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Chevy-Powered: 1982 DeLorean DMC-12

One of the complaints about the DeLorean DMC-12 was that it was underpowered. The DeLorean has had engine replaced with a Chevrolet V6 that is reported to generate about 100 more horsepower than the stock engine. While the project is not complete, it is said to be a running and driving car. This DeLorean is located in North Palm Beach, Florida and is listed here on eBay. There are two days remaining in the auction and the car is currently bid to $30,000.

The car is reported to have only 11,148 miles but the interior looks like 111,000 miles. The dash has a tear and the seats and interior are worn and sun faded. The AutoCheck report shows the odometer to be OK and that the car has only had two owners. The seller discloses the needs including redying the interior and replacing the headliner. The seller will include the material for the replacement of the headliner with the sale. The car is a 5 speed which is a plus.

All DMC-12 cars left the factory 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. Most reviews of the car agreed that the DeLorean was underpowered from the factory and a stock engine is not too exhilarating to drive. This example has a Chevrolet V6 engine although not much is said about it other than it runs and has no exhaust. The seller states that they can have new exhaust installed for the buyer for $650.

The seller states that the car has no dents but there is a scuff on the front bumper. All DeLoreans came paneled in SS304 austenitic stainless steel from the factory except for three gold-plated cars. It is probably exceedingly expensive to have the body panels repaired or replaced in today’s world. This one is bid pretty high considering its condition. The DeLorean is a beautiful car to look at and it would be fun to drive this one.


  1. Back in BC Time

    Well this motor will take in back to BC .

    I like it very much. Just needs interior and exhaust and back up tires.

    Like 4
  2. Bultaco

    I wonder why they didn’t use a more modern version of the GM V6 with modern engine management. It wouldn’t have been much more complicated, and would have yielded at least as much power as well as a car that could be registered anywhere.

    Like 5
  3. Jim

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but no Chevrolet carbureted V6 came near 230hp. The strongest carbed Chevy V6 would be the 4.3 I’m guessing??? And that had 155hp from the factory. What am I missing?

    Like 4
    • Tony Primo

      They swapped one weak engine for another less weak engine!

      Like 8
    • Dave

      Yes that’s a 4.3 and you’re right, no factory 4.3 had 230 for sure, but this one’s not factory. I see no emissions equipment, no EGR valve or even a PCV valve. It looks like an AFB but without electric choke. With no emissions requirements on a carbureted motor you can run any cam you want. You could make 230HP almost by accident.

      Like 5
      • TomP

        No emissions equipment = a car that’s illegal to drive in 37 states.

        Like 7
  4. Howie

    40 pictures and only two of the engine, why not finish the exhaust and raise your reserve by $650?

    Like 10
  5. C Force

    A small V8 is the real solution to the power problem(5.0liter?).There is a 6.0L LS powered one out there,making right around 400hp or so.

    Like 2
  6. Blaney Eathorne

    I have always thought that the best transplant for this car would be a 3.5L Ford Ecoboost. Lots of power from a stable and readily available powerplant that will fit in the cramped engine bay.

    Like 1
  7. Jwaltb

    Probably blow the transmission with any more power and torque.

    Like 3
  8. Rolo

    WHO swapped this car?? They need a serious beating for this sacrilege!

    Like 1
  9. Howie

    Sold $37,300, 34 bids.

    Like 0

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