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19k Mile: 1981 DeLorean DMC-12

The 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 is an early production car that has traveled only 19,364 miles since new. It has been owned by the seller since 2010 and is equipped with the popular 5 speed manual transmission. The car is pretty original with the exception of some items on the interior. It is listed for sale here on eBay with 5 days remaining in the auction. The DeLorean has already drawn the attention of multiple enthusiasts and bidding has reached $30,100. The DMC-12 is located in New Baltimore, Michigan.

The interior doesn’t match the low mile claim. The seats appear to be stained and the seller states that they were recovered under previous ownership. The dash is cracked as well as the binnacle so maybe this car sat outside or was previously owned in a Southern state. The door, hood and louvers stay open and the seller states that the gas shock struts have been replaced.

DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) built all their cars with a 2.85 liter SOHC V6 engine that produced 130 horsepower and 153 lb-ft of torque. The engines were produced by Peugeot-Renault-Volvo and sold to DMC. It is kind of shocking to think that John DeLorean approved this drivetrain choice. While the car looks great, John DeLorean of all people knew that the power under the hood needs to match the looks. Based on people I have talked to, the DeLorean was underpowered from the factory and a stock engine is not too exhilarating to drive today.But at least this one is a 5 speed which is more fun than an automatic.

All DMC DeLoreans came paneled in SS304 austenitic stainless steel from the factory except for three gold plated cars. DeLorean made a number of changes to the car as production proceeded through 1983. Since this is an early car, it probably doesn’t have any of the upgrades. However, the seller states that the brakes and fuel system have been rebuilt, the timing chain aligned and the injectors were recently cleaned. The car has a new battery, starter and coolant hoses. With all this done, the seller does disclose that the car be serviced thoroughly before any long trips.

Comments

  1. nycbjr Member

    Not sure I’ve seen one with cloth instead of leather. Looks nice tho, brings me back to the… 😎

    Like 5
  2. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Just watched a documentary about DeLorean the other day. Interesting story, it’s to bad the way it went down.
    It is very expensive to repair stainless steel body panels which apparently is a downside to owning one of these. They were notorious for being under powered. The doors are heavy and break hinges quite often. Yet there are a lot of collectors willing to pay big money for these Irish built cars.
    God bless America

    Like 6
  3. Ralph

    Please excuse my ignorance.
    How does one align a timing chain?
    Honest question.
    Drove a few of these new when they came out. If recall correctly a friend in his 1981 Honda Civic was able to beat me to 60 mph. These should have been built with a decent engine.
    A sad legacy of John Delorean.

    Like 6
  4. Mikefromthehammer

    Let me be the first to say it: it is a real “time capsule”. 🤣🤣🤣

    Like 11
  5. Derek

    I saw one moving under its own power a couple of weeks ago.

    Wasn’t going quickly enough…

    Like 3
  6. PJ

    Can this baby hit 88 mph and see some serious s***?

    Like 1
  7. JoeNYWF64

    How hard is it to spray & wipe down the seats with upholstery cleaner?
    & some armour all on the plastic motor cover.

    Like 1
  8. RBC

    Did this have the Flux Capacitor option (asking for a friend)?

    Like 8
    • Mikefromthehammer

      Yes. I believe it also has the expected update in power to Mr. Fusion.

      Like 1
  9. Howie Mueler

    Yes those seats look poor, where is the link for the Ebay listing?

    Like 2
  10. Paul

    You can easily get a stage 2 or stage 3 engine from Delorean in Houston Still in the original crate. My delorean had 17,000 miles and drives very well. It’s not a perfect car but turns lots of heads.
    The four Delirean service centers can make all repairs as well as provide aftermarket upgrades that correct sone of the original design problems

    Like 3
  11. Motorcityman Member

    Id rather have a Bricklin, faster and better looking imop.

    Like 1
    • Howie Mueler

      I had a Bricklin, i would much rather have a DeLorean any day.

      Like 5
      • Motorcityman Member

        Never warmed up to the looks of the DeLorean for starters…..I like the rear end, thats about it.

    • luckylugnut

      Bricklins have more power for sure,and are certainly eye catching. But they have their own set of problems unique to their design.
      The plastic body panels are prone to warping and cracking as well as needing special preparation prior to painting so the base coat isn’t compromised.
      Unlike the Delorean, the gull wing doors need a power assist which is problematic with aftermarket air systems.
      And last but not least, they can suffer from over heating in hot climates with their standard radiator.
      Still, I’m not ready to get rid of mine !

      Like 1
  12. roland schoenke

    I’d like to resto mod a DeLorean to get the power and handling it deserves.

    Like 3
  13. Duaney Member

    The Delorean is a neat car, but I fail to understand the high prices, and there are a dozen other sport-exotic cars far more attractive and interesting for way less money, like a Jaguar XJ-S for example, or Corvette.

    Like 1
    • luckylugnut

      IMHO Delorean prices are mostly a result of it capturing the public’s imagination when it was the iconic center piece for the Back to the Future movies.
      If that would have never happened, prices/interest would probably be on par with other oddball designs such as the Bricklin etc.

      Similarly, prices for late 60’s Dodge Chargers took a jump after that model became synonymous with Dukes of Hazard.

      • Mikefromthehammer

        Prices for (Highland Green) 1968 Mustang GT390s are sky-high due to the movie Bullitt. The only other movie car that I would rank higher in popularity would be James Bond’s (Silver Birch) 1964 Aston Martin DB5. Does anyone think another vehicle might rank higher than either or both?

        Like 1

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