silver painted Zamac (metal) body, Black ABS Chassis, Grey ABS Interior, Blue tint K-Resin Window, Black ABS Louver, Multi-spoke Mediums with chrome hot stamp. This is the first release, and all DeLoreans hereafter (unless noted) are the same sculpt, only difference is in paint and molded colour.

- Gold painted Zamac, Black ABS, Tan ABS, Clear K-resin, Black ABS, Multi-spoke Med with Gold There are some mis-coloured interiors due to the mix of plastic. It is not suppose to be 'pink' or 'flesh...just tan.

- Black painted Zamac, Black ABS, Charcoal ABS, Clear K-Resin, Black ABS, Multi-spoke Med with chrome

2011 New Model - Back to the Future Time Machine $1

- Silver painted Zamac Body, Black ABS Chassis, Grey ABS Interior, Blue tint K-Resin Window, Metallic Charcoal painted Zamac Fusion reactor, Multi-spoke Mediums with chrome hot stamp Time Machine built off existing DeLorean car, although no parts are interchangeable.

2011 Faster Than Ever - 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 $1

- Same sculpt as 2010 New Model. Difference is the Clear window, Black Interior, Faster Than Ever Wheels with bronze hot stamp, and wide black side stripes.

2011 San Diego Comic Con Exclusive - Back to the Future Time Machine $35

- Same sculpt as 2011 New Model. This one has way more paint ops, making it look 'better' than the $1 version. Differences from the Basic model (other than paint) are Clear coated Zamac body, Black painted Zamac Chassis, Clear K-Resin Window, Medium Real Riders Turbine wheels with rubber tires. All packed in a pretty display case and beautiful box. Limited to 3000 (I think, maybe 3500) Available only at San Diego Comic Con (now on second market), sold out. 
2012 Hot Wheels Boulevard - Ahead of Its Time - 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 $3

- Same sculpt as 2010 New Model. Differences: Clear coat Zamac Body, Black painted Zamac Chassis, Dark Grey ABS Int, Clear K-Resin Window, Black ABS Lourve (same as rest), Real Rider Turbine Wheels with rubber tires (same as SDCC and RLC BTTF2 cars). This was a limited run due to the Boulevard line being cut short by retailers, so only a percentage of the proposed amount were produced. The Boulevard line being considered a 'Premium' line for adult collectors, it features Direct Ink Jet (DIJ) graphics instead of tampo printing found in the Basic ($1) lines. Most of the higher end lines have DIJ.

2012 Light Speeders - Back to the Future Time Machine $5

- Same sculpt as 2011 New Model. Differences: Grey ABS body, Black painted Zamac Chassis, Dark Gray ABS Interior, Clear K-Resin Window, Plated Zamac Fusion Reactor, Same wheels. This has a special plastic body that turn colour with UV light. Comes with UV 'flashlight' and BTTF themed stencils for decorating.

2012 Red Line Club/Hot Wheels Collector Exclusive - Back to the Future Time Machine 2 $20

- Mostly the same as the SDCC Exclusive with the only real difference being the Fusion Reactor piece is replaced by Mr. Fusion, as seen at the end of Part I and all of Part II. Packed in standard RLC packaging with window on card so you can see both sides of car while in package. Limited to 3300. Available only through HotWheelsCollectors.com, made to order.

2012 RLC/HWC Exclusive - DeLorean DMC-12 (with opening doors) $20

- Polished and plated Zamac Body, Painted Zamac Chassis, Black PP Interior, Clear K-Resin Window, Polished and plated doors, Medium Neo-Classic Wheels with bent axel design. Totally new sculpt. I reworked the car to better match the real car. I did not have my car when I made the first one for 2010 line. I took measurements off my car to make this one the best (as it may be the last) DeLorean that Hot Wheels can make. Although, some sacrifices were made (wheel size, graphic application, opening feature) because of production limitations. Also, this one is an Automatic, all others were Manual. Packed with doors open in same blister as RLC BTTF2. Limited to 4000. Available only through HotWheelsCollectors.com, and soon at delorean.com.

Soon to be released

Hot Wheels Elite - Cult Classics - 1/43 Back to the Future Time Machine $60 +/-
- You can still pre-order these from BTTF.com I just got the FEP's about two weeks ago, so it should be ready to ship about in about a month...hopefully. I talked about it briefly at DCS and in a few posts in this thread. This is all new, comes in a standard case. There are some minor 'production issues' and 'communication problems with our vendors', but overall, I think you guys will like it...at least I hope you like it.
Wings up

I will have more information on the Hot Wheels Elite 1/43 Time Machine, later.

22 December 2012

Visiting DMC Florida

Jumping for joy in front of Gulf Coast Motorworks
Back in June, I was in Orlando for the DeLorean Car Show.  Since I was out there, I wanted to visit DMC-Florida in Bonita Springs.  Because there was so much going on at the event, I figured that Tony Ierardi and his crew were going to be way to busy to take time to entertain any 'visitors'.  The visit to DMC-Florida would have to wait.

Luckily, we would return to Florida for our annual vacation.  We usually go on a cruise for our big trip, this  one happened to leave from Fort Lauderdale.  I figured that since we were in the same state, why not head over and visit Tony.  Sure, it would cost a few hundred dollars more with hotel, car rental, and food fees...but this is a journey that DeLorean fanatics need to make.  We traveled by plane, boat, and car to get there.

The showroom featuring many DeLoreans and other exotic cars
DeLorean Motor Company Florida is the first franchise under the New DeLorean Motor Company, and is under Tony's parent company Gulf Coast Motorworks.  This place is state of the art and spot less.  I have seen hospitals that are dirtier than DMC-Florida.

Air conditioned shop and spotless
Some of the neat features of the shop include air conditioned work area.  The hot Florida sun is not a problem in this shop. The mechanics are comfortable and have one less thing to worry about, so they can concentrate on your car.  It really is like an operating room, although not as cold.

Restoration work on a Countach
The shop works on all types of cars, specializing in DeLoreans, of course, Italian sports cars, classic sports cars, and vintage race cars.  In addition to regular maintenance and restoration, Gulf Coast Motorworks also acts an official dealer/distributor of exotic cars.

Oh look, a flying DeLorean
Like I said, clean. They even have exhaust ports built into the ground that suck out the exhaust fumes to the outside. A hose can be connected to the exhaust so the shop is still air conditioned. Genius!

Tony and his wife Liz gave us a tour of the facilities
Lots of customer cars just waiting to be worked on, these are not for sale
Trouble makers
Tony gave us the grand tour and the history of his time with the franchise.  His is the second largest DeLorean shop, behind DMC in Texas, and the only one that works on other cars.

In my quest to have my car put together with parts from all the DMC franchises, what better time than now to acquire a 'missing' part.  I do have the new Fuel Pump/Sender Unit from DMC-Florida, but that should be installed by someone more qualified.  One thing I should be able to install myself, windshield wipers.  I kinda need new windshield wipers...since mine are just over thirty years old.  Not that I use them that much in Southern California weather...or lack of weather.  Still, nice to have wipers that work properly when the marine layer comes in.

Quick lesson in windshield wiper removal and installation
Tony gave me a quick tutorial on how to removal and install windshield wipers.  I will admit that I did not know exactly how to do this, now I do.  The original wipers I have are slightly different than the current ones being offered by DMC.  More on this in a later post.

But first, more pictures...less words.

Adjustable 2WD/4WD dynometer

Original Lamborghini Countach wheels made by Campolongo, yes the same Campolongo that makes high end bike parts.

Tony's Ferrari 308

Replica and original Shelby's
They have a lot of cool stuff at Gulf Coast Motorworks. 

An original Futaba PCM FP-T8SGA-P, sitting on Tony's desk

Legends Industry Twin Turbo

One of the brushing tools from the factory
Tony has even cooler stuff in his office.

My 'travel DeLorean' parked next to about ten real DeLoreans

Customer cars waiting to be worked on

One of many DeLoreans parked in the lot
So, three down...three to go.  I have visited DMC-California, DMC-Texas, and now, DMC-Florida.  Still need to make it up to DMC-Northwest, DMC-Midwest, and across to DMC-Europe.  Some day.

Hanging out with Tony at DMC-Florida
Special thanks to the people at Gulf Coast Motorworks and very special thanks to Tony and Liz for taking the time to show us around and hooking me up with windshield wipers and some magazines as a parting gift.

05 December 2012

Bring Back the Black Bars

Back in the mid to late 1990's there was an argument between widescreen/letterbox format and pan-scan format.  Well, it is not really an argument...letterbox was the only way to watch movies.  Quick recap.  See, back then, televisions were formatted at 4:3, while movies were presented at 1.78:1, 2.35:1, or similar 'widescreen format.  
How Pan-Scan works
In order for movies to be shown on television, they would cut the sides of the image, and pan and scan to where most of the action was. Hence, pan-scan.  In the image above, you can see how the background crew members are cut out of the picture.

Letterbox with black bars

Along game letterboxing, this gave you the full image of the movie. Since it was wider than the 4:3 format, black bars graced the tops and bottom of the screen.  This lead to the misinformed that they were missing what was 'behind the black bars'.  This was a clean solution to getting the entire frame on to the screen.   Now, we have wide screen televisions.  These new sets are formatted at 16:9, broadcast has gone digital and high definition.  Depending on the format of the original movie, you may still see black bars, though not as thick.  While television programs have adapted the wider format.  Heck, some of you are fancy enough to have one of those new 3D screens to experience 3D movies and even 3D broadcasts.   So, yeah...you know this already.  What is the problem you ask?  The black bars are the perfect solution and the standard to cropping different formatted films/programs to adapt to different formatted screens.  The problem is when studios show older 4:3 programs or footage on a 16:9 screen.  There is no set standard to this, and there should be.  I say bring back the black bars.

Stretching - not bad, but not good
An early remedy to fitting the 4:3 image into a 16:9 screen, was to stretch it.  This made the image about 20-25% wider.  People on screen gained another ten pounds, in addition the ten  the camera adds.  Although this was not ideal, it is better that what most television studios are doing with older footage, the blurry background.

Feel free to get angry at this
See the image above?  That is annoying, just looking at it makes me want to mount some black illustration boards to my television screen.  I will admit, I used to do that on an older TV set to create the "letterbox" look.  Anyway, I know you have seen this blurry border, it is used a lot in news casts when they need to show archival footage or amateur video.  What makes this horrific is, this is video...there is movement.  The movement in the blurred area is annoying and very distracting.  It totally takes away from the action.  These blurred bars are far more a distraction than the letterbox black bars ever were.   Back to the widescreen arguments, the argument was that pan-scan reformatted the movie and did not represent what the film makers wanted the audience to see.  Well, these stupid blurred bars are far worse.  Not only is it a misrepresentation of original work, it creates movement, distractions, where there is/was never any movement.  I hate this, it is down right stupid.  Combine this crap with the shakey cam and you have yourself a seizure waiting to happen.   What I do not understand is, why not just put up vertical black bars?  Now, some studios have created logos to adorn the sides, and this is fine, as long as they do not have any movement.  ESPN does this well, or did this well.  I do not have cable, so I know not of their current format.  Anyway, they used to have their logo on the sides.  I have seen some with scores and other information on the sides, much like the scrolling scores on a typical ESPN broadcast...all good.
Once you go black, you never go back
The black bars was and is the only solution studios should use.  Seriously, how hard can it be to add black bars?  I would argue that it takes much more effort to widen footage, blur footage, place blurred footage behind existing footage.  Write to the studios, write to your congressmen, and help stop this madness.  I have done my part to in writing this and bring this to your attention.  I bet this did not even bug you until I brought it up.  See, you have been brainwashed by the man.  Fight the system....free your mind.

Update:  I forgot to add this to my rant.

Screen size for iPhones
This problem is compounded when studios show footage of amateur video, especially one shot on smart phones.  I have already covered the inability to hold the camera still.  The way phones are held in the hand, photos and videos are usually shot in portrait (vertical), rather than landscape (horizontal).

iPhone images fitted on 16:9 screen with blurred bars
There, see?  Do you see how distracting that is?  Again, imagine if this was video.  You have two blurred moving images on the sides, while you are trying to see what is really happening with the image in the middle.

iPhone images fitted to 16:9 screen with black bars
Note the clean and non-distracting images when black bars are used.  Yes, you still have two thirds of the screen blacked out, but at least it is not taking away from the action.

26 November 2012


Just when I thought we could go an entire month without a call...I get a text.  Okay...technically, it is not a 'call'.  Fuck it, I was contacted through my phone by a lesser life form that wants to sell me something.  Like I said, texts cost me money. Since it has been a while, and I have a little time, we are going to have fun with this one.  At least, I am going to have fun.

26 November 2012
   213-442-8574  Los Angeles, CA  Here is the message that cost me twenty cents:
Sent by unregistered version of SMSCaster:
Hey its vicky havent talked to u in forever msg me here www.justhookup1up.com i put pics on my profile my username is s
Let me break this down.  "Unregistered version of SMSCaster"?  What the fuck is SMSCaster?  Obviously, I do not know that it is.  Therefore, I should not be 'signed up' for it...and I sure as fuck should not be getting any messages from them.  On top of that, an 'unregistered version'...so, we are both not registered.  How is it possible that you can obtain my information through some third party that neither of us are a part of?  Fuck you!

"Hey its vicky havent..."  Really?  No use of upper case for a name?  Using contractions without the use of an apostrophe? I hate when people use "u" instead of "you".  I guarantee that this cunt is unable to distiguish between "your" and "you're".  Vicky vicky could also use a few punctuations like commas and periods, perhaps a even a colon.  Fuck you!

I am going to take a wild guess that the site had more virusess than vicky's snatch.  Fuck yo...well, ah, carry on.

"my username is s"  Really, your username is one letter?  Why "s", why not "vicky" or some derivative of "vicky"?

Update:  There is a neat little function that allows me, a 'blog owner', to see statistics of traffic sources by keyword search.  One of the search entries was, "hey its vicky havent talked to u".  That led them to here...awesome.

Someone searched for 'hey its vicky havent talked to u'

25 November 2012

DeLorean Luggage Rack

Parts of the DeLorean Luggage Rack (A30000010)
I finally found the time to install the Luggage Rack on the DeLorean.  Time was not the only problem I encountered while doing this very simple project.  The Luggage Rack comes with instructions that are easy to follow, even for me.  Here are the steps I went through, including some 'extra' steps that I did not plan on.

Removal of Support Buffer (108720/108721)
The Luggage Rack brackets are mounted to the rear quarter panels, where the foam rubber Support Buffers are.  So, first thing to do is, to remove these buffers.  Be careful not to damage these, as you will reuse them later.  Keep in mind that these are over thirty years old and if they are cracked, it is a good idea to get a new set.  Mine were in good enough condition...or as some would call it, 'too cheap to spend $100 for a new set, condition'.

Layout template
Punching a dimple in the rear quarter panel
The kit comes with a template to help you layout the hole that need to be drilled out.  I found that these measurements were a little off, the brackets should be mounted about a quarter inch closer to the rear of the car.  Or, perhaps my panels are a bit off.  I marked where the holes should be with a trusty Sharpie, then used a punch to mark the center.  The instructions ask for a punch to make a dimple, so your drill bit does not travel.  This is a good idea, also a good idea to have a sharp drill bit. 

Custom punch made by Ted Lubin
That brings me to my first delay in the project. I did not have any 'sharp' drill bits.  Luckily, we have a shop at work that has an endless supply of drill bits...and tapping fluid.  I recommend some tapping fluid to keep the bit from overheating.  Also, have an extra bit or two in case they overheat and get dull.  And, if you do not have a punch, get a buddy that can make you one out of a large drill blank.

Holes drilled
Once the first set of holes are drilled out, I mounted the bracket.  This part is trickier than it seems.  There is very little room to hold the screw plate that the screws go into.  The screws tend to not want to catch on the the threads...which leads to the plate falling to the pontoon.  Ah, this leads to another delay for me.  There is a gap between the pontoon and the rear quarter panel.  This gap it the perfect width for the backing plate to fall into...never to be seen again.  Ask me how I know that.

Luggage Rack bracket, one of four
Pro Tip:  Place a towel (or similar) against the pontoon and glass/panel to catch any falling debris.  This will prevent the loss of critical mounting parts, like screws and backing plates.  Also helps with ease of clean up as it catches shavings, and protects the finish of your pontoon from tools that you may have laying close by.

Luckily, the shop has an endless supply of screws and nuts.  This works just as well as the backing plate, but does not look as clean.  Meh.

Once one bracket is mounted, the other ones are a lot easier.  I started with the top left (looking at it from the rear), on to the top right.  I suggest measuring where the hole is in relation to the end of the quarter panel. My first bracket is 14.25 inches to the bottom hole.  Like I said earlier, it should be about a quarter inch lower.  Hopefully, if you need to do this, the measurements in the instructions work for you...and your panels are mounted in harmony.

'Dry mounting' the Luggage Rack
With the two upper brackets installed, I 'dry mounted' the Luggage Rack to mark the holes for the lower brackets.  Hard to see in the picture, but my upper mounts are too close together.  There should be more play for the upper mounts and the elongated holes of the rack.  I recommend dry mounting the rack before hand and mark where the upper brackets 'want to' go, use the included template as reference only.

Marking location of lower mounting bracket
Brackets mounted.  Fitting that I use a DeWalt on a DeLorean
Since there is no strut in the way, the lower brackets are much easier to mount.  Same steps as before, mark, punch, drill, and mount.  Hey, that sounds like steps for something totally different.

Marking Support Buffer for cutting
Remember that Support Buffer?  Time to do some trimming and put it back onto the rear quarter panel.  We do not want the louver banging on the quarter panels.  I used s silver Sharpie to mark the foam rubber.  Always good to have two contrasting colours of Sharpie handy.

Trimming the Support Buffers to fit
This is should be the easiest part of the project.  Cutting thirty year old foam rubber is quite easy.  Use a sharp blade to avoid injury.  Remember, 'measure twice, cut once'.

Trimmed and replaced Support Buffer
The genius of the design is it puts all the weight onto the pillar of the stainless steel rear quarter panels, and not on the fiberglass louvers.  Also, the brackets fold down when not in use, therefore not interfering with the body lines.  You do see the brackets dangling in the rear window, but very few will notice this.

Close up of lower mounting brackets

Close up of upper mounting brackets
Luggage Rack project finished...finally
When not in use, the Luggage Rack goes in the luggage compartment.  The Luggage Rack was an 'add on' item to address the fact the the rear wheels will not fit in the limited space of the luggage compartment.  If one was to get a rear flat, the only place to put the rear wheel was in the passenger compartment.  If you had a passenger, it would be an uncomfortable ride to the tire shop.  The 'dealer option' of the Luggage Rack gave owners a place to put that large/wide rear wheel.  Hopefully, I (or any owner) will never have to use it for that purpose.  I just wanted to have it, just to have it.  I doubt I will ever use it.  Although, I have toyed with the idea of mounting a bike rack on it, or use it to strap down my hockey bag if needed.

There you have it, a sort of how to for installing a Luggage Rack.  Time of install, not including delays, was about two hours.

On to the next project.