Low-Mile 1983 DeLorean 5-Speed!

Prices for DMC DeLoreans seem to continue to climb, particularly for very nice examples. This example is in excellent condition and the odometer shows only 20,323 miles. If I was in the market for a DeLorean, this is the type of example that I would be looking for because it is clean and is equipped with a 5-speed transmission. The car is located in Helendale, California which is a good sign because Southern California cars are known to be clean and not rusty. The car was listed just a day ago here on craigslist. We appreciate Rex M bringing this car to our attention.

Unlike many Barn Find DeLoreans, the interior of this car has been well maintained and it appears to have been garage kept all of its life. The seats look almost brand new with just a little wear and sagging. I don’t know what the designers were thinking when they put the emergency brake between the driver and the gull wing door. While it doesn’t stick up too high, it is in the way of exiting the car. Similar to the seats, the dash, console, and door panels look very nice.

All DMC DeLoreans were built with a 2.85 liter SOHC V6 engine that produced 130 horsepower and 153 lb-ft of torque. There are really no excuses that can be made as the car was underpowered from the factory and a stock engine is not too exhilarating to drive today. The engines were supplied by Peugeot-Renault-Volvo. All DMC DeLoreans came paneled in SS304 austenitic stainless steel from the factory except for three gold plated cars. Some DeLoreans were subsequently painted but I prefer the original look. The seller states that over 2,200 changes were made to the DeLorean from 1981 to 1983.

The production of the DeLorean only lasted about 2 years. The first DeLorean was produced in January 1981 and the last one left the assembly line in December 1982. This car was apparently titled as a 1983 model according to the seller and was probably one of the last DeLoreans produced. Only 9,000 cars were built but there is an estimated 6,500 still on the road.


  1. William

    If these cars had been given a true mid engine V8 (or the equal), these would have been legendary. If that silly movie hadn’t come along, they would have just been a curiosity, and hardly even that.

    Like 2
    • DanaPointJohn

      That “silly” movie saved the DeLorean from obscurity.

      Like 7
  2. JoeNYWF64

    Even brand new, looking out over the hood that has no shine, would you really think it was a new car? Can a detail shop make that stainless really shine like paint with modern concoctions?

    Like 0
    • stu

      Why? It’s not a paint job….Paint the stainless if you want a gloss shine…lol

      Like 2
  3. JohnU

    These cars although underpowered by today’s standards were competitive with other sports cars of the day including the Corvette and Porsche 924. Alot of people continually bash them when listed on here for their lack of power and lack of reliability. If you want something with power from the era, buy something else (maybe a 911 turbo $$$). If you want a car that will be a real hit at car shows buy this. People run past the Ferraris to get photos with this 80s icon. As for reliability, there are many modern upgrades which make it much more reliable.
    I really think the ones who complain the loudest have never driven one and certainly never owned one.

    Like 10
  4. Tom

    Everyone has their own tastes and opinion and that’s what makes the hobby fun. I remember these when they were new. Didn’t like them then, don’t like them now. I never understood the engine choice. With all the connections DeLorean had in the auto industry it seems odd that he chose a French V-6. Buick was quickly developing their turbocharged 3.8. Something like that seems like it would have been a better choice.
    Was it because he liked the exotic (at the time) OHC configuration?
    It seems like there are so many better choices for the money than an underpowered, oddball DeLorean. Again, just my opinion…

    Like 2
    • Tony

      Delorean was backed by Colin Chapman of Lotus. So much of the design and mechanicals were ( sadly) shared with the Esprit even down to the knuckle head design of the hand brake getting in the way whilst you get in and out of the car.

      Like 0
  5. JEFF S.

    Crazy price. Enough said.

    Like 1
  6. frozen bird

    I owned one and although they handle very well they are very very slow cars. Which would be fine if it was easy to add HP’s to them like the above mentioned Corvette, it’s not. One can improve exhaust but there is no conceivable way to improve air intake. They starve so bad for air you can actually see the air box getting sucked down when you rev up the engine and there is no fix. The space is so tight, the air box so thin. If the cars hadn’t received an electrical upgrade bank on it, electrical’s are so bad mine started smoking inside the console one day after parking, luckily I was right there to deal with it before it started on fire. I could go on and on of my 3 year ownership of a 5K mile Delorean, these cars are crap, you can do a lot better then these for $55K!

    Like 2
  7. Matt Fish

    My dad sold his with only 10k miles after owning it for 20 years back in 2011 for $16k! $55k?!

    Like 0
  8. Roland Schoenke

    It would be fun to modernize the drivetrain with say a lexus v6, better brakes, and some chassis stiffening ( a restomod) these looked great.

    Like 0
    • Quidditas

      I would go for the 3.0L twin cam from the same stable. The later V6 can be tuned to produce well over 200Kw with torque to match. I had a slightly tuned Citroen C5 V6 auto Exclusive that could do a true 237 k.p.h. verified by a GPS.

      Like 0
  9. Brendon

    The structure of these car are through the body, not the chassis. I’m not entire sure I’d trust this for higher power applications. Also, they went to a cheaper, flat front hood for the later run cars. The early models had a separate fuel door and styled front hood so you have to lift the front hood just to refuel this one.

    Like 0
  10. Jason

    Stupid price. Will never sell for that, especially on CL.

    Like 0
  11. Bob Mck Member

    Aggressive price. May be on the market for a while.

    Like 0

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