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Go Back in Time with a DeLorean, HX Holden Sandman & EK Holden - Classic Restos: Series 54

By Shannons - Published on 27 October 2023

In this episode, Fletch chats with a car collector who owns three vehicles, each with its unique history and charm. He has an original 1977 HX Holden Sandman, a 1961 EK Holden, and a DeLorean, which is an interesting addition to the collection. Many people may not be familiar with DeLorean's history, apart from being featured in the movie Back to Future. The interview sheds light on its founder, John DeLorean, an American engineer and inventor who founded the DeLorean Motor Company after working at General Motors, Chrysler, and Packard. 

The production of DeLorean's first car was delayed, and it was not until 1981 that the first model was introduced to the market. Most DeLorean cars were sold in 1982, with production ending in 1983 due to a depressed buying market and lukewarm reviews from critics and the public. The DeLorean failed to recover its $175 million investment costs. 

Only about 9,000 were ever produced, each costing approximately $25,000 in the early 1980s, a hefty price tag; the sports car took over 10 seconds to reach 60 mph. Owner Richard explains that the DeLorean was ahead of its time, but American manufacturers were not interested in building it. So, he had to go overseas to attract British investors to build a factory. The production took place in Northern Ireland, where a few of the car's problems with the build quality arose. The DeLorean started with a Wankel engine, then a Ford V6, and finally a Citroen V6, but it lost its way a little each time. The car ended up being a real hybrid with reportedly a Peugeot B27 engine, a Renault gearbox, Jaguar rear brakes, and a Ford Cortina front. Despite this, the DeLorean is still an iconic car, driven further into notoriety by Doc Brown in the movie Back to the Future in 1985. The DeLorean still turns heads today. 

Next in Richard's collection is a 1961 EK Holden. What a beautiful car from a time when safety was not a significant concern. The car is painted its original colour, Alamo beige, and everything on the car is original; it's almost like the day it rolled out of the showroom. It was the first year of the three-speed hydramatic, a fully imported transmission from the United States. Richard purchased the EK locally and knew what it was all about and how good it was just by driving it. It remains a great car and drives well today for a car of its age. 

Lastly, Richard also has a 77 HX Sandman in his collection, which is an original Sandman with the original decals and wheels. It was a fully optioned Motor Show display car, with all the books and matching numbers, too. This is just a time capsule of a bygone era, and Richard says he really enjoys driving it. Although it lost some popularity over time, it has become a very collectible car today, particularly those in original condition like Richard’s