No Reserve 1981 DeLorean DMC-12

It still amazes me that all these years later, the DeLorean DMC-12 continues to command very respectable money even when in project car form and saddled with the wheezy automatic transmission. The DeLorean seen here does run and drive but has a number of fixes outstanding, and is equipped with the slushbox. Still, that hasn’t stopped the bidding from racing up to near $20,000 here on eBay, where the seller has listed it with photos showing a decent interior, original owner’s manual, functioning gullwing doors, and “…nearly perfect body,” aside from one errant door ding.

End of the day, it’s a genuine DeLorean listed with no reserve, which is always going to catch people’s attention. Still, as much as I personally like the car (the first Back to the Future left a very big impression on me), I thought its star had faded in recent years as it seemed caught between two major enthusiast eras, as it was too new for the Gen Xers and too old for the bulk of millennials. Despite being a part of the so-called “Radwood” era, the DMC-12 is just a little more senior than most of the cars associated with that scene, and it also doesn’t have the sporting qualities that make it a revered driver’s car regardless of its age.

Still, not much driving will be happening in the short term as the DeLorean needs a fuel pump among several other repairs. The seller kindly lists them in the ad, and includes a driver’s side strut, louvre struts, and door seals as the components that should be replaced by the next owner. No word on the health of the gas tank, but cars like this are usually in need of a full flush and re-seal in that department as well. The DeLorean does have a cracked instrument binnacle surround and damage to the driver’s seat, but no other major flaws are visible in the pictures. While a manual gearbox doesn’t make the DeLorean substantially quicker, it’s definitely needed to extract as much speed as possible from the underpowered mill.

The bodywork and turbine-style wheels both present well, and the passenger seat and console appear to remain unscathed. The seller notes he removed the headliner to have it redone, but doesn’t elaborate as to whether the work was ever completed. Overall, this looks like a decent example for cleaning up and re-selling (if you’re into that sort of thing), as the keepers are the 5-speed cars. Still, the automatic isn’t giving bidders any pause here, which begs the question as to whether the DMC-12 will ever cool off, or is it now so iconic it’s destined to always pull a fair selling price? What do you think – will the market ever cool for these 80s icons?


  1. nycbjr Member

    Im a gen xer and being B2TF was during my formative years, I would love a delorian, but I’d want a powerplant swap, unless there are go fast bits for PVR engines? (never looked)

    Like 0
    • Larry

      i cant belive they are still selling them today that delorean costs 20 high to 40 low expensiive but still a badass

      Like 0
  2. Mitchell Gildea Member

    But where’s the flux capacitor? 🤔

    Like 5
  3. Danger Dan

    Very fun car to drive with a stick shift. I had a great afternoon test drive. People were going bonkers whenever I drove by.

    Like 1
  4. Argy

    When it was new it needed 10.5 seconds to crack 60 mph and topped out at 105 (no word on how long it took to hit 88). The DeLorean turns heads everywhere it goes, so maybe speed isn’t everything.

    Like 0
  5. JohnU

    No need to reseal the plastic gas tank. Just clean it out.

    Like 1
  6. Jakub

    Fuel pump cost about 20 euro and takes about an hour to replace. On the other hand as DeLorean owner myself, with long hibernation and mechanical injection this system requires some considerable time and money to clean and commission.

    Like 0
  7. Rimhard Kirschenbaum

    Never could see the appeal. Dings are all but impossible to repair as well as collision damage, so the novelty of the “stainless steel” body comes with a major downside. Marginal performance. The gill wing doors are gimmicky as opposed to a design solution like the 300 SL everybody rips them off from. Not particularly comfortable. When John Z resigned from GM to build his own car I expected something earth shaking like the Tesla. He had no car on the drawing board and went to Porsche to develop one. So why not just buy a Porsche? Eventually he got his design from the great Colin Chapman who had one ready to go Your got the next generation Lotus Esprit with a gimmicky body and a borrowed engine (Renault/Peugeot/Volvo). some wrenched build quality, and a fat ticket.

    Like 1

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