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Abandoned 1981 DeLorean DMC-12

I’m sure every one of us here has that one car we just dream of finding in a barn one day! Well, for BF Reader and star of Restored, Lance B, that dream recently came true. In the most recent episode of Restored, Lance finally found one of his bucket list finds, a DeLorean DMC-12. It’s rough, but there’s no denying that this is an amazing find. He sent us photos of it, but be sure to watch the episode here on YouTube to see it in all of its dusty glory!

It seems that for any of us who grew up watching Back To The Future on VHS, the DeLorean is on the list of dream finds. Obviously, the movies have played a significant role in the popularity of these cars. While the design is truly iconic all on its own, the car’s lackluster performance and the legal issues that struck DeLorean have likely held them back from reaching values that something this exotic likely deserves, but thankfully staring in Back To The Future has kept interest going well enough that parts supply is surprisinly healthy.

Getting this DeLorean running likely won’t be impossible, as long as there weren’t any catastrophic failures. The PVR V6 engine is actually quite durable, but it’s also not all that powerful. With just 130 horsepower on tap, performance was disappointing given the price tag and sporty looks. There are a ton of options for improving the performance of this DeLorean, ranging from engine swaps to installing a turbo kit. The folks at DMC Motor Company are making all the parts needed for Lance to restore this car, plus any upgrades he could ever want to make to it. Hopefully, if he isn’t already planning a trip to their facility in Humble, Texas, he will be able to drop by and check out their shop!

I look forward to seeing what it takes to get this DeLorean back on the road! It could be a fairly simple project or a huge undertaking. As amazing and rust-proof as the stainless steel body is, these cars are prone to rust in the chassis, which isn’t exactly a simple issue to fix. With any luck, this one’s structure is in good shape, but I guess we will just have to wait and see. I want to thank Lance for sharing these photos with us and I wish him luck with the rescue! Be sure to check out his channel, if you haven’t already.


  1. Howie

    So a 27 minute video just to get it on a trailer.

    Like 9
  2. Dank

    Who paints a DMC 12? Nuts

    Like 9
    • Vegaman Dan

      You paint it when it has been in an accident because working with stainless steel takes a LOT of high end finishing and very expensive repairs. Fixing the metal and painting cuts that cost down a lot.

      Tesla’s Cybertruck is an insurance write-off even in a minor fenderbender as a result by comparison.

      Frankly I don’t like the steel look and prefer those I have seen painted in super car colors much better.

      Like 11
      • Twice bitten

        Can I get an amen from the choir

        Like 2
    • LanceM

      The factory started painting them toward the end.

      Like 4
    • Paul Owen

      Covering body damage. Bondo

      Like 1
      • SubGothius

        Or some fiberglass replacement panel(s), which I gather was a common reason for owners to paint theirs, a lot cheaper and quicker than hoping and praying to source a NOS stainless panel somewhere before the “new” DMC in Texas consolidated most remaining parts supplies.

        Like 1
    • Daniel Franklin

      Bobby Unser had one he painted. Bragged about it many years ago in an interview.

      Like 0
  3. Fox owner

    Maybe I’m missing something and I don’t want to watch the you tube video, but how much did he pay for the DeLorean? And would a Buick River aluminum block V8 fit into it? Might be worth it then, but if you always wanted a DeLorean then I can’t say I blame him.

    Like 1
  4. Ford guy 69

    Yes a good driver-quality restoration would be good, with a turbo on the fresh engine. Not a race car but a fun drive.

    Black? White?(think 007 Lotus), or Silver?

    Silver for me, it would look almost stock but much more durable for daily use and easier touchups.

    No flux capacitor needed, but would be fun!

    Like 0
  5. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    A few months before DeLorean folded, I was visiting the local dealer in Rockville, MD; Anton Motors. I used to work for the owner Anton Schmidt at his BMW dealership, and was there having a brief chat with him, when he asked me if I had ever driven a DeLorean. After I said No, he called down to the showroom and told someone to put a dealer tag on one of the cars so I could take it out for a nice long drive.

    To put it bluntly, I was underwhelmed. VERY slow. My old BMW 2002 with 100,000 miles on it was much faster. Fit & finish of the interior was poor. A/C wasn’t cooling well. Body rattled over bumps. Wind noise at higher speeds. The driver’s seat & carpeting was wet, probably from a water leak.

    Schmidt asked me how I liked it, and I was honest. He said my response was expected, and he didn’t like them either. He took on the franchise because of the reputation of John Z DeLorean, and I think he regretted it.

    The car I drove was a fairly late production vehicle, and I heard towards the end they were rushing cars out the door without fixing problems. I assume that today most of the problems I noted would have been solved. Sounds like improvements can be made to cure the underpowered engine situation, but that sounds expensive when you consider what these cars sell for in nice shape.

    Like 7
  6. Al camino

    I tell people I saw a red one back in the days but it seems like they find it hard to believe!

    Like 2
    • Vegaman Dan

      Several painted in my area and look far better than the mismatched silver of stainless and plastic.

      One had a plate of XTINCT

      Like 1
  7. Ford guy 69

    Also yes many engine swaps are possible, but very involved to keep the drivetrain in one piece.

    I know my “handle” says Ford guy but I like anything and everything with wheels, specifically the 1969 Z28, and all 60’s-70’s muscle cars and trucks. I’ve never driven a DeLorean but I got to sit in one, and if you are 6’ or over, it’s a squeeze. Ask me how I know!

    If you’ve never really seen one on the road, it will get your attention right away. It sits so low, and it is mostly unrecognizable at first, especially when coming straight at you in the other lane. Many folks don’t even know what it is when they see it. If it’s attention that you are looking for, this car will do it.

    Like 0
  8. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    Ford Guy,

    Your comment reminded me of another problem I encountered during my test drive — At the time I was 6’2″, and about 250 pounds. The driver’s area was quite cramped, and the forward/back movement of the seat didn’t allow for my long legs. Driving the car for long distance trips would be out of the question for me. Coupled with the large fixed-in-place door window [with only a tiny little window that could be opened], Sitting in traffic at a light, I remember a feeling of being trapped.

    Like 2
  9. Jerry Montgomery

    I was a salesman at a Pontiac dealership in Sarasota Florida, and we picked up the Delorean line. We had a total of eight delivered. I recall we sold two almost immediately. I actual hid four in my personal garage to make them seem hard to get! We ended up painting two. One black, the other red. I wonder if this could be the one. ?

    Like 2
  10. Ford guy 69


    I was 6’1” and 220, and when I sat in it I knew I couldn’t buy it.

    Now I’m 6’1” and 235 so……

    But actually I wish I had bought it then, just to park it in the shop and mix up a little firewater and sit and look at it, and what a conversation starter!

    The car, not the hooch! Or……

    I do hope that someone saves this car.

    Like 1
  11. Chris Londish Member

    The English series For the Love of Cars did a Delorean up and made some very good safety modifications on the suspension and other parts of the car, the Renault Volvo V6 was a pretty underwhelming motor, the placement also makes the front float at speed

    Like 1
  12. Chris Londish Member

    The English series For the Love of Cars did a refurbish on a Delorean, did some very good suspension safety mods, the Renault Volvo V6 was pretty underwhelming not the performance that the looks promised

    Like 2
  13. Beauwayne5000

    Other than being movie famous it’s a badly constructed junk car..could be an interesting resto-mod project BUT unfortunately the American public thinks this junk pile is worth $$ and boomers drive the price up.
    Nostalgia is 1 thing commonsense is another.

    Like 2
  14. Alan

    Hope you sold that 2002 BMW for as much as this iconic vehicles are selling for! You didn’t? Oh too bad.

    Like 0
  15. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member


    I’ve always regretted the sale of the 2002, but after a huge fire in 1995 that resulted in bankruptcy, I had to sell off a lot of vehicles, and the Bimmer was one of them.

    As I said earlier, I used to work for a big BMW dealership, and was able to get my dad a great deal on the 1973 2002, as it was a leftover demo. Turkis in color, loaded with almost all options except for the TI or TII engine. It was special-ordered with the ribbed 5-speed gearbox! I bought it from Dad on my return home from Germany in the late 1970s.

    BMW had a problem with the turquoise paint color, and they repainted the car twice under warranty, but when the paint failed for a 3rd time, they balked, so I bought it and dad bought a Porsche instead.

    Like 1
  16. Frank

    I dont know what the infatution with these is and I wish BFwould stop doing stories on them.They were POS’s when new and have not improved with age. Ugly, slow and cheaply built. John D should have just sold coke and not built these piles of crap.

    Like 0
  17. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member


    Barn Finds has one of the best and far ranging examples of vehicles that have recently been discovered and/or are for sale. Not everyone shares your enthusiasm for Delorean cars.

    I think I stand with the majority of Barn Finds readers and commentators that this constantly changing array of vehicles is one of the major reasons we check the site daily.

    Like 3

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