From my perspective. This has been very long overdue. While everyone knows just how happy I've been with Josh and his crew at DeLorean Performance Industries, no one really knows the whole story. They only know the details of the restoration (all of which is readily available on this blog), but there is so much more to the story than that. So far, 100% of the return visits have been either covered by warranty (i.e fluid leaks), caused by extremely cold weather, or been through fault of my own. There is one exception, but I'll get into that a bit later. If you go to my Sightings page, you'll see just how frequently I've been back and forth to DPI. There's many reasons I keep coming back, all of which I'll get into in this review. It's a long one, but if you want 100% purebred honesty, here it is.
While there's many reasons I keep going back, only one reason brought me there in the first place: geographics. Yup, I went there purely because he's 45 minutes away and specializes in DeLoreans. That's as simple as it gets. Not everyone can say that someone who specializes in a focused interest of theirs and is so capable lives within driving distance, and for that I am very lucky. To put this into perspective, one of my other interests are those Raspberry Pi's I've been using. While they're spectacular pieces of equipment, it's headquartered in the UK, and I have yet to find another Raspberry Pi in the state of Ohio! DeLoreans are scattered throughout the world, and if it weren't for Josh, the closest place to take my DeLorean would be PJ Grady in Long Island, NY, or possibly even DMC Midwest in Chicago, IL! I drive backroads to and from work, and taking the highway it's several hours long. How is THAT supposed to work? I had one feasible option, and after doing some research, I found a few positive comments about him and his work (anything more than that is lost in the sands of time as far as my memory is concerned). What did I have to lose?
At the time, when I first contacted DPI to get Egull down there, she ran, but not very well at all. I just wanted tp get her drivable, and didn't care about anything else. At the time, I still called her "VIN 559", and it wasn't until I got my license plate that I started calling her "Egull". There was still so much to be learned about Egull however, as I only had the information the original owner gave me, and what little information I had learned from various sources about her. I hadn't even gone through all the documentation yet, and didn't until we were several months into the restoration. I contacted Josh, asking if he could take a look at her, and he said he was in a rush to finish several cars for DCS 2012 (DeLorean Car Show 2012, in Orlando that year) and would take her in afterwards. Soon after the show, he drove his red truck and trailer to my house to pick Egull up. Meeting him in person, he seemed like a genuinely nice guy, but not the kind of mechanic I was used to dealing with. I didn't know what to make of it at the time, but was optimistic, having heard good things about him and his work and having met him in person.
The diagnosis came within days of Josh picking her up. He pulled the dipstick and noticed the oil was very high. Then he got a fairly large plastic bin to drain the oil into, which filled up completely. He swapped the bin out while it was still draining and almost filled that one too. Turns out the cylinder liner seals had ruptured quite badly, mixing coolant and oil into one solid mass. He told me fixing it would mean rebuilding the engine or putting a crate engine in, and that rebuilding the engine would take longer, but would cost the same. I opted to rebuild the original engine so I could still claim "original engine" status. As the engine rebuild progressed, he found more problems. The fuel lines were rotted (original rubber), the brake lines were clogged, most of the calipers were seized, overall she was not in good shape. I actually went through his invoice and made a list of things to talk to him about in person. After doing so, I discovered that damn near everything he listed was not salvageable. I opted for stainless steel wherever reasonable (fuel lines, brake lines, etc.).
More problems arose when he got really into the rebuild. The mounting studs for the exhaust system were shot, and since I ran bad gas through the system, the catalytic converter was destroyed, the exhaust manifolds were damaged, at the time it seemed like he was making issues out of thin air, but going down there, I saw the damage for myself, and he readily showed me everything on the list, as well as some areas of concern he hadn't touched yet but knew would come up. I was starting to get frustrated and upset at the mere cost of this whole thing. It took me an entire year to save up the money to buy Egull in the first place, and the invoice was already several thousand dollars, more than any other purchase I made to date, including a transmission rebuild on another car. But the list kept growing and growing. I couldn't help but wonder what the hell happened since her appearance on Pawn Stars -- she seemed so free then. Maybe they were right after all, maybe there really were a ton of issues below the surface that manifested themselves more after she sat for a few years. Was it really that bad?
As she progressed through the restoration, I went through all five stages of grief. First denial -- I couldn't believe I bought this DeLorean, my dream come true, and it had all these issues. There's no way she was in such a state of disrepair, yet was perfectly fine just two years prior. Then came anger, mostly directed at Josh. (If I haven't done so yet, I offer my sincerest apologies for it!) Bargaining was next, with me going through the list of things to go over saying "well, maybe I don't need this, maybe this is a bit much, maybe that one can be skipped". As time went on, I'm not going to lie, I got depressed. My favorite car show of the entire year came and went, the entire season came and went, winter approached, everyone else's lives seemed to move forward, while mine was stuck, waiting for Egull to get done. (Side note: I'll touch more on that later).
Then came the one question that changed everything: Josh mentioned a bit of rust on top of the frame, and it would be easier if he took the frame off to repair it. Hey wait a minute, "frame off"? As in "frame off restored"?! It was this point that I suddenly realized, Josh wasn't doing all of this only for me, he was also doing it to showcase exactly what he's capable of. That's why he was so adamant about all the small details, it wasn't just a matter of getting Egull running again, he wanted her factory fresh, to show that it was possible to have a 32-year-old factory fresh DeLorean. That's when I reached the stage of acceptance, and not only did I accept it, but I embraced it as well. It was at that point I knew we were going to be in for the long haul, so I visited less often, but made sure to have Josh keep me in on the loop with updates. I figured giving him the space and time he needs would be more productive in the long run than a hovering micromanager (although he has since told me he's had a few customers like that, and deals with them fine, but still, better safe than sorry).
The end result was a masterpiece, and although it took him eight months to the day, he has since repeated that process several times over this year alone! It's pretty awesome to be a trend-setter for something like that -- I get my DeLorean all fixed up and completely redone, I post about it online, then all these DeLoreans come out of the woodwork to get fixed up too. It's amazingly wonderful to know that I tested the waters, and the waters were excellent! And that in turn gave tons of other owners the confidence they needed to have the same done to them. I mean yes, I had to go back to get the transmission rebuilt (the "exception" I mentioned before), but only because he tried rebuilding the valve body and hoped that would take care of it, but made it 100% clear that more may be required. The neat thing though was that he pro-rated all of that work on the invoice for the full rebuild, which goes to show the kind of guy he is -- he's not in it for the money, he's in it for the passion, the same reason I'm in it. I mean yeah it was expensive, but he can't exactly spend eight months restoring a DeLorean for free! Although now that he's hired more workers (he was literally a one-man crew when the restoration first started, but now has several very capable workers), things go much faster.
Once the restoration finished, my life got back on track. I felt "stuck" before since the ultimate goal was to use my DeLorean to pick up chics to date. I found out later though that trying that doesn't actually work, it's a dude magnet (but a beautiful dude magnet nonetheless!). That being said, I have since met an amazing woman and have been dating her for a year. She loves hearing about Egull and all the work I put into my passion. So it's entirely possible to combine two passions into one: my girlfriend and my DeLorean, in that order (sorry Egull, there's a new chic in town!)
Overall, I'm extremely satisfied with Josh at DPI. He's a great guy, very honest, forthcoming, doesn't hold anything back, but does amazing work. To put it this way: "satisfactory" is not in his vocabulary when it comes to his work, but "perfection" sure as hell is. Check out his official website at DeLoreanIndustries.com, or shoot him an email (found on his Contact Page). Tell him Shep sent you! I mean, it won't earn you or me anything other than the knowledge that you read this review or talked to me (there's no customer referral program, you can ask him yourself), but hey, small world! Feel free to shoot me an email too (found on my Contact Page), let me know how it goes!