Lakeland Motor Museum unlocks Delorean dream

Published: 24/07/2020

A New Zealand man celebrated his 50th birthday in style by buying a classic DeLorean car, having been inspired to fulfil his lifelong dream of owning one of the iconic vehicles following a visit to the Lakeland Motor Museum in Cumbria.

Having been a fan of the DeLorean DMC12 since a prototype was first revealed by the DeLorean company in 1976 before going on sale in the 1980s, Peter Skinner, of Waiheke Island, Auckland had never seen one first-hand until he paid a visit to the heritage attraction in Backbarrow back in 2011.

Peter says, “Seeing the beautiful DeLorean housed at the Lakeland Motor Museum was a real treat for me. Until then, I had never had the good fortune to actually see one in the flesh until I visited the museum while staying with my wife's parents in the South Lakes in England. She had a real presence and I remember thinking to myself, ‘one day…’.”

Seven years later, Peter’s long search for a DeLorean began when he was asked by his wife Nicola how he would like to mark his milestone birthday. Peter continues, “2018 rolled around and after much thought and discussion we decided on buying a classic car, and to my amazement, my wife had the very same car in mind! However, there were no DeLoreans imported into New Zealand until the mid to late 1980's, so they are not very easy to find. But, after a long and detailed search, we located a 1981 automatic with just 9,800 miles on the clock at a car dealer in Los Angeles.”

Peter bought the car and had it sent to the DeLorean Motor Company for recommissioning, before the vehicle was exported to New Zealand and certified as road-worthy just in time for his 50th birthday in September 2018.

“The car put many smiles on faces as she drove around her new home on Waiheke Island in Auckland. I took my niece to the church on her wedding day as well as friends and family for a spin. One thing I soon realised was that my wife was not asking to drive her, as she preferred sitting in the passenger seat watching all the reactions the car was getting!”, Peter says.

He continues, “The story doesn’t stop there though, as I really wanted a manual, rather than an automatic. So, we sold it to the Highlands Motorsport Park car museum in Cromwell, Otago (pictured in situ), where she has pride of place in the owner’s public car collection and is his most photographed toy. I am so pleased she is being looked after and not locked away in a private collection as so many DeLoreans are.

“This year, we bought a 5 speed manual from 1983, which was my preference from the beginning. I’m only her second owner, with 4,800 miles on the clock. I bought it from the same dealer in Los Angeles and took delivery this year, 2020. I have no intention of selling this one, she is a ‘keeper’ and I am enjoying the driving experience of a stick shift. She continues the tradition of my previous DeLorean being a ‘smilemobile’ for the folks of Waiheke Island and Auckland when we are out and about.

“It would be fair to say that today many of the newer DeLorean custodians first encountered the car via the Back to the Future movie trilogy. Seeing the DeLorean feature in a starring role in the movies only added to the appeal. The main marketing pitch for the DeLorean when being sold new was "live the dream today." I can say that I am doing this almost 40 years after this motoring icon first appeared.

“The Lakeland Motor Museum played a big part in providing the inspiration to make the dream a reality! Who knows, visiting the Lakeland Motor Museum may inspire you to purchase your very own dream car too!”

Chris Lowe, Operations Manager at the Lakeland Motor Museum, says, “It’s great to hear Peter’s story and we’re so happy that our DeLorean was the catalyst that inspired him to chase his dream of owning a DeLorean for himself. Just a few months ago, The Lakeland Motor Museum purchased our DeLorean from a private owner, after it proved to be one of our most popular on-loan exhibits for several years, so we are thrilled to have secured the classic car as a prime attraction here at the museum for years to come. We’re looking forward to welcoming Peter and Nicola back, next time they’re over on this side of the world!”

After successfully applying for VisitEngland’s “We’re Good To Go” industry standard stamp of approval, the Lakeland Motor Museum is now open and requests that individuals, or their “bubble” groups book their visit in advance, with entry times staggered at 15 minute intervals to ensure social distancing can be respected as part of the museum’s Covid-secure measures.

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