While on the trip, we were able to spend some time with Barrie Wills, the longest serving employee of DMCL. Barrie shared with us his 130,000+ word memoirs of his time at DMCL and asked my advice on how to get it into print and in the hands of DeLorean owners and enthusiasts who would enjoy it.
We agreed on a plan where Barrie would supply the words and photos and I would dust off my page-layout skills and do the design and printing with a plan towards releasing book in time for "Back to the Future" day on October 21, 2015.
Though we missed it by a few weeks, "John Z, the DeLorean and Me...tales from an insider" shipped around the end of November 2015 after 17 months of edits, re-writes, chasing photo permissions, transcontinental Skype conferences, over a thousand emails, two slow boats from China (one to the UK and another to the USA) , a port strike in California and one very large Dropbox site.
After completing the design work on the book, and then shipping several hundred pre-orders in time for Christmas, I was ready for a break! About the same time the book was shipping, Congress passed and then-President Obama signed into law the "Fixing America's Surface Transportation" or FAST Act. This legislation carried the provision allowing for Low Volume Vehicle Manufacturing - basically allowing the manufacture of no more than 325 cars per year that resemble a car built at least 25 years ago with far less regulation than normally found in the automobile manufacturing industry.
So, in addition to my regular "day job" duties at DeLorean Motor Company, there have been some added tasks in creating a working "bill of materials" for this car, identifying the holes in the inventory, locating potential suppliers for these missing parts, sending out "requests for quotation" for many of the larger, longer lead-time items, speaking with the media, potential buyers of this car, talking with potential suppliers of everything from engines, chassis, interiors, to meeting federal, state and local government officials from Senators and Congressmen to economic development boards and much more.
So, that's why I've been "missing" for nearly two years! I still occasionally post to the Facebook page for the book, but I'll be making more of an effort to write a post now and again here, too.