Parked For 10 Years: 1982 DeLorean DMC-12

To me, DeLoreans are a conundrum. I get that there’s a loyal fan base, but their values seem to fluctuate greatly depending on whether there’s a buyer in the room who has decided this is the week to own a replica time machine. They’re not fast and the driving experience isn’t particularly engaging, but the stainless steel body and gullwing doors seem to make people reach into their wallets. This example here on eBay was stored for the last ten years and comes with the preferred manual transmission; bidding is approaching $34K with the reserve unmet.

In terms of trying to dissect which DeLoreans get big bids, it’s not surprising to see this one with a commanding lead at the moment over lesser cars. The stainless steel body is presented incredibly well and looks like someone spent some money on detailing and overall presentation before listing it. The turbine wheels appear to be in near-perfect condition and the black trim is still lustrous and dark.

The old California blue plates offer some indication as to how long this DeLorean has been in preservation mode, and it would seem based on the strong cosmetics that its 10-year sleep was at least in a climate-controlled space. Seeing the gullwing doors erect and the louvers on the back glass remind you what a product of the ’80s this car was, and that alone likely sparks the nostalgia needed to get bidders to forgive the DMC-12’s shortcomings.

With bidding seemingly moving towards a sale price of $40K or better, this DeLorean stands as a testament to how many enthusiasts still pine to own one of these cars. The fact that this one shows just under 45,000 miles from new and has three pedals likely has helped push it to the top of the list for anyone hunting down a DMC-12. Would you be salivating over this car if you were in the market, or is your money better spent elsewhere?

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Comments

  1. ccrvtt

    I have witnessed one undergoing an LS swap.

    Truly terrifying.

    Like 2
  2. Andrew

    While a DMC is cool, what about the jet engine?

    Like 10
    • slickb

      I have a feeling it has something to do with that US Navy Jet….

      Like 3
      • Tom Member

        I have a feeling it is just showing off!

        Like 2
  3. Al

    Ten years……………

    That’s marginally back to the future, or is it forward to the future.

    Methinks I am confused….

    Like 4
  4. Time Machine

    At least a five speed?
    Where’s the engine shot?

    So is this one from the future or an old one?

    I suggest take this back to its birth year and trade it in for a low mile one and come back 😮

    These are cool cars …

    Like 1
  5. Chris Mc.

    Could never understand the attention these things garner. To each they’re own I suppose.

    Like 1
  6. Bakyrdhero

    These are becoming like Grand National for me. I’ve spent most of my life wanting one, but now I’ve seen so many pristine examples come out of the woodwork on barn finds that I feel like I’ve already owned one! I guess it saves me some money that I don’t have anyway..

    Like 13
  7. michael h streuly

    How much for the jet engine.

    Like 1
  8. Dave Mika Member

    Don’t be fooled, it’s not exactly a stainless body – they’re just exo-clad w/ stainless finishing panels.

    Like 1
  9. Tom Justice

    These cars are a NIGHTMARE to fix. The V-6 engine is awful; the water pump is under the intake manifold and the overhead cam oilers clog up and the cams wear out. Replacing either is a big job that you do not want to do. Plus, try and find someone who can repair a dent in that body; that is why you see so many of them in paint. DMC in Houston will have all you need if you do buy this car and there are enough scrapped Volvos with that engine you can get parts for that if you need them.

    Like 2
  10. Gaspumpchas

    I hate to break it to you guys, but that’s not a jet engine, its the Flux capacitor being ready for install. This one now has nitrous and will run on ethanol and panther pi$$. Doc Brown lives!!

    second best movie ever–first was American Grafitti..
    cheers
    GPC

    Like 7
  11. jmolsn Member

    I hate to contradict Tom Justice but they aren’t a nightmare to fix. They can be costly to fix but ALL parts are available from DMC Houston or many other parts suppliers. I decided not to do the water pump replacement myself but you could if you felt like it. Any competent mechanic can replace it without issue. I resurrected my 81 with 3700 miles on it 4 years ago after it sat since about 1999. Did all the work myself, except the water pump and it now runs drives and makes smiles light up where ever I go.

    Like 6
  12. jmolsn Member

    I hate contradict Tom Justice but they aren’t a nightmare to fix. They can be costly to fix but ALL parts are available from DMC Houston or many other parts suppliers. I decided not to do the water pump replacement myself but you could. Any competent mechanic can replace it without issue. I resurrected my 81 with 3700 miles on it 4 years ago after it sat since about 1999. Did all the work myself, except the water pump and it now runs drives and makes smiles light up where ever I go.

    • Tom Justice

      Nothing wrong with an opposing opinion. I hate to contradict you but as you say you never did the work on the water pump you don’t know what a royal pain it is. Have you taken a shot at the cams yet? If you keep it for long you will or someone will. I also said anything you need is available at DMC Houston, at one point they were even going to start building cars new for sale; don’t know what happened with that.

      Like 1
  13. ROTAG999

    Saw one on “car fix” show was surprised the interior has some plywood with carpet glued to it and Battery being behind front seats tend to leak like VW bugs.
    Never was a huge fan of these the early one’s have that flap in the hood not pretty. These have started to climb in price there is another DMC out fit in Florida.

    Like 1
  14. Miguel

    The blue California plate is from 1985, which was not original to this car, so I am not sure what you can infer from that.

  15. Dirtyharry

    I can’t really say why, but I want one. Maybe because a gull wing car in stainless with a rear engine is pretty unique after all. I think looking back a decade or two makes this look cheap today.

    Like 1
  16. daCabbie

    Where is the DMC logo on the front grill?

    I can easily think of ten cars I’d rather own… these things are for people with big ego’s who want everyone to notice them… I would get real tired of answering questions about flux capacitors and Doc…

    If this car hadn’t been the central character in a famous movie we wouldn’t be having this conversation… it would be a $10k car without the connection… and an $8k car if Delorean hadn’t been busted on video buy the feds for trafficking cocaine.

    The story is worth more than the car…probably a fair investment but a stupid machine to own.

    Like 3
  17. H5mind

    A friend and his well-heeled Dad used to buy these and swap in an entire 911 drive train. Said it completely transformed the car and they made money on the resale. I can’t imagine that working today with the price of 911’s, but it would be interesting to drive the finished product.

    Like 2
  18. T Mel

    It’s funny how some people like to make statements about things they have no idea about. Busted on video trafficking cocaine? lol…

    Fun fact: “DMC-12” is not the official model name, it was just the project code from the factory. “DeLorean” is the official model name.

    Like 1
    • daCabbie

      Whatever….

      Google it.

  19. Gaspumpchas

    Cool DeLorean Story-
    Friend and I toured a very extensive car collection in the Seattle area. Amazing cars and a cool, friendly owner who like nothing more than to show his cars and tell the stories. He has a DeLorean that he had all the back to the future stuff inside it, looked just like the movie car.Local high school’s senior Prom theme one year was ‘Back to the future”; one of the prom organizers approached the DeLorean’s owner to see if they could use the car for the Prom. The Owner threw them the keys and told them to have fun. The Prom pics were the couples sitting in the car!
    With the way things are going these days, telling this story warms this ol gray hairs’ heart!!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 3
  20. Lucky strike

    Does it come with the flex capacitor. ???

  21. pat gill

    overhead cam oilers clog up and the cams wear out. only if they miss a lot of oil changes, I mean a lot of oil changes…… otherwise what do they clog up with apart from sludge……

    a good paintless dent guy can fix most dents on these, then scotchbrite them back to new,

  22. Neil

    I had a cousin, that was quite a bit older than me, that bought 2 of these new. She stored them in a building on her property. Never drove them, thought of them as an ” investment “. She was a professor at a local college, and during a break in the US, she took a teaching job in Poland. She was notified by my Uncle that in her absence, the building burnt to the ground. Too bad she never put any miles on these molten vehicles. At the time, I don’t think the insurance value was too high, I actually recall it was a loss. Bum deal !

    Like 1
  23. ROTAG999

    I believe they fixed the lack of oil problem with an update before they used them in the Delorean i know the Volvo had problem’s with early version a friend had one and cost him a lot to get it back on road. He loved that car so it was worth it to him .

  24. 86_Vette_Convertible

    There was a story with pictures I saw sometime in the last year where a guy had a Delorean and pulled the Peugeot engine and slid in a Chevy LS with turbos into it. It took him a while but he got it done. Don’t know how much he had to tear up to make it happen but make it work he did. Other being a novelty item, I’ve not had a lot of love for them but that just a personal thing.

  25. Roy L

    Anyone ever drive one? How do they handle? They are cool looking, but looks can be deceiving.

    Like 1
  26. microbuss

    hey I want one someday but its gotta be a junker
    Don’t want to do a Railorean with a nice one like this!

    needs to be engineless & have no wheels on it

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