Unsolved Mysteries:

The Rest 0f The Story on the DMC Body Dies


 

Created 6/11/00 David Swingle

 


Part 1

In early June 2000, I received an email from a gentleman by the name of Bryan Morgan of Chepstow, South Wales, with some exciting, never before seen information on a topic that often comes up for discussion among DeLorean fans. 

It has often been reported that after the demise of the DeLorean Motor Company in 1982, the stamping dies that were used to manufacture the stainless steel body panels for the DeLorean car were dumped into the ocean by the British Government because they wished to keep anyone from re-creating the company. This is one of those tales that have been often repeated, without any proof of fact. 

I recall someone (I thought it was Robert Lamrock but I can't find the post) writing on the DeLorean Mailing List some time ago that the dies were actually sold as scrap and used to anchor fish nets. At the time it was interesting, but kind of "just another theory". Well - - out of the blue comes some new evidence. 

In an interesting set of coincidences, it turns out that the ship being used to put the dies into Ard's Bay in northern Ireland was of special interest to a group of people in Wales. 

I am working with Bryan to obtain more information and higher quality scans or originals of the photos. Keep watching the DeLorean Mailing List for any more information as it becomes available.

Dave Swingle, 6/11/00

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Here is the first email that I received:

Hello Dave,
...  I am Project Administrator for a busy team which is restoring a vintage car ferry.  She was the main link between England and Wales until the Severn River was bridged in 1966, when she became redundant and was sold to an Irish company. We found her last year and towed her back to Wales for full restoration - which is well under way.

So what has this to do with deLorean?  Well, last week we received a packet of photographs from her skipper in Ireland in 1984, Capt. O'Donnell, which show the Severn Princess at work in Ards Bay, Connemara, dropping heavy steel anchors overboard to be used to secure the nets that form the boundaries of a fish farm in Ards Bay.

The "anchors" were in fact the deLorean body part press moulds from the Northern Ireland factory. The pictures may well be of interest to deLorean enthusiasts (if they're anything like antique car ferry enthusiasts) and I can mail copies on request.  They will eventually feature importantly in our website at   http://www.severnprincess.co.uk

I attach one of the pictures of the moulds being loaded at Kilkieran Harbour in 1984.

Hope this is of interest.

Bryan Morgan


I was certainly interested!  In the above photo, you can clearly see the outline of the gullwing door stamping die (green arrow). One interesting thing to me is that the dies were originally utilized  in Germany where the stainless was stamped into body parts, yet here they are in Northern Ireland being put in the ocean as anchors. Note also the buoys fastened to heavy ropes, in turn fastened to the dies themselves. 

You'll notice that Bryan assumed that the dies had come from the factory in Northern Ireland. In this sort of arrangement, the dies are usually the property of the company commissioning their use (in the case DeLorean Motor Company). Apparently when the company went into receivership  the dies were shipped all the way back to Northern Ireland, where they then came to be sold off when the company was folded. 

Bryan and I corresponded a few more times, and he sent on more information and photos. He also got some more detailed information from the Ship's Captain.

Take me to part 2:


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