“Know what I mean, Vern?” If you’re of a certain age, you did know what Ernest P. Worrell meant. Even if your name wasn’t Vern. A staple of 1980s entertainment, Ernest bumbled across the movie screen and into our hearts, going to camp (1987), jail (1990), saving Christmas (1988), and getting scared stupid (1991). Jim Varney, who played Ernest, was a box office hit. So what did one of the biggest movie stars of the ’80s drive? That’s right, a DeLorean DMC-12. A rather special one, at that.
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What should also have been mentioned was Jim would get into his "Ernest" costume and go to visit children in hospitals. He rally cared about the kids and took the time to help them feel better.
I had never been a big fan of the movies but the time he took for children makes him a hero in my book.
(edit fixed mis-spellings & missing punctuation, some of it at least)
Man, my family watched all of his movies when I was a kid. Good memories. "Ernest Goes to Camp" and "Ernest Scared Stupid" were two favorites. We quoted lines from those movies all the time.
Good article, but unfortunately it’s apparent that several myths of the DeLorean live on.
The car is not slow. It is average compared to other cars from 1981. It had better 0-60 times than a Datsun 280ZX, Mazda RX7, Porsche 924 Turbo, BMW 320i, Mercedes 380SL, and the Ford Mustang GT (it also put out more horsepower than the GT, 320i, and RX7). It’s about 1/2 second slower than the BMW 633 CSI and the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, and about 1.5 seconds slower than a Ferrari 308.
It is not heavy. Since when is 2,700-ish pounds considered heavy for a car? A 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi outweighs the DeLorean by almost 700 pounds, and the Mercedes 380 SL outweighs it by almost 900 pounds. The DeLorean has a fiberglass body clad in a very thin layer of stainless steel.
I think the myths stem from the fact that the DeLorean is heavier and slower than what was originally planned.....but that doesn’t make it heavy or slow. The company had to make concessions in order to start production and turn a profit. The twin turbo would have been their next move, and according to testing done on Long Island in late 1981, it would have blown the doors off the competition.
As for reliability......what can I say? It’s got Lucas electronics. The good news is that all of the problems are well documented and easily fixed. Let’s not forget that the world only ever got the DeLorean 1.0. The company was working to right the wrongs but they simply ran out of time and money. We never got the more polished version that was planned.
My Boss in Minneapolis had a twin Turbo DeLorean. It was fast (for it's day). I also lived in Peoria Ill and at the local Chevy/DeLorean dealership, the repair shop was full of DeLoreans waiting to be repaired.
Met and drank with "EPW" while awaiting a connecting flight at Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta, back in '88. Asked him, "what brings you here?" His response, " **bleep** airplane, whad'ya think!"