Time Traveling Garage Find

DeLorean Garage Find

Finding an untouched classic with incredibly low mileage might be the closest any of us will ever get to time travel. That is unless you have a DeLorean, a friend named Doc, and a flux capacitor putting out 1.21 jigawatts. Well Jim O can proudly say he now has the first component in the time traveling equation. We will let him share the story of how he came across this super low mileage DeLorean DMC-12 below.

DeLorean interior

I got a call the day before yesterday from a friend who was helping her friend empty out her parent’s house getting it ready to put it on the market. While she was helping a plumber was called to do some work in the garage and he noticed the car under the cover and commented it must be a DeLorean. She’s not a car person but knew I was and called me right away and asked if I was interested in it as it was going to be sold. I happened to be in Daytona Beach FL on business and the car was in the St. Pete area. I had always wanted one and actually had been actively looking for one. I said I was interested and asked if I could come down to look at it. I drove from Daytona to Tampa last night, dealt with the awful Tampa rush hour traffic but it was worth it!!

Stainless DeLorean Fender

The car had sat in the garage since the owner passed in 2001. As you can see, all four tires were flat and it had not been run in all those years. The amazing thing was that this one owner car had only clocked 2,100 miles!! The body is flawless and the undercarriage is totally rust free. It was just picked this afternoon about an hour ago and it being brought to a friend’s business for safe keeping till a transporter can bring it to me here in CT. You might remember me as the guy who bought the ’62 Corvette out of the barn in RI a couple of years ago. That Vette is gone to a new owner but this DeLorean isn’t going anywhere except into my collection!!

DeLorean DMC-12 Garage Find

Obviously time travel isn’t possible… or is it? Was it a coincidence that Jim just happened to be in Florida at the exact time that his friend was clearing out the garage? Most likely, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream of Doc Brown firing up the flux capacitor and altering events so that this incredibly low mileage car would fall right into Jim’s hands. We want to thank Jim for sharing his find with us and we hope he will keep us updated as he puts his new project back on the road!


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  1. Don Andreina

    The biggest shame of all about the DMC saga is that these cars are so damn fine looking. Good luck with your ownership, Jim O.

  2. Robert J

    Great Scott!! What a find.

    • Brian

      Makes me want to make like a tree and get the hell outta here and pick this one up! Just seeing it makes me tingle like I’ve just been hit with 3.21 jiggawatts! Ok, enough of that…had to get it out of my system…

      • Connor

        I see that back to the future reference there, and its a good un, and I don’t normally correct, but it was 1.21 gigawatts, no telling what might have happened if doc had used 3.21 of them!

      • Brian

        @Connor – I stand corrected, it’s been 20 years!

  3. russell36

    What a nice find. I would simply get this one running and leave it as a survivor. I always liked the body of the car. Not much love for the engine and rest of the drive train however. I sort of envisioned getting one with a busted engine and “revising” the engine, transmission, suspension and electronics and make a nice usable driver. One of my wish cars along with a restored 70 mustang 351c fastback and several other cars.

    • russell36

      On my dream “driver” dmc i would consider an electric drive train. would it be possible to use a BMW i3 rear wheel drive engine/trany combo with the range extender??? :). Electronics would be nightmare!

      • Connor

        Have you seen the DMCEV concept?
        Finally they made a good looking electric car!

      • Jim-Bob

        I hadn’t heard of the i3 before, so I looked it up. What an interesting little car! As far as adapting it’s drive system to a Delorean, I don’t see why it couldn’t be done. You wouldn’t necessarily have to use the complete BMW system as it is far too integrated in the original vehicle. What I would think about doing is using just the electric motor/transaxle from the BMW and using other solutions for things like charging and power regulation. There are enough people who convert vehicles to electric drive that generic systems have to exist. I know some people use scrap fork lifts for some of these parts, but I don’t think those systems would be able to take the kind of electrical draw you would need with 170hp. It’s certainly an interesting idea, and one I wish I had more knowledge of.

      • Russell36

        Jim-Bob. You might also look up the BMW i8. It is a true hybrid. 3 cylinder with electric power and 4-wheel drive and very fast. Be out in June 2014. Not sure when in the US.


    can any one mention a dmc with out a stupid reference to a lame movie like back to the future …………………..

    • Matt

      That ‘lame movie’ is 99% of the reason why the DeLorean is as popular and as recognized as it is today.

    • Brian

      Those movies rocked! They really are the only thing that gave the DMC any status, before that, they were just a joke.

  5. Wiley Robinson

    What’s a DeLorean go for these days anyway? I remember for about 15 years you were lucky to get $13k-$15k for a nice one.

    • Dolphin Member

      The SCM Guide has them at $12K – $22K now for a #2 car. This should be a #1 car, and definitely higher.

  6. Dolphin Member

    This must be one of the lowest mile Deloreans left, except maybe one of the gold-plated ones. I would not prefer the rear mounted P-R-V engine because they can have serious mechanical problems, and mounting it at the very back isn’t the best. BUT…this has such low miles that you could likely enjoy it for a good long while without worrying too much. And just looking at the Giugiaro-designed body done in stainless would be reward enough for me.

    Talk about karma: looking to buy a Delorean and then having a low-mileage prize like this fall into your lap. Well done.

  7. The Chucker

    I think moving forward, these will gain in value due to the ties to pop culture and the story behind John Delorean himself. When I was at the Petersen Museum in LA over Christmas, they had one of the gold Nieman Marcus editions in their “vault”….very cool.

  8. John

    Even though the DMC isn’t a fast car. It looks great and I would love to own one…

  9. Chris A.

    Congradulations on a great survivor save. Several years ago I encountered the DMC Club on Interstate 90 north of Pittsburgh. Great group of folks willing to show and talk about their cars and how they enjoy driving them. I believe the club is active and continues to maintain a database for parts and advice. The DeLorean reminds me of the late 1930’s Cord. Both cars were full of neat ideas way ahead of their time and were released to the market before most of the bugs had been worked out. Both of them are still headturner, beautiful cars and deserved better.

  10. rancho bella

    The weight distribution is so out of whack on the these I’m surprised the front doesn’t lift off the ground. Nice looking……..but that’s it……………..three letters come to mind…p..?…?
    You figure it out

  11. That Guy

    I’ll go along with BC that the movie connection has been done to death, but not that the movie is lame. It’s a huge amount of fun. And it probably does help raise the DMC’s profile among the great unwashed. If the film had used a Bricklin, would the DMC be more or less desirable today? Who knows.

    But all that aside, I think these are just fantastic-looking cars in their own right, and pretty well-developed all things considered. This was a real find, and I wish Jim O the best of luck with it.

    • Don Andreina

      I agree. The movie was good, but I’m a bit over the link to the car. Apparently the original time machine was going to be a fridge, but the producers were worried about kids mimicking the movie and climbing in at home.

      In the windmills of my mind, I remember an article about NOS vehicles sitting on showroom floors in some Arab states for years after production ceased. Can anyone confirm?

      • Connor

        I can confirm on the fact they were originally going to use a fridge as the time machine, the main worry was that they didn’t want kids to be climbing in and mimicking the movie, especially since there was no way to open the fridge from the inside back when they were making the movie!

      • Brian

        The two, car and movie, will forever be linked together, even more so than Fozzie Bear and his bullet nosed Studebaker!

  12. geomechs geomechs Member

    Good article! Some guys are plain lucky to be at the right place at the right time.

    Regarding the car: I neither like or dislike the Delorean. Yes, it is a good-looking car but I guess I’m more of a traditionalist so I’ll keep my preferences. As far as using it in the movie, they could’ve used anything and it wouldn’t have bothered me one bit. The movie was good; the car was a prop that served the purpose very well. Would I seek out a Delorean because of the movie? Probably not, but that isn’t saying that someone else would.

    I actually prefer ’46 Ford convertibles

    • Connor

      46 ford? Isn’t that what biff tannen drove in the 1955 part if the first movie? Loved the look of that car, but it will forever be imprinted on my mind with the scene where biff crashes it into a manure truck!

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Connor. That’s the car that Biff drove. I’d even take it with the manure; just spread that on the garden. ’42 – ’48 Fords are all appealing although I prefer the ’42 over the rest of them. But I wouldn’t turn any of them down, especially a convertible.

  13. tom

    More than a passing similarity to the Esprit, and for good reason.

  14. Connor

    If I recall correctly, Colin chapman designed the chassis didn’t he?

    • Jim-Bob

      Yeah, the chassis was a Lotus design. It uses that same dogbone shape that Lotus used for years, with a center spine that branches out at the ends to mount the drivetrain and suspension. The car’s body shell was fiberglass, with the stainless panels bolted to the shell.

  15. davew833

    I liked “BTTF” but as an AMC Pacer fan, I get annoyed that no one can write an ad offering a Pacer for sale without referencing “Wayne’s World.” If I’m already looking for a Pacer, you don’t need to remind me that it was in a mediocre movie starring SNL alums. There are more of those out there than there are Pacers.

  16. Chris N

    Great design ahead of its time, crummy drive-train as was standard for the time. I drove one back in ’90 and though fun to look at it was a total dog as far as performance goes. The performance is what killed it back in the day. I would love one with a modern turbo/supercharged 350/400hp V6 and a 6-speed and a couple of suspension upgrades.

  17. ConservativesDefeated

    In the mid eighties a guy I knew at my gym drove one every day……,this was just before John De L was busted. I have to say I wasnt very impressed with it. Lousy fit and finish. Kind of a dog is the way I would put it. Though thirty years later I guess even a DeLorean is attractive to many.

    Wonder why it was parked with so few miles? If it wasnt for BTTF I don’t think many folks would care for these.

    But always great to find a low mileage anything!

  18. Abarthbill

    Low miles because it was in the shop being fixed most of the time.
    Very good friend was Chief of Staff at a local hospital and he bought one new. He loved the car but had to buy a second one so he at least had one to drive. True story.

  19. DMCJOE

    I owned one in the era of when the BTTF movies came out..and I was the same age as MJ Fox and even looked similar to him..I used to love to drive by slowly by the Movie theaters playing the Movies and WoW the long lines of people..they thinking it was staged for the movie.. and I especially loved when the kids would yell out to their Mothers…Mommy MJ Fox…in the Time machine !!!

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