1983 DMC DeLorean With 5,400 Original Miles!

The DMC DeLorean promised so much when it first appeared. However, it is a car that represented a triumph of style over substance. It could so easily have faded into the pages of automotive history, but the “Back To The Future” movie franchise saved its bacon. Today, the DeLorean has achieved cult status, and enthusiasts will pay some healthy prices for good examples. This 1983 model has been sitting for many years and will need to be revived before it can be driven and enjoyed. This lack of activity means that it has a genuine 5,400 miles showing on its odometer. It is located in Alliance, Ohio, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $19,100 in a No Reserve auction. The vehicle doesn’t come with a title but will be sold with a Bill of Sale.

If I had a dollar for every article that has ever been written about the DeLorean, then I would be a wealthy man. Actually, I’d probably still be broke, but my workshop would contain a nice collection of classics. The reality is that the vehicle was destined to fade into obscurity within a few years of production ending, but that movie franchise changed its fortune. Suddenly, some people wanted to channel their inner Doc Brown, and the unwanted orphan became a “must-have” item. What makes this even more impressive is that 30-years have passed since the final movie was released, but the DeLorean is instantly related by the younger generations straight back to the films. This one is an interesting car. When the DeLorean Motor Company collapsed in a mass of financial and legal dramas, there were still cars left in the factory. Some of these were complete, while others were partly constructed. The cars on the line were completed and issued with VINs as 1983 models. Those that were already completed but remained unsold were given new VINs, and these were also sold as 1983 models. The company’s record-keeping was less than impressive, so there is no definitive total on exactly how many vehicles were built throughout the production run. However, there is a general agreement that only 276 cars carried a 1983 VIN. This is one of those cars, and its condition could be considered to be above average. The brushed stainless steel panels show no signs of any dings or dents. The urethane nose and rear sections have not had a chance to discolor, which means they match the stainless panels relatively well. The car was undercoated at the factory, and it remains clean and rust-free. The distinctive DeLorean wheels are in good condition, and there are no issues with the glass.

Apart from the legal and financial disasters that befell the company, one of the issues that hurt the DeLorean was its mechanical configuration. The car was engineered to feature a mid-mounted Wankel rotary engine, but this failed to eventuate. The Cologne V6 entered the picture but left it again quietly. After a few more engines were considered, the company eventually settled on the 2,849cc PRV (Peugeot/Renault/Volvo) V6 unit. The illustrious Mr. DeLorean was still fixated on the car being built in a mid-engine configuration. However, he had hired Colin Chapman as a consultant, and he informed Mr. DeLorean that achieving this would require substantial re-engineering. This would delay the launch, which the cash-strapped company could ill afford. As a result, the DeLorean was built in rear-engine form, with the power finding its way to the road via a 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission. This car features the 5-speed unit, but it doesn’t currently run. The owner says that the motor does turn freely, but that it will need plenty of work before the vehicle could be considered to be roadworthy.

The owner describes the overall condition of the interior to be excellent. That is hard to argue, with the only significant issue being a sagging headliner. The seats are upholstered in black leather, and this shows no signs of wear or cracking. The pale gray carpet is faultless, and the same is true of the door trims, dash, and console. Equipment levels were relatively high in a 1983 context. The DeLorean comes outfitted with air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a tilt/reach wheel, and an AM/FM radio/cassette player.

Some classic cars are immediately identifiable by their shape, and a DeLorean with its doors open is one of them. This is a car that promised so much, and under different circumstances, it could have delivered on that promise. It is easy to say that it might have fared better if it had been built as a mid-engined sports car, but that is too simplistic. Porsche has been building rear-engined vehicles for decades, and they have proved that this configuration can deliver fantastic performance and safe handling. The car faced a “perfect storm” of obstacles that virtually assured its failure. Today, they are undoubtedly a cult classic, and the bidding on this car confirms that. Is this a project that you would consider taking on?

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Comments

  1. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    Why not just apply for a title? That’s a lot of money for a garage showpiece.

    Like 8
  2. Phlathead Phil

    Once a car gets shoved to the side, as it is in this case, it’s not likely to get out and about. Problem with a DeLorean is it’s parts. Are there any available? 19 k is a bundle. Then there is that Renault engine issue.

    Like 5
    • Patrick Shea

      One of the great things about DeLorean ownership (we own 4) is the part availability. There is literally nothing that is not available for the car. Trim, body panels, every single mechanical part etc is all available and many have not only been reproduced but re-engineered such as the fuel pump module and much of the switch gear. The engine is not the most powerful or the greatest sounding V-6, but they are reliable and with attention the PRV will last as long as anything else made in the mechanically fuel injected, lamda controlled early 80’s. The frame was originally epoxy coated and this would chip away and cause rust. This is the biggest knock on the cars, and many have replacement frames because of this. This is the first thing a prospective buyer needs to check. Other than that, everything else is basic stuff and available either in the aftermarket or at one of the multiple DeLorean franchises here in the states and abroad as well.

      Like 3
      • JoeNYWF64

        I would think the gullwing doors would leak, driving in the rain, like, but not as bad as, those did on the Bricklin.
        & therefore i am surprised that ANY of these cars(like old vettes) were driven in the rain/salt! Even if the epoxy chipped off, if there was no bad weather driving, the frame should not rust [through] – correct?
        Is that clash of light color carpet & dark colored seats here rare, or suspicious?
        Too bad it did not get better looking stainless door mirrors.

  3. Classic Steel

    No title no thanks…

    A salvage title is not cool for collection pricing.

    Why not just go back to the future. and get this title 🧐

    I know a couple owners and their comments are always look out for frame rust…. ceramic covered that sweat snd ruin…

    FYI
    Ohio owner should have asked the Delorean club the number of the traveling original mechanic to get his running…

    The non title left fender is probably worth 4000 now since the Ohio warehouse with parts back in the day destroyed parts during closure and messed up on clearing only left side fenders 🤨

    Its a shame Shelby couldn’t have bought the factory and refitted engines 😉

    https://www.deloreanguide.com/new-posts/frame-rustquite-possibly-the-1-value-killer-in-delorean-cars-today

  4. Leland

    Rotary? Was that the Mazda mill or the canceled GM one?

    Like 2
  5. Leland

    Now I think about it, should have called up Chrysler for a turbine! Imagine what a cool car that would have been!

    Like 1
  6. Stan Kaminski

    5,400 Original miles. What other kind can they be? Rental? Leased? Fake? Non-original? Unknown? It’s not like 4,000 were put on by the original owner and the rest by somebody else. In this case you could make an exception that Marty put some on in 1985 before returning from the future. All kidding aside simply say miles.

    • TallPaul

      Could be 5400 miles after engine rebuild, after replacement of odometer, or mileage on odometer after it had rolled over. Stating that they are “original miles” makes it clear! I know some Delorean owners and they don’t seem to have problems getting parts.

  7. Vincent A

    I’ve looked into this car. Had nypd auto crime run the VIN
    Something is sketchy about it

  8. hatofpork

    I imagine a PRV V6 wouldn’t be too hard to source, should a replacement become necessary, providing the ones made for this car weren’t modified too drastically. 88 mph here we come!

    Like 1
  9. Patrick Shea

    Reply to JoeNYWF64, the gull wing doors are extremely well sealed and we haven’t ever had any issue with them leaking. Staying up, well that is another story lol. The torsion bars need to be in perfect adjustment and the helper pistons wear out quickly. The frame was susceptible to rust when even the slightest chunk of epoxy was chipped away. The water finds a way behind and rusts out from within. It is terrible. But yes, if it wasn’t ever exposed to bad weather/water it would most likely be ok. Regarding the interior, the very early cars and the very late cars, such as this, had black or very dark grey seats and door panels with lighter grey carpets as seen here. The grey was the most common interior color as a majority of the mid production cars, such as cars built in October of 1981 which was the high point for production, had that configuration. Early and late cars with the black or dark grey seats and door panels are desirable and the parts are readily available for them as well.

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