Just a few days after my four year anniversary of buying DMC #10515, I changed the license plate. The first owner, who bought the car in 1983, put on the original “California Sunset Plate,” which was only in circulation for four years – from 1982 through 1986. The plate number, 2AWA057, remained on the car until yesterday… around 36 years. Growing up in California, that was always my favorite plate design, as it was the perfect amount of “80s” cool on cars from that era. And what better car to have it on, than a DeLorean. Oh… and it helps that the DeLorean Time Machine in Back to the Future also had the “Sunset” plate sporting the one-character-too-long tag of “OUTATIME.”
Having moved to Nevada, there was no choice but to get new plates. And with the much lower cost of vehicle registration and taxes in Nevada, I opted to do personalized plates. Originally, I thought it would be clever, and easier, to get a personalized plate with the exact same tag that the car was originally registered with – 2AWA057. Sadly, Nevada doesn’t allow personalized plates to start with a number, so that idea went out the window. So then, how was I going to customize my DeLorean? In the DeLorean community, it’s very fun and popular to tribute the movie that caused most of us 3rd generation owners to buy the car… of course, that’s Back to the Future. There are many States that have DeLoreans with license plates that say “88MPH” or “MCFLY” or “TMELESS” or “GULLWING” or “FLUXING” or “FLUXIN.” And every variation of “OUTATIME”, such as “OUTTIME” and “OUTATME” and “BAKNTIME” and “OUTATYME.” It’s totally alright that so many people badge their DeLorean with a BTTF slogan… and, while I’m a HUGE BTTF fan, I wanted to try something different… and I wanted to try to be a bit clever too.
I came up with a dozen or so ideas, shared them to friends on Facebook to get their opinions, but ultimately didn’t go with the popular vote. Instead, I went very subtle and simple… “J Z D” – an homage to the car’s creator, John Zachary DeLorean. “J Z D” likely won’t mean much to 80% of the people who see it. And I’d bet dollars-to-donuts that no one under 40 (who isn’t a DeLorean fan) would get it. But, every DeLorean owner will get it. And, having looked at the DeLorean Census data and not finding any other “JZD” (or variation,) I figured it would be fairly unique. So, as the start of my 4th year as caretaker for VIN #10515, and 36 years after the first plate was attached to the car, this DeLorean now carries the initials of the would-be head of General Motors, the creator of the GTO, and the guy with the passion, drive, and ego, to build a stainless steel car with gull-wing doors, and his name on the bumper… John DeLorean.