When compared to Prototype 1, the differences are clear. Notice that in the picture (above) you can see the dimmer knob off to the left hand side, whereas in the other picture of Prototype 3 (Red painted) the dimmer has been included within the cluster.
It is our belief that this cluster was from prototype 3, as this was the first Lotus-DeLorean prototype.
In the picture (right) showing prototype 3, we can clearly make out the mileage of 148 miles being shown. This car was superseded at the time by the next prototype (4) and our cluster showing 176 miles is consistent with the theory that this is the same cluster. It should also be noted that the picture was taken of prototype 3 and prototype 4 with the styling change just being finished by Giorgetto Giugiaro - this too points to our cluster being from prototype 3.
Prototype 2 most likely had the same design as her almost twin sister.
PJ Grady Europe purchased a prototype instrument cluster from one of our Lotus contacts.
This incredibility rare find was actually used within one of the prototypes 2 to 4. Their is a strong posibilty that this cluster is from Prototype 2!! as last pictures of that car show it missing. The only information that is conclusive at this time is the speedometer, having recorded just 176 miles.
From the condition of the unit, it was clearly used in a car and tested thoroughly.
Our instrument cluster after through restoration and careful scratch removal.
UK DeLorean Owners Club secretary Chris Parham recently visited us, along with his prototype instrument cluster. We had both talked at length about possible differences in design of both rare pieces and were eager to compare them. They are completely identical in size and gauges, the only differences being listed below.
As mentioned previously, our theory is that our cluster was installed within the red stainless steel DeLorean prototype/mule 3. Whereas Chris’s Cluster could have been made as a test piece to display to various executives to show change of design from prototype 1 style.
While it is unlikely that Chris’s cluster to have been installed within a car, his very rare piece is complete, whereas ours (seen on the left) has been trimmed and rewired (Notice our cluster has had its lower edge cut away when compared to Chris’s… our clock is also missing. The reason - it would not fit in P3! As with all test and development, sometimes you need to modify the parts to suit the car!
Both pieces are the only known examples, with the exception of Prototype 1 which is of slightly different design. To our knowledge there are another possible two with the DMC gauges and design. The clusters, which are of a Buick design, were sourced from a company called AC Delco, a division of General Motors. Thankfully with each of them being found and making their way into either owners collection, they will last for many more generations yet to come.
PJ Grady Europe recently purchased this faded yellow DeLorean ‘Prototype hood’ - untouched since around 1981. We acquired this hood, from a company that was sold the DeLorean pilot cars when Lotus had completed the DMC project. It is the very first production style fuel flap hood, thus making it an incredibly rare piece of DeLorean History - let alone a valuable part.
Next to Prototype 1 in the US, this item is very important considering it is from the very first production prototype.
We have been told that in all likely hood this was to have been a crash test hood, used maybe at one point for Pilot D7, however we have no way to confirm this. It is of course possible the whole car could be a painted pilot we can not trace yet.
In the background you can see a later production fuel flap hood. At the front you can clearly see the prototype hood with its different stamping pattern. Notice how the shape looks at the end of the pleat. The prototype hood pleats are sharply defined in contrast to the production version, which is more blended into the panel.
Notice how the fuel flap design is different than later production style. On the production hood, there are two folded lips, used to bolt on the actual fuel flap, here the stainless steel is bent straight down to raw edge. From this we can see that the hood was a ‘work in progress’ for styling and for usability - a true prototype.
This picture clearly shows how early the hood is. The Fibre glass material is of a unique mixture and all over the hood is ‘design work scratches’ Notice the small light cut out has not been installed, nor has the switch hole.
This Hood is undergoing a complete stainless restoration with the intention of preserving all of the existing testing phases, our only goal is to repair the stainless steel, and conduct minor fibre-glass work, We have been careful to preserve every part including keeping every paint flake removed!
We are determined to leave as much history to the hood as possible for future studies in DMC/Lotus design work. Please check back for future updates and pictures of this truly unique piece of prototype DeLorean history.
PJ Grady Europe has been lucky to be able to purchase this rear prototype fascia from the same company from which we had acquired the prototype hood. This amazing DeLorean find, is a ‘one of a kind’ piece of DeLorean history and our intention is to preserve this piece for future studies in understanding the DMC/Lotus design processes.
The first difference from stock is that the fascia is made from fibreglass as was common on the early pilot cars. The most visible difference is that it has no DeLorean brand moulded into the rear.
From the pictures you can clearly see that the whole internal design differs completely from stock. Notice the top has no fixing points for the row of screws that adjust and fix the fascia to the stock internal ERM piece. The fascia appeared to be fixed from the outside with screws! This clearly proves that this is the prototype of the updated style of the DMC. There are also other differences within the structural design.
In these pictures you can see that the rear licence marker lights have not been cut out, possibly because the design had not been approved at this point in time. Also notice the fixing points and the ‘markings’ of the rear cut out of the main taillight.
Our intention is to preserve this very unique piece of DeLorean History. This piece will in time help us to better understand the DeLorean motor car design from inception, through to production.