Wednesday, December 31, 2008

When Your Time Machine Breaks Down, Call Jeff.

Jeff Greenfield has been one of my closest friends for as long as I can remember. He is also a first class foreign / exotic car mechanic who has kept many of my cars running long after they should have been dead.

One night, 15 or more years ago, he called and told me that he was going to be doing some work on a DeLorean. “Cool”, I said, “I’ll stop by the shop this week and check it out.” “You can’t” he replied, “It’s not at the shop and it’s kind of a secret DeLorean. It’s a time machine”

Even the best mechanics in the best shops can sometimes breathe in too many fumes. I cupped my hand over the phone, looked at my then significant-other who was sitting on the couch next to me and said, “I think I may have to go out to Pittsfield and pick up Jeff, his spray booth must not be ventilating properly.”

But Jeff kept talking. Coherently. What he was trying to tell me was that someone had hired him to work on one of the “Back To The Future” DeLoreans. (That's when you know you have a good reputation - I'm pretty certain the studio that owned this car checked him out thoroughly before hiring him. They were not about to trust their time machine to someone who had been changing oil at a Jiffy Lube a week before...) He, along with a mutual friend, Tony (a man who is known for his ability to reassemble intricate / complicated Italian cars during the day and then beat the snot out of a drum kit in a punk or death metal band at night), who he had hired to help him, were going to be putting an the engine back in one of the movie cars...

I could tell you the rest of the story as I remember it, but it’s probably best that you read his first hand account. You can find it here on his website.

When you’re done reading the story, click on the photo link. 1) You’ll get to see the car, and 2) You’ll get to see just how much Jeff, back when these pictures were taken - in the early nineties - resembled John Oates (of Hall & Oates fame). I never realized it until tonight. The resemblance is uncanny (I hope like hell Jeff has no old pictures of me hanging around…)

Have fun!

1 comment:

alfaguy said...

OMG, that is too funny.

Although I remember the conversation with the studio regarding putting the car back together, I had no memory of our discussion about it.

The really funny part is your comment about the studio checking me out, nothing could have been further from the truth. Everybody that this studo hired were subcontractors hired for a specific job. When the engine needed to be removed, the story I got was someone who was working there called her brother.

He wasn't anywhere to be found when it needed to be put back together, so they found me in the yellow pages.

Lastly, I don't know if this was mentioned in the story on my site, but after we got just about all through putting this thing back together, someone asked us if we had seen the video - to which we replied waht video?

Turns out the brain trust that took the thing apart made a video of the process to help them put it back together (seems perfectly logical for someone working in a movie studio of all places), only no one bothered to tell us this until it was too late.