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Battered Time Machine: 1981 Delorean DMC-12

Damaged exotic or other high-end collector cars are always so strange to me, with their battle scars seemingly not real when you consider how rarely you see such vehicles damaged. Take this 1981 DeLoren DMC12, which features a right-rear wheel bent in such a way that driving in a straight line is likely near impossible. Or, is it simply attempting to fold in on itself for purposes of traveling where roads don’t exist? Find out more here on eBay where it’s listed with a $17,500 Buy-It-Now.

The ripple in the rear quarter panel suggests this DeLorean had an impact with a object heavier than itself. Given the seller references the car is just out of long-term storage, I wonder if it was parked when the damage was originally done. The rest of the body looks acceptable, and the original turbine wheels – well, the three that are left – all look to be in fine shape.

The interior is fairly rough for a collector car like this, with tattered seat covers and at least one door panel removed. The other downer is the automatic transmission, which almost immediately puts it into the lower tier of values for a DMC-12, given most folks prefer the manual transmission to make the most of the restrained power output from the stock motor.

No details are offered on engine health, but it would seem its ability to make forward progress is severely hampered considering the condition of the rear suspension. Regardless, the asking price of $17,500 seems high for an automatic-transaxle DeLorean that needs expensive bodywork to its sensitive stainless steel panels. Do you agree with the seller’s claims that it is “highly collectible” in its current state?


  1. Capriest

    If you can find out when the damage occurred you could fix the rear axle and travel back in time to before the 1/4 panel was damaged. Unfortunately I think that would require a manual swap at least. You ain’t hitting 88mph with a slushbox McFly!

    Like 33
  2. Bakyrdhero

    This one looks like a candidate for the railway conversion package from the third movie…

    Like 20
    • NotSure

      You don’t always get if you don’t ask! But I wouldn’t get too close to this at that price.

      Like 7
  3. Steve R

    There are several running, driving, manual versions that have sold recently on eBay in the high-teens to low-20’s. Why bother with this one at anywhere close to the asking price.

    Like 11
  4. Michael

    his asking price is about about what it would be worth with the condition of the interior, sitting that long not running and if it had no damage to the rt quarter panel and wheel/suspension……

    Like 8
  5. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    The link in this posting goes here, to an ended listing for a different damaged car:

    The direct link to item being discussed is here:

    Seller is “beverlyhillscarclub”

    Crack Pipe Price in both cases, but we seem to see that often these days.

    I’m going to steal a line from Biff Tannen: “I hate manure!”

    Like 14
  6. Sal

    I wonder of this guy also own that ‘firechief’ Model T Speedster?

    Although he is ONLY asking double the value for this car.

    Like 3
  7. Rob

    I see that floor and I just wince. Those guys sell some incredible junk, with little to no information on history, condition, etc. long term storage could easily mean a field. They buy, put in no effort, then flip. But they do get some really interesting junk, check out their inventory… if you want to cry… https://www.beverlyhillscarclub.com/inventory.htm

    Like 11
  8. nessy

    What? 17500 for that? This one pictured sold recently for just about the same price and the buyer drove it home. Then again, look who the seller is….Not the greatest rep.

    Like 10
  9. Sal

    Wow. I am almost speechless.
    Rob has just introduced me to the greatest comedians on the planet. I can’t wait to show my wife when I get home.
    For those of you that didn’t click the link, you have no idea what you are missing.

    My favorite, the white Rolls missing a fender. The V-8 swap is only partially done and literally held in by ratchet straps… with zero mention in the ad.

    So thank you for the link, Rob. My unborn children will someday sing your praises!

    Like 9
    • Tom Member

      Perhaps this one is the ultra rare “one of none made” with the 4 wheel steering options !!!!

      Sal, I like the 54 Bentley with the true “suicide door” or should I say NO DOOR! One hard left and out you go !!

      Very interesting site…..in a weird way….like not being able to look away from an accident site!

      Like 5
  10. Alan (Michigan)

    My post with the direct link to this auction instead of one which is closed was deleted apparently.

    Oh well.

    Like 5
  11. h60memo

    I cringe when I see one of these, because I know the Back to the Future references will be in the body of the content as well as the comments section. The DeLorean is probably the car most tied to this affect.

    Like 3
  12. LARRY

    Did Marty run over the professor??

    Like 3
  13. Coventrycat

    Good candidate for that stainless steel look I’m going for in the kitchen.

    Like 2
  14. Lucky strike

    Does it come with the flex capacitor. ????

    Like 1
  15. Bob McK

    I don’t think you can fix the SS unless you paint the car. Am I wrong? Never seen an interior that trashed. Make them an offer of $200.

    Like 0
  16. Skippy

    Please, please, PLEASE stop showing us cars from BHCC! This car, for example, has a broken frame with additional rust. Rust-free, straight Delorean frames are impossible to find and very, very difficult to repair properly. This is one reason why this car has been for sale for over 5 years. It is a parts car, at best and in no way worth the asking price.

    Like 5
  17. ChallengerChick

    Pathetic. And clearly smart money knows to stay far away from it. They just put another one up that *looks* to be in better shape externally, but needs a lot of interior work, for sure, and who knows mechanically. At $22,750, it’s cheap enough to make me wonder, especially with their rep.


    On the Back to the Future note, I have a friend in the DFW area who converts these (and several other iconic TV & movie cars) down to the very last detail, including the FLUX capacitor.


    Like 1

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