AZ-D ChronicleBy Hugh Halladay - AZ-D Club Historian
In the Beginning…
In 1995 local owner James Espey, (now in Houston as a DMCH V.P.) and a few other Arizona owners (including myself) formed Local Chapter 43 of the DeLorean Owners Assn. (DOA). James Espey also started the DML (DeLorean Mailing List) and moderated it until some time after he moved to Texas in 1999 to work for the DeLorean Motor Company.
Alone in the Desert…
The DOA eventually abolished local chapters, and subsequently became almost exclusively a California operation. This, and other actions by some of the DOA “powers that be” caused the DOA to fall out of favor with many national owners. This was the Genesis of the present AZ-D, and much like the Phoenix Bird, AZ-D rose from the ashes of DOA Chapter 43.
The DML gradually became the voice of DeLorean owners and enthusiasts who felt disenfranchised by the DOA. Finally there was a source of help and advice from fellow owners who had probably ‘been there-done that’.
James Espey moved to Texas in 1999 to work for the DeLorean Motor Company, at which time he ‘passed the Arizona baton’ to Randal "Doc" Brown - President
NOT Alone in the Desert…
Finding a trustworthy shop experienced in servicing Ds can be a big problem unless willing to travel to New York, Texas or California. Our Club is blessed with many helpful people. Also, the folks from New York, Texas and California have all visited our club, and all have commented on how lucky we are to have such a strong club.
Most Delorean owners across the country have experienced the willingness of other owners to help in servicing or restoring each other’s cars. Our club is a great example of that spirit. Every car is important. Our goal is for every D in the club to be roadworthy, and a regular part of our events. We have regularly "ganged up" on a D to boost the progress toward that goal.
One lasting local tradition, going back to the “DOA days” is the informal / ad hoc meeting at the informal Pavilions Car Show on Saturday nights ( http://www.pavilionscarshow.com/index.html ), often followed by a visit to the 5&Diner across the street. The old tradition was called “Second Saturday” where as many of the DMC Owners as possible gathered to steal the show from the Vettes, Rods, Muscles, Classics and others on the second Saturday each month. The Pavilions holds their car show event every Saturday, and Club members now go on a more irregular basis, but it remains one of the chief contacts for promoting the Club, and the Marque. Several new members have discovered the club through these contacts.
A more recent tradition is the June Jaunt in the odd numbered years. In the even numbered years is the DeLorean Car Show (DCS) http://www.DeLoreancarshow.com/, and the ‘Jaunt’ is to attend the show. As in the past, Richard Federico will be the Master of Ceremonies at future DCS events. The rest of the club has pledged to assist Ken Koncelik in any way that is needed. In the odd numbered years (No DCS), Ben Ferguson, our Cruise Director, plans a special June trip/activity.
Unlike most DeLorean Clubs, we really do have a clubhouse! Well, sorta. Thanks to the enthusiasm and generosity of Richard Federico, our Hospitality Director, (and his very understanding wife Kathy), an entire activity room in his home is dedicated to DeLoreans and to the AZ-D. When we say, “the meeting is at the clubhouse”, we mean it!
Our December Holiday Meeting at the clubhouse has, itself, become a tradition. First is a quick review of the past year, and a "what worked vs. what didn’t" critique. We set goals and tentative plans for the next year. Then fun stuff! Awards; serious and not-so-serious, followed by a Holiday gift exchange. It’s cut-throat competition for the cool stuff!
On the Highway…Again
Our Club is a true Arizona club, with members not only from all across the Phoenix Metro area, but also from Tucson, Stanfield, Casa Grande, and Flagstaff. The AZ-D even has members in Las Vegas, as well as southern California!
Our club, and individuals from our club, have made excursions to assist Tucson owners in getting their inoperable Ds roadworthy again. Much success! It’s great to see more cars turn out! Keep ‘em rollin’.
Living the Dream --- Twelve Months a Year
No one in the club stores a D for the winter snow. We operate year-round. In fact, the winter is our busiest time. It’s easy to entice owners from ‘snow country’ to our events in winter. Our favorite vendors love the climate, and several past events have been built around a vendor visit to our club. We always get an exceptional turnout for a meeting that features a visit from a vendor.
One of the drawbacks of being a desert dweller DeLorean owner is easy to guess. All of DeLorean’s potential for overheating comes into play. The club is on a path to get (and keep) all of our cars’ cooling systems in shape to handle the challenge. That goes for the A/C too. Remember we are a year-round club, and July/August temps may be 110-115 degF.
On the Information Superhighway
Find us on the net. Our connection with the Yahoo! DML goes back to Day 1 with founder James Espey. Several members post regularly. Several also post on the Yahoo! DMC Forum.
However, our regular club business and communication is conducted on either or both of the following:
The website you are looking at now: http://www.az-d.org/
Daniel Fox - President
AZ-D Yahoo! Group http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/az-d/
We’ll see you there, often we hope!
Off the Information Superhighway
Printed media works too. John Spangler creates the AZ-D-Zine for all to enjoy. Copies of it are uploaded to the website for all to see, as well as being sent by email to our club email list. It contains current AZ-D events as well as DeLorean community news.
The club sometimes gets into the local press too. We love the publicity! For a sample of some of the local stuff see the Events section and the Publicity section.