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Abandoned Gamble: 1982 DeLorean DMC-12

Abandoned DeLorean

We have featured a lot of low-mileage DeLoreans, but this could be the first abandoned one we’ve seen. It’s doesn’t run, but the brakes work and it rolls, so transport shouldn’t be a problem. The restoration job might be a different story though. Someone has painted the stainless steel exterior for some reason and the interior looks like it’s been exposed to the elements for a while. It’s located in Tolland, Connecticut and is listed here on eBay. The issues haven’t deterred anyone though as it’s currently bid up to $5k!


  1. sparkster

    Not all reentries are smooth when coming back. I believe this was the Delorean that made the trip back in time to Mars.

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    • Chris

      That’s good stuff!

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  2. GTOJeff

    Biff decided to build a red time machine but Doc and Marty stopped him.

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  3. Rick

    Evan at the current price it would be a loss leader simply replacing the entire interior, windshield, stripping the paint, etc, etc… My first concern would be the frame. If it’s been wet enough to grow trees from the dashboard, it’s wet enough for some really severe frame corrosion under that carpet.

    Probably only good enough for a parts car on the panels that haven’t been dented…

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    • Drew V

      Link to The DeLorean Buyers Guide section on Frame Rust…

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    • Drew V

      If the frame isn’t rotted away, the exterior cound be plastic media blasted to strip the paint for $600… Abunch of
      Mean Green a cpl of bristle brushes and a Shlt pot of elbow grease would do wonders for the interior, not to mention a 5 gallon bucket of Fabreeze or a cpl hundred green pine trees… As far as stripping the paint, as long as whats on there is not losing adhesion, just wet sand it and spray it any color you want… Are you saying you wouldn’t drive a painted DMC??? That’s about as absurd as not driving a Testarossa because it’s not Red… … I don’t see anyone sinking the money into this partivular car to make it a concourse show winner, but with a few well placed and common sense cash outlays and some skinned knuckles and sore muscles this could make an excellent driver, or a quick flipper, so what if it’s painted or has stained carpets, it’s still going to draw stares and thumbs up from the younger generation of Auto enthusiasts who have never seen one before… Look, this car is 34 years old, , if you graduated High School in 1990, this would be the same as seeing a ’56 Ford or Belair cruising by… Of course this all goes back to if the frame is usable or not…

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  4. Mvm

    This is the actual stunt car used in BTTF part 6 (never released) were the stand-in stuntman was to late and hit the front window. The experimeteded with a red screen instead of a grean one, wich explains the color ;-)

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  5. DAN

    a guy in n-cal had a red one
    saw him go through a crappy drive through carwash, LOL

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  6. grant

    It’s been up for auction a few times now, and been listed on BAT. Not sure if it’s ever sold.

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    • Blueprint

      Not a BaT listing, just featured. Maybe for LeMons?

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  7. stan

    let’s get Mike and Ed from wheeler dealer to come buy it they would be able to show us all how to flip it and make a profit on it, with Ed’s ability to fix anything and Mikes power to make deals and save money, how could they lose

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    • grant

      Well mostly cause its a tv show and it isn’t really real. It’s easy to “profit” when you’re playing with house money.

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    Dudes, there’s a fricken tree growing out of the dashboard. This would be an electronic nightmare. There’s a reason it hasn’t sold or this would be gone.

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    • John

      Even for free it would be a loss.

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  9. Michael M.

    The word scrap includes the word crap. Unless there is someone out there who aspires to fill a hole in the ground with a 1982 Delorian …this car is really never going to find a bonifide buyer even close to the asking price…and yet with almost three dozen bids I’m wondering what is it that I don’t see?

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  10. Jeffro

    Why, when I look at this car do I think… demolition derby?

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  11. cyclemikey

    “Stainless steal panels”? Hmm, does this suggest a criminal past for this car?

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  12. Pinesebrine

    To the untrained eye this might seem like a crazy price. But there are a lot of useful and valuable parts if you want to piece this out.

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  13. Fred W.

    Just what I was thinking. How many of these are being parted out? So few that parts prices have to be through the roof.

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    They made enough parts for 32,000 cars and only sold like 8000 of them. Wheeler Dealers restored one and they went to the DMC parts warehouse. No parts problem with these cars at all.

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    • grant

      I read somewhere that the outfit that bought up the parts inventory has enough for several hundred card and is going g to start producing them as a small market manufacturer. Idk if it’s true or not though.

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  15. Ross W. Lovell

    Greeting All,

    NO ONE, painted their Delorean because they didn’t like stainless.

    They painted them because they didn’t like the price of the repair panels when it was dinged or accident damaged.

    They then smeared some filler and painted the whole car.

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    • Tony Carter

      One of the biggest problems was getting the same ‘swirl’ on the stainless steel panels after repairs had been done so much so that you had to do the whole car to try and get it to match.

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  16. Jeff G

    “It rolls”. Onto it’s roof.

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  17. nessy

    Prices have been going up on these cars. I sold my 81 which was in pretty good shape, some electrical issues, the windows did not work, nor the ac so forget driving it in warm weather, ect, for 15k only 4 years ago to a dealer in Germany. I paid 6k for it a few years before so I thought I was doing well on it. Now, if I still had the car, I could have sold it for at least 20k. I should have kept that one.

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  18. Lostboy

    I always assumed avoid a painted Delorian like the plague. As Ross said, no one covers up that stainless, for their favorite shade of Earl Scheib.

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  19. Alan (Michigan)

    Looking ever so much like a Hurricane Sandy car.

    UGH. If it had been insured, it would have been crushed, or at least parted out.
    Abandoned? Sure. Uninsured, worthless as a car.

    $5600 for this? Are the parts that valuable? The seller should fess-up and tell more about the situation involving this car, than “I found it, it is mine, I can sell it to some(sucker)one on eBay.” You know, something like “Ocean Aroma Interior” in the description would be of help.

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  20. redwagon

    My understanding is that when new they were not always the best sellers. Occasionally the dealer’s would have them painted red which sold better than the bare stainless.

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    • Dutch 1960

      A Cadillac dealer in Pomona, Ca, had a lot full of these to sell in the early ’80s. Brand new cars. Most of them were painted bright red or bright yellow.

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  21. packrat

    I was trying to remember what this tired, stippled, maroon-red finish was reminding me of, and I think that I just got it… Spudsie, the Ohio Arts “Hot Potato” game of my childhood. I think it’s clear the timer has already gone off in the current owner’s hands.

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  22. Paul Root

    I thought I remembered the companies last gasp just before Delores got busted, was to come out with painted cars?

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  23. Johnni B

    Without the Flux Capacitor I don’t think I’d be interested in it.

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  24. Chris in Nashville

    Nope, no factory painted cars were sold, three were painted at DMC request but I doubt this cars is the red one in this article…


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  25. DRV

    His brother had a Cadillac dealership in Lakewood Ohio and sold Deloreans cars there. He painted a lot of them new for sale. My favorite was a candy apple lime.

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  26. Birdman

    Barn FInds has had at least 1 red Delorean on here before….


    And did you know that Hot Wheels made ’em too?? I have one in my collection…


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  27. Bruce Best

    I presently own the sister design to this one. I lotus Esprit Turbo and I have driven both. The stock Delorean is slower, does not break as well and when some one tells you that the fit and finish is of a lower quality than a Lotus they are really saying something and not something good. The design also can have some very interesting handling quirks if pushed.

    The worst thing about the Delorean is the exterior visibility is truly terrible even compared to my Esprit which is not good. These are great boulevard cursers to be seen in. The Design is handsome but the combination of the stainless steel panels over the plastic body can make for some amazing complications that you will not find in other cars.

    I tend to think of this one as a parts car without proof of historic significance. Sad for even if they are not great cars they can be fun cars and very beautiful cars.

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  28. MG'zer

    Would be nice to see a comment counter at the top of the article.

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    • Mike H. Mike H

      Like this one?

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  29. Dan

    The primary reason a Delorean is painted is to cover up bondo. Good example of what a nightmare a painted car is to restore.


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