5-Speed Driver: 1981 DeLorean DMC12

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The orange stickers on the back glass give this DeLorean the tell-tale signs of being an auction car, along with the numerous late-model vehicles parked in the background. It shouldn’t matter, of course, given that it presents as a nicely maintained driver with the preferred 5-speed manual transmission, but it still has enough signs of use that you shouldn’t be afraid to use it with some regularity. The seller has it listed here on craigslist with an asking price of $29,500.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Rocco B. for sending this one in. I have spent some time walking among the rows of inventory at some of the current major auction sites, and there’s always a handful of interesting vehicles that seem to end up among the rows of late-model Hondas and Hyundais. This DeLorean shows nicely from the outside, with correct turbine-style wheels and unpainted stainless steel exterior.

The interior shows heavier wear than expected for a car with claimed mileage of 29,500. The carpets look dirty and the leather is tired and cracking. The driver’s side door panel has some level of funkiness going on that I can’t decipher from here, but it’s not good. The rubber trim on the bottom of the door frame appears torn and loose-fitting, so there’s definitely some finish work left to do on this DMC 12.

The doors still open and remain suspended, so that’s a good sign. The seller notes this is a two-owner car, with clean history and a new clutch. The cosmetics may let it down, but this is still a running, driving DMC12 with the desirable manual gearbox and supposedly low mileage. Clean up the cosmetics and watch the value rise nicely – but I’d see if it can be bought for a better price than $30K.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Mike

    Blah blah blah, Back to the Future, blah, blah blah, flux capacitor. blah, blah, blah 88 mph, blah, blah, blah THE LIBYANS!

    Like 1
    • djjerme

      …or you could be driving a Bricklin..

      “Nice Deloreon, did you paint the Stainless?”

      Like 2
  2. Richard Gugenberger

    I work for Browns Ford in Johnstown NY and was at the auction in Newburg NY last Thursday (7/25) and this DeLorean sat just where you see it , the auction was going on and they were trying to jump start it so it could go thru the auction , I made a comment to my co worker about Back to The Future , This vehicle presented itself very well with the gull wing doors open . I always had a sweet spot for the DeLorean and this was a really nice example of one. Went about my business of finding the vehicle I had to bring back to the dealership and only mentioned this car to my wife , and several friends , well here it is again , maybe its a sign ,I thought sure it would go home that day !

    Like 3
    • Spence

      Do you remember what it closed at? I wanted to drive up to the auction but couldn’t get off work with four day’s notice. I was expecting it to end on the cheaper side. Didn’t seem like there was much interest in it.

      Like 0
  3. Sal

    Granted these cost more then they did 10 years ago.. but not by a whole lot. Will the prices of DeLorean’s ever be higher then the original purchase price?

    Like 0
  4. BR

    Did someone ever paint one?

    Like 0
    • AMCFAN

      I have seen one painted. A local had one back in the day. Got it in Columbus Ohio where they had been selling them through Odd/Big Lots. (you know they had to be good to end up there) Anyway shortly after it was painted Red. Have to say it looked great painted a bright color.

      When you see the same type of car done over and over and one looks no different then the other and there are 100’s of them. Purest would disagree but the above mentioned in bright red one was nice. The guys wife it belonged to a blonde wasn’t shabby either.

      Like 0
    • barry walker

      Painting a DeLorean was not uncommon in California …nothing car- wise is off limits. There was a red, daily driver in our neighborhood.

      My son’s machine shop makes parts for a client tha sells Back To The Future kits for DeLoreans

      Like 2
  5. plwindish

    I don’t normally follow DeLorean’s so am unaware of what the market $ is for them, but I’m thinking the asking price is high for it. Those seats, especially the passenger seat are showing a lot of wear for the 29,500 miles claimed. I think the dollar per mile price is too much.

    Like 1
  6. Tricky

    Considering how relatively rare DeLorean’s are, they seem to keep popping up with regularity.

    Like 0
    • djjerme

      meh.. There’s a ton of them up here in the PNW. The local club just did the Starlight Parade before the 4th of July, and there had to be almost 30 of them out.

      But then again, there’s a bunch of R5 Turbo’s up here too (my buddy has two..) so I guess we are a little different.

      Like 0

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