DeLorean, Buick Grand National soaring in popularity

Both cars climbing in searches on ClassicCars.com Marketplace

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1981 DeLorean DMC-12

Interest in DeLoreans and Buick Grand Nationals continued to surge among those searching for cars on the ClassicCars.com Marketplace in October. Growing interest in such cars from the 1980s is a likely indicator of the continuing emergence of younger collectors.

Among searches for all years of a particular make or model, Chevrolet, Ford and the Mustang continue to claim the top-3 positions, though with Mustang edging ahead of its parent company in October. 

But the DeLorean DMC-12, produced in the early 1980s, has continued its recent surge to move into fourth place with the Buick Grand National, a neo-Detroit muscle car of the late ’70s and into the ’80s, climbing to sixth place, just behind the venerable Chevy C-10 pickup truck.

The DeLorean cracked the top-10 list back in May and has climbed steadily since. The Grand National was part of the second-10 for several months before bumping up to the top-10 in August.

1987 Buick Grand National

“Both of these cars are icons of the 1980s, and this a decade for cars that is quite hot,” said Andy Reid, the Journal’s auction and market analyst. “The people who grew up with these cars are now in a position to buy them, and with the DeLoreans added stardom due to it being featured in the Back to the Future movie franchise adding to the popularity.

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“The Grand National was a serious performer in the era, in fact it was one of the quickest cars in the world at the time, besting cars such as Ferraris and Porsches. Combine that with the black exterior paint and trim and the iconic Grand National moniker and you have a perfect storm for a nostalgic car that is the last of the old school muscle cars.”

DeLorean with doors closed

The rise of vehicles such as the DeLorean and Grand National has occurred as interest appears to decline for such vintage SUVs as Ford Broncos, Willys-Jeeps and International Scouts, all of which have dropped out of the top-10.  

Meanwhile, among searches involving year, make and model, the 1969 Ford Mustang has reclaimed the No. 1 position with the ’67 Mustang back in second place. Mustangs from the 1960s continue to comprise four of the top-10 positions.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Back to the Future 35th Anniversary is this year, so that is certainly helping with Deloreans. There aren’t all that many available but you can generally find 3-5 at any time for sale. You can also Rent Delorean Time Machines for parties and events via https://DeloreanRental which is pretty damn cool

    • That may be true Chris, but the 86-87 Turbo Buicks were the quickest domestic vehicles you could buy at the time. Even faster then the corvette. In fact Chevrolet commissioned Callaway to engineer the twin turbo 1987 Corvette as there’s an unwritten rule that no GM car should be quicker then the Vette. Funny thing is though that when the Callaway Vette met the 1987 GNX on the dragstrip, the GNX walked it badly. It’s the reason the GNX engineers came up with the “We Brake For Corvettes” bumper stickers. From what I understand the Chevy guys weren’t to happy about that either..

  2. l have a 79 Pontiac Le Mans with a naturally asperated 4.2(bored 30 over) Buick V6 with mostly roller parts [$17,000 finished price] which has given me the performance of the turbo 3.8.lt is a fine ride right up to today.

  3. Ironically, the gentlemen I bought my 87 Grand National from in 2003 traded his Delorean for the GN. He was trying to sell the Delorean at the time but the market was soft on them. He then had a friend of his list the Grand National on TurboBuick.com in the ‘for sale’ section where I spotted it, and later bought it. It really is a ‘head trip’ when I take the GN out with all the attention it gathers. So glad I purchased it back then as the prices have gone absolutely nuts on them. Great article Larry!

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