By David Swingle, owner
DeLorean Motor Company Midwest
Crystal Lake, IL
David, a DeLorean service shop owner near Chicago, authored a recent article on servicing DeLorean vehicles for Underhood Service. In his own words, he explains how he, and his wife Julee, found themselves in this industry. To read his technical article, cick here.
I was interested in the DeLorean from the time of its initial production, but then it was a dream beyond my reach. I’d always been a “car guy,” starting with a couple of late-’60s Chevy Novas before family and career set in.
I serviced and modified my own cars, but that moved to the back burner in favor of family and home remodeling.
I was finally able to buy a DeLorean in the late 1990s as a hobby car to restore with my then 14-year-old son. With the ownership experience came contact with the local club, where I became the club’s technical director and often did “free” work on local cars.
I ultimately attracted the attention of DeLorean Motor Company due to my presence in the owner community and on the Internet.
Stephen Wynne of DMC Texas approached me with his long-term plan to open regional shops to promote interest in the vehicles (and, of course, to sell more parts!).
Initially I was skeptical, I had two children in college at the time and a good corporate engineering management job, but as time went on, getting out and starting something on my own was looking more attractive. Doing it as part of a larger company group as an affiliated dealer definitely had its attractions.
Finally in late 2006, my wife Julee and I decided the time was right for a career change. I retired from my 30-year career, rented a former general auto repair shop building in the city we live, and set up shop. We initially hired two ASE technicians who, while not having experience in the DeLorean, brought the attitude and automotive experience we were looking for.
I knew the DeLorean very well, and, as it worked out, I trained them on the car and they trained me on how to do things better and faster. One of the techs secretly brought metalworking and fiberglass experience, which really helped us all.
We have now been operating as DeLorean Motor Company Midwest www.dmcmidwest.com for almost four years with the same people.
We’ve had more than 300 cars through the shop a small number compared to a general auto shop, but pretty amazing on a single-marque business.
In addition to repair and restoration of customer cars, we provide parts and technical assistance to owners and other shops in our area and around the world.
Given the sustained interest in the cars, and the fact that over time they are even more confusing to “regular” shops, business promises to continue to be good.