No Reserve 5-Speed: 1981 DeLorean DMC-12

This 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 is listed for sale at no reserve and presents as a decent driver-quality example that has some minor sorting left to complete. It’s equipped with the preferred manual transmission, and the seller has invested about $18,000 in various repairs and updates. Values seem to hover in the upper 20s and low 30s for decent cars, and this one is listed here on eBay with bidding just over $19K at the moment. While it’s hardly a car you can buy cheap anymore, it still seems like a good investment despite the model’s shortcomings.

What I mean by that last statement is that these were not necessarily enjoyable cars to drive, especially considering how the performance never quite measured up with the exotic looks. In my opinion, people buy these cars out of pure passion and the iconic appearance, and the knowledge that you’ll draw a crowd no matter which car show you roll up to. The seller has fixed several typical DeLorean faults, including the headliner that has usually collapsed by now and new shocks for the doors so they stay upright when opened.

The interior is in fine shape, and as noted earlier, it comes with the must-have manual transmission. The cabin looks downright tidy with clean, untorn seating surfaces, a minty center console, uncracked dash, and a steering wheel that shows no indications of wear. Of course, this could also be due to having just under 32,000 original miles, and the seller notes that the DeLorean spends more time sitting than driving since entering his collection five years ago. The seller notes two outstanding issues include an intermittent driver’s window and a currently in-op passenger-side window.

The engine bay presents like the rest of the car with no obvious cosmetic defects. The seller has made several key repairs to the drivetrain and suspension, which includes a new clutch, starter, alternator, tuneup including new distributor, brake system overhaul, and new tires. The description also notes front end suspension work but doesn’t detail what this included. An oil leak is still present despite the investments noted here, and the seller doesn’t specify where it is. Regardless, as a no-reserve car with a clutch, this DeLorean is sure to find plenty of interested bidders.


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  1. Tommerp

    A perfect match to the Tesla Cybertruck!

    Like 1
  2. SusanOliver

    I remember seeing one of these in person the first time, we were all in awe of it. Later when word got out that they were cramped, not that great to drive, and such, I was still in awe of them. Just a sentimental type at heart I guess. Have never been financially in a position to own one which is good because if I did, reality would show its ugly head and I would be broken and lost.

    Like 2
    • steve

      I felt the same way until I discovered it was powered by a V/R/P six cylinder.

      Like 1
    • Eddie Garcia

      I own one and I find it very fun to drive, maybe because its equipped with a turbo. My mechanic has driven a stock Delorean and a turbo and says mine is more fun to drive.

  3. GeneB Member

    A artist friend of mine, Stephi Latanaro, (sp) left our little town in Maine and went up to Toronto to help design the body of this car.

    Like 1
    • Jon C.

      This car was designed by Guigiaro in Italy.

      Like 1
  4. Gaspumpchas

    I viewed a collection in Seattle where the owner, a very cool, hospitable guy who treated us like royalty, had a DeLorean that was done up Back-to-the – future style, complete with working flux capacitor. A local high school was having their Prom, and the prom theme was Back to the future. The collection owner threw them the keys and told them to have fun. They parked it at the prom site and sat in it for the prom pictures. Beyond cool. Sorry off topic but I thought everyone would enjoy!

    Like 15
  5. steve

    Do you think we will ever see the day where a Delorean breaks the 100k miles mark?

    Like 3
    • Gary

      If you mean 1 million miles, then yes, that day is coming

  6. Peukipsee Pete

    Where we’re going, we don’t need reverse!

  7. T Mel

    Everyone gets it wrong but the official model name is “DeLorean”, the “DMC-12” was just the internal project code. 30,000+ miles is not that low for a DMC, most have less, but 30,000 or more can actually be better for these especially, since it shows the car has been somewhat used and maintained. “Not necessarily fun to drive”? Everyone that looks at these by today’s standards says that, but in ’81 the performance was on par with many sports cars. Trite write-up indeed.

  8. Jim Z

    I had an opportunity to troubleshoot and repair one of these in the late 80’s. After getting it running, drove it around a bit. Not a performance car if my memory serves, but the gull-wing doors were cool.

    Like 1

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