Tuesday, March 17, 2015

20k: Luck of the Irish: 1981 DeLorean DMC-12

 Happy St Patrick's Day to everyone, lets kick of this festival of drinking, driving (but not at the same time please!), and singing with a tip from reader Andy L who writes: Dear Staff at Daily Turismo, Here is a selection for your St. Patty's Day.  I can't think of a more well-known Irish-produced car and this one comes closest to making the DT price cut.  It seems like a pretty good example of a DeLorean for the money.  These are getting more and more valuable as those who saw Back to the Future as a kid on VHS reach mid-life crisis age.  Who wouldn't want to own one of these, if only for a little while?  Find this 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 offered for $25,000 buy-it-now or make-offer here on eBay, located in Hollywood, FL.

The DMC-12's association with St. Patrick is tenuous at best, but it was assembled in a suburb of Belfast by Irishmen.  St. Patrick was not born in Ireland, so it makes sense that the DMC-12 was the brainchild of Michigan born John Z DeLorean and designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign in Torino, Italy.

The DMC-12 (simply called the DeLorean by most folks) is somewhat disappointing in stock configuration, the 2.9 liter PRV (Peugeot Renault Volvo) V6 was only rated at 130 horsepower for US customers.   Road and Track clocked 0-60mph in 10.5 seconds, roughly on par with a new Toyota Prius.  Delorean fanboys will say it was fine for the era, but it wasn't; for comparison a 1983 Toyota Cressida also clocks in a 10.5 sec 0-60mph. This one has a few hop-up parts, so it should be a bit faster, but don't expect it to keep up with a brand new Toyota Avalon.

The double edged sword of DeLorean life is certainly the Back to the Future movie series. It simultaneously made the car famous and drove prices through the roof, all the while driving owners nuts with people asking them about flux capacitors and "will go 88mph?"    

  See another car ready to Flux Off? tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. Seriously though, will it go 88?

  2. 1981 was about the nadir of the auto industry.

    Shame, in a way, 'cause it was kind of an interesting car but, yeah. Don't go racing any Corollas.

    I'm thinking an Audi 4.2 V8 would probably fit really well...

    1. Or maybe a 1UZ/2UZ Toyota.

      Or, hell, just about any late-model Toyota or Nissan V6.

      Ford turbo 3.7 'ecoboost'? Just need a transaxle that won't spray bits of potmetal all over the place at the first hint of torque...

    2. The Ricardo transaxle from the last Ford GT is probably a no-go, since that was a mid engined car.

      From RR applications, why not a Porsche 930 Turbo trans? Heck, why not the whole drivetrain?

      And DeLoreans have actually depreciated quite well over the years. Prices for decent ones have hovered around $25k for decades. Including the original MSRP. Accounting for inflation that's like 60% depreciation.

  3. Fanboys? Haha. Road & Track did 0-60 in 9.5. Only 1.4 seconds slower (and two less cylinders) an '81 Vette. If you're being completely fair, it sincerely was fine for the era. People just expected more from the creator of the GTO. No DeLorean fanboy is trying to argue that it is the best car, or even the best 80s car to own. If you can answer that quintessential gearhead question, you're better than most.


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