Movie icon 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 survivor with ultra-low mileage

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DeLorean
The DeLorean is notable for its gullwing doors and stainless-steel body panels

The history surrounding the DeLorean DMC-12 is weird enough for the plot of a Hollywood movie, which has just happened with the release of the feature film Framing John DeLorean, a tale of ego, vision, ingenuity and a big pile of cocaine.

Of course, Hollywood also made the DMC-12 a star of popular science fiction as the time machine in the Back to the Future movies, without which the DeLorean might have become just another has-been collector car instead of the cultural icon that it is today.

DeLorean
The styling is by Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro

The Pick of the Day is a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 in exceptional factory condition, a survivor driven just 8,800 miles since new, according to the private Redondo Beach, California, seller advertising the car on ClassicCars.com.  The coupe has been put back on the road with all needed repairs and upgrades completed, the seller adds.

“Everything works on this 1981 DeLorean,” the seller says.  “Cooling system upgraded, will not overheat even on long drives in traffic.  New tires, as the original 1981 tires were still on this very low-mileage vehicle.  New master/slave clutch cylinder as the originals will fail and leave you stranded.

“Clock, Radio, Cassette, all working like new.  A/C system has been rebuilt and converted to R134a and now blows colder than original.  Brake calipers replaced and stops like new.  New headliner.  Doors work flawlessly, new seals, no leaks.”

RELATED:  Pick of the Day: 1991 Dodge Stealth R/T twin-turbo sports coupe
DeLorean
The snug interior looks to be in very nice condition

John Z. DeLorean was no slave to convention, so his boutique sports coupe featured such flashy attributes as an unpainted stainless-steel body and gullwing doors.  The styling was by none other than the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro, who was responsible for so many design trends of the era. The car was assembled in Northern Ireland.

While the DeLorean has been faulted for modest performance from its V6 engine, it has remained popular as a unique collector’s item among both auto hobbyists and movie fans.  The coupes are often spotted at car shows, gullwing doors deployed, and sometimes with the owner dressed up as old Doc Brown, the mad scientist of Back to the Future.

The asking price is $39,888, which seems like a fair deal for an apparently pristine example of this unique, emblematic car.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

6 COMMENTS

    • 5 speed manual transmission shifts like new. All the needed upgrades has been done. All parts that have been replaced with authentic DMC parts from DMC Huntington Beach, Ca.

  1. Not a stainless steel body – they are a fibreglass body skinned in stainless. If the body was solid stainless steel it would have been far to heavy for the 130 HP V6 Peugeot/Volvo/Renault engine.

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