The DeLorean DMC-12 is a sports car produced by the DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) from 1981 to 1983. It has a rich history and a dedicated following of fans and enthusiasts who always ask, “How much is a DeLorean worth?“
Even though the DeLorean DMC-12 was only made for a short time, it has gained a cult following because of its unique design among cars that look sporty and connection to the “Back to the Future” movie series. When it comes to iconic cars, few can hold a candle to the DeLorean DMC-12.
With its unique gull-wing doors and stainless steel body, the DeLorean has become a pop culture icon and a symbol of the 1980s. But the DeLorean is more than just a flashy car with a cool design.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the DeLorean DMC-12, exploring its origins, features, lasting legacy, and how much a DeLorean is worth. Let’s dive in…
- The History Of The DeLorean
- Its Association With The Pop Culture
- How Much Is A DeLorean Worth
- Points To Note Before Buying A DeLorean
- Available DeLorean Models
- How To Buy A DeLorean
- Last Words
The Man Behind The DeLorean
The DeLorean DMC-12 was the brainchild of John DeLorean, a former executive at General Motors who dreamed of creating a sports car that was both innovative and affordable. In 1975, DeLorean started the DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) with the goal of making his dream come true.
Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks, DeLorean was determined to see his project through. He secured funding from the Irish government and set up a factory in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, where he oversaw the development and production of the DeLorean DMC-12.
The History Of DeLorean
The DeLorean DMC-12 was unveiled in January 1981 at the International Auto Show in Detroit. Unfortunately, the DeLorean Motor Company was beset by financial and legal problems from the start.
John DeLorean was arrested in 1982 on charges of drug trafficking, which he was later acquitted of. Still, the damage to the company’s reputation was already done. The DeLorean Motor Company went bankrupt in 1982, and the production of the DMC-12 came to an end.
But in 1997, a group of DeLorean fans got together and formed the DeLorean Owners Association. This group helps keep the remaining DeLoreans in good shape and restore them. Today, there is still a handful of DeLorean DMC-12s on the road, and the car continues to have a dedicated following of fans and collectors.
The stainless steel body of the DeLorean DMC-12 is one of the things that makes it stand out. The car’s exterior is made entirely of brushed stainless steel, which gives it a futuristic look. The stainless steel exterior was chosen because it would not rust and would be easy to maintain.
So, there’s no need to worry about trying to fix any surface rust vs deep rust as it ages. Furthermore, the rear-mounted engine was chosen for its improved weight distribution and handling. It’s thus one of the most unique car models with its engine in the back.
The DeLorean DMC-12 also has gull-wing doors, which open upward instead of outward like traditional car doors. This design choice was made to allow for easy entry and exit from the low-slung car. Still, it also added to the DeLorean’s futuristic and stylish appearance, sort of like the Tesla falcon doors that came later.
The interior of the DeLorean DMC-12 is equally unique, with a dashboard made of black leather and walnut veneer. This exotic finish has left many wondering how much is a DeLorean worth.
Its Association With Pop Culture
Despite its technical merits, the DeLorean DMC-12 is perhaps best known for its role in the popular film franchise “Back to the Future.” In the movie, the strange scientist Dr. Emmett Brown (played by Christopher Lloyd) turns the DeLorean into a time machine.
The DeLorean was the perfect choice for the part because of its unique look and futuristic design. It has since become an iconic symbol of the film. In the movies, the DeLorean DMC-12 is modified with a flux capacitor, which allows it to travel through time.
As a result, the DeLorean DMC-12 has become an iconic symbol of the “Back to the Future” movies. It is often recognized by people who are not even car enthusiasts. Since “Back to the Future” came out, the DeLorean has continued to be a favorite among collectors and car fans.
Its unique design and cult status have made it a sought-after collectible. As a result, DeLorean owners often participate in car shows and other events to show off their prized possession. This dedicated following has increased how much a DeLorean is worth.
The DeLorean DMC-12 is powered by a 2.85-liter V6 engine that produces 130 horsepower. The car had a top speed of around 120 mph and could go from 0 to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds. Even though these numbers may not be impressive by today’s standards, in the 1980s they were good for a sports car.
The DeLorean wasn’t made to be a muscle car. Instead, it was made to be a light, quick sports car. Nevertheless, the car’s low weight and relatively powerful DeLorean engine made it a capable performer on the road.
An original 1982 model DeLorean can sell for anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 in good condition with low mileage.
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth
The DeLorean DMC-12, made famous by the Back to the Future movie franchise, has become one of the most iconic cars of all time. As such, it has become highly sought-after, and its value continues to rise each year.
But just how much is a DeLorean worth? This question varies depending on many factors like condition, miles driven, and any modifications that have been made.
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth – Original DeLorean With Good Quality
An original 1982 model DeLorean can sell for anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 in good condition with low mileage. Not surprisingly, the price skyrockets from there if you are looking at an immaculately restored car with zero miles or a recent frame-off restoration, as these rare finds can sell for as much as $100K or even more!
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth – A Less Maintained DeLorean Example
On the other side are less desirable units that have either been neglected over time or have not been maintained properly. These tend to have excessive mileage showing on them and will cost little money when compared to their better-maintained counterparts. You can refer to our guide on how to check the mileage of a car to learn more.
The average cost tends to be around $30–35K due to their poor condition. But the price of each unit depends on a lot of factors, so shop around carefully before you decide what you want to buy! If you’re caring for a DeLorean yourself, head over to our guide on the meaning of TLC in cars to learn more about automotive maintenance.
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth – DMC-12 With A Manual Transmission
For those who would rather purchase a manual transmission version instead (which, incidentally, was only offered originally starting in 1983). Prices here increase slightly since fewer models exist compared to the automatic versions. The former is a more sought-after types of transmission in cars.
When car experts are asked, “How much is a DeLorean worth?” They typically estimate cost ranges in the mid-$40,000s or higher. Depending on availability, a combined package comprising interior components and accessories is presented.
To maintain a vehicle with a manual transmission and keep it running for as long as it is supposed to, you need more specialized skills. If so, you could be in possession of one of the most rare car models in the world.
What To Consider Before Buying A DeLorean
It is important that you remember that buying a used vehicle comes with risks, so it’s recommended that you do your research before making any purchases. It pays off in the long run if one knows exactly what to look for in terms of maintenance history and mechanical issues.
Having a skilled mechanic with you during test drives can be a great way to protect yourself from any unpleasant surprises down the road. In other words, it’s a good idea to get a pre-purchase inspection. Even though this might cost more at first, it will save money in the long run if something major is found during an inspection.
If you are interested in creating a custom DeLorean, there are a few things you can do:
1. Modify The Exterior
You can change the way your DeLorean looks by adding new body panels or paint, putting on custom wheels or tires, or adding aftermarket lights or other accessories.
2. Upgrade The Engine
If you want your DeLorean to go faster, you can swap in a new engine or upgrade the one you already have. This could mean adding a turbocharger, upgrading the fuel system, or putting on a new exhaust.
Should you need some help, we’ve covered engine swaps in abundance before. That includes looking into a Mazda RX8 motor swap, a Honda engine swapping project, an RX8 LS engine swap, a Mazda Miata engine swap, and the Hellcat Miata, as well as the cost of an engine swap.
3. Add Modern Features
The DeLorean was made in the 1980s, so it may not have all of the modern features of newer cars. You can add features like a modern stereo system, a navigation system, or a rearview camera to make your DeLorean more convenient and comfortable to drive.
4. Personalize The Interior
You can also customize the interior of your DeLorean by adding new seats, replacing the carpet or floor mats, or installing custom gauges or other accessories.
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth – PRO TIP On Modding A DMC-12
Keep in mind that making customizations to your DeLorean may affect its value or performance, so it’s important to do your research and make sure you are making changes that will benefit you. Customizations will also significantly change how much a DeLorean is worth.
Here are some of the most famous DeLorean models:
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth, Models & Variants #1: DeLorean DMC-12
This is the most well-known DeLorean model and the only one that the company produced. It was powered by a 2.85-liter V6 engine and had a stainless steel body with gull-wing doors.
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth, Models & Variants #2: DeLorean DMC-12 EV
This is an electric version of the DeLorean DMC-12 about to be produced by a company called Electric GT. It features a lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor that produces around 300 horsepower.
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth, Models & Variants #3: DeLorean DMC-12 GT
This is a modified version of the DeLorean DMC-12 that was produced by a company called DMC Texas. It has several performance upgrades, such as a more powerful engine and changes to the suspension.
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth, Models & Variants #4: DeLorean DMC-12 Time Machine
This special edition of the DeLorean DMC-12 was released in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Back to the Future movies. It has some changes that are like the movie time machine, like a “flux capacitor” and a “Mr. Fusion” device.
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth, Models & Variants #5: DeLorean DMC-12 1981
This is a continuation model of the DeLorean DMC-12 produced by the DMC Florida company. It is based on the original DeLorean DMC-12 and features the same stainless steel body and gull-wing doors.
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth, Models & Variants #6: DeLorean Kit Car
A DeLorean kit car replicates the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car made famous by the “Back to the Future” film franchise. These replicas are typically built using a donor car, such as a Datsun 280Z, as the base and adding fiberglass body panels to recreate the distinctive DeLorean body style.
Some kit cars may also include replica DeLorean-style wheels, suspension components, and interior features to enhance the authenticity of the build further.
DeLorean Kit Car
Building a DeLorean kit car can be difficult and take a lot of time. It also takes a lot of skill and attention to detail. To make sure the finished product is safe and reliable, it is important to carefully follow the instructions that come with the kit and to use high-quality materials.
Some kits come with either partial or full instructions (even simple auto repair manuals) on how to put them together, while others require the builder to find their own materials or ask other enthusiasts for help. It’s important to know that most state and local laws don’t allow kit cars to be driven on the street.
To drive a kit car on public roads, you may need a special license and insurance. Also, kit cars might not meet the same safety and pollution standards as factory-built cars, so they might not be good enough to drive every day.
It’s worth noting that DeLorean spare parts may be difficult to come by, as the DMC-12 was only produced for a short period of time and the company is no longer in business. You may need to be patient and persistent in your search for the parts you need.
There are a few options for purchasing DeLorean spare parts:
1. From The DeLorean Motor Company
The DeLorean Motor Company, founded by John DeLorean, is the original manufacturer of the DeLorean DMC-12 and may have spare parts available for purchase. You can contact them directly to inquire about availability and pricing.
2. DeLorean Parts Northwest
DeLorean Parts Northwest is a company that specializes in selling DeLorean parts and accessories. They have a wide selection of spare parts, including engine parts, suspension components, and interior trim. You can visit their website to browse their inventory and place an order.
3. DeLorean Owners Association
The DeLorean Owners Association is a group of people who are interested in DeLoreans and may have spare parts for sale. You can join their forum and post a message asking if anyone has the specific part you are looking for.
You may be able to find DeLorean spare parts on eBay, although availability may vary. You can use the search function to see if there are any listings for the specific part you need. If you’re unsure about using eBay, check out our write-up on whether eBay Motors is legit, or not.
How To Buy A DeLorean
If you’re interested in buying a DeLorean, there are a few options you can consider:
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth, How To Buy #1: Search Online
There are a number of websites and forums where you can find DeLoreans for sale. Some popular options include eBay, Craigslist, and the DeLorean Owners Directory. Making a Google search will facilitate your search.
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth, How To Buy #2: Visit A Dealership
Some DeLorean dealerships still exist and may have used or restored DeLoreans for sale. You can ask friends or family for directions. You can also use the Internet to find car dealerships near you that are still open. Or, if you’d prefer, you could also rely on the services of an auto broker.
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth, How To Buy #3: Check With DeLorean Enthusiasts
There are many DeLorean enthusiasts who may have a car for sale or know of someone who does. You can try reaching out to these groups through online forums or clubs. It is necessary to note that buying a DeLorean directly from another person comes with no warranty and higher risks.
How Much Is A DeLorean Worth, How To Buy #4: Consider A Replica
If you can’t find a genuine DeLorean for sale, you may want to consider purchasing a replica. These cars are built to look and function like a DeLorean but may not have all the original parts.
It’s important to do your research and be cautious when buying a DeLorean, as the cost of repairs and maintenance can be high. It’s a good idea to have a mechanic inspect the car before you make a purchase to ensure that it’s in good condition.
Number Of DeLoreans Produced
A total of about 9,000 DeLoreans were produced. The DeLorean Motor Company was only in operation for a few years, from 1981 to 1983, and during that time, it produced about 6,500 DMC-12 sports cars, the only model it produced.
A small number of test vehicles and prototypes were also made, bringing the total number of DeLoreans made to around 9,000. The limited production slots available have contributed to how much a DeLorean is worth.
How To Take Care Of A DeLorean
Taking good care of your DeLorean can be as simple as taking a few precautions. We have a more detailed set of guidelines in our cars for dummies guide. If you own a DeLorean, it’s important to follow a few guidelines to keep it in good condition:
1. Keep It Clean
Regularly wash and wax the exterior of the car to protect the paint and keep it looking its best.
2. Change The Oil
Make sure to regularly change the oil and filter to keep the engine running smoothly.
3. Check The Fluids
Keep an eye on the levels of all the fluids in the car, including the brake fluid, coolant, and transmission fluid.
4. Maintain The Tires
Check the tire pressure and tread regularly to make sure the tires are properly inflated and have enough tread for safe driving.
5. Have It Serviced
Take the car to a mechanic for regular check-ups and servicing. This will help to catch any potential issues before they become more serious problems.
By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your DeLorean stays in good condition and continues to run smoothly for years to come.
Last Words On How Much Is A DeLorean
Despite its short production run and somewhat underwhelming performance, the DeLorean DMC-12 has gained a loyal following due to its unique design and its association with the popular “Back to the Future” movie franchise. The DeLorean has a rich history and unique features that make it much more than just a movie prop.
The DeLorean was powered by a 2.85-liter V6 engine and had a top speed of around 130 mph. It was not particularly powerful by sports car standards, but it was still a fun and capable vehicle. The DeLorean DMC-12 will always be remembered as a timeless classic.
How much is a DeLorean worth? The cost of purchasing a DeLorean can range from 30,000 dollars to as high as $100,000. Its price usually depends on how good the transmission, body, and engine are and how many changes can be made.
FAQs About How Much Is A DeLorean
How Much Is A DeLorean
The price of a DeLorean can vary a lot depending on how good it is and how many miles it has been driven. On average, DeLoreans in good condition with low mileage can sell for around $50,000 to $65,000. Prices can go much higher for a particularly well-maintained or rare DeLorean.
How Many DeLorean Are Left
It’s difficult to say exactly how many DeLoreans are still in existence, as it’s likely that some have been lost or destroyed over the years. However, it’s estimated that around 6,500 DeLoreans were produced between 1981 and 1983. A significant number of these cars are still in existence today.
Who Owns DeLorean
The DeLorean Motor Company was an automobile manufacturer founded in 1975 by John DeLorean. It is best known for producing the DeLorean DMC-12 sports car, which was made famous by the Back to the Future movies. In 1982, the company went bankrupt, and after that, different companies bought the rights to the DeLorean brand. It is not clear who currently owns the DeLorean brand.
How Many DeLorean Were Used In Back To Future
Several DeLoreans were used in the production of the Back to the Future movies. According to reports, a total of seven DeLorean DMC-12 cars were used in filming the first two movies. The cars were modified to fit the needs of the film and were used for various scenes, including driving shots, special effects shots, and close-ups.
Are DeLorean Good Cars
While the DeLorean DMC-12 may be a unique and memorable car, it may not be the most reliable or practical choice for everyday use. If you’re considering purchasing a DeLorean, it’s important to do your research and be aware of the potential issues that may arise with this particular model.
These tools have been tried and tested by our team, they are ideal for fixing your car at home.