Image credits: © DeLorean.

1981 DeLorean DMC-12

The DMC was rear-engined with a composite molded chassis and gullwing doors. Styling was by Giorgio Giugiaro, derived from his Tapiro concept-car design of 1970. The bodywork was composed of brushed stainless steel, the idea being that it would never require painting and be resistant to superficial blemishes.

The DeLorean was intended to be safe, technically advanced, limited in production and high-priced. Millions of dollars were spent on 'engineering development.' Production began late, the cars proved disappointing and sold poorly, and a halt was called to the venture in 1982.

This is the 2nd DeLorean produced. The car is powered by Smokey Yunick's research hot vapor engine.

1981 DeLorean DMC-12 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 Coupe
Designer: Giorgetto Giugiaro
Chassis #: SCEDT26T6CD010427
Sold for $23,100 at 2007 Vintage Motor Car Auction at Meadow Brook Hall.
This 1981 Delorean DMC12 is a very original example with only 355 miles on the odometer. It is powered by a V6 engine that displaces 174 cubic-inches and produces 130 horsepower. There is a three-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel independent suspension. Disc brakes can be found on all four corners and the wheelbase measures 94.8-inches. This car was put up for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held in Mead Brook where it was offered without reserve and estimated to fetch between $20,000 - $30,000.

Standard features on the DMC12 were electric windows and mirrors, air-conditioning, a Craig stereo, central-locking and leather seats. The chassis was constructed from a Lotus designed chassis and consists of a central box-section backbone, and 'Y' shaped sub-frames. The body was formed from glass-reinforced plastic, with Brushed Grade 304 stainless-steel panels attached.

This DeLorean remains in very original condition and attracted a high bid of $23,100. At auction, this car was sold.

By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2007
1981 DeLorean DMC-12 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 1981 DeLorean DMC-12
In the last sixty years, very few new car enterprises have been launched from the ground up. However, with years of experience in the auto industry, John DeLorean knew that if he wanted to build his own car design, creating his own company was the most direct way. Willing to build a factory in what ever country was going to assist him the most, DeLorean decided on Northern Ireland after the British Prime Minister gave him the nod to a deal that included around $100 million in support.

The car was designed by the Italian designer Giorgio Giugiaro, it has a Renault engine, a British chassis, a Lotus process developed structure, and was destined for sale to an American audience. The most striking feature of the DeLorean is its brushed stainless steel finish. It took the DeLorean workers 15 months to get the look they wanted. The stainless steel is scratch resistant and corrosion proof, but can be very difficult to repair if damaged.

For the better part of the last century, new car companies have opened and closed without ever completing one product model. John Delorean's company was able to produce more than 8500 DMC-12 models before production ceased. And the impact of the DeLorean's bold move remains in the background motivating new ideas in the auto industry.

Source - SDAM
Chassis #: 0726015143
Sold for $110,000 at 2007 Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction.
This particular DeLorean was powered by a two-liter, four-cylinder engine by Citroen, mounted transversely and placed mid-ship. There is a four-speed manual transaxle, fiberglass monocoque tub with front and rear stainless steel subframes. Suspension is independent in both the front and rear with disc brakes on all four corners.

The creation was inspired by John Z. DeLorean with the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro tasked with creating the design. The result was a futuristic stainless steel sports car with gullwing doors and first shown to the public at the 1977 Detroit Auto Show. It was shown on the covers of Car & Driver and Road & Track magazine in July of 1977, then by Motor Trend in September of that same year.

It was given the name DMC-12, in reference to its target price of $12,000, and was a sensation and provocative new product that shocked the automotive community. When production began, its twelve-thousand dollar price figure more than doubled. It had dual airbags, side impact protection, four-wheel disc brakes and a tire pressure monitoring system.

It would take four years before the first production cars would roll off the Belfast, Northern Ireland production line in 1981. After such a long delay, the allure had begun to erode, and it quickly degraded even further when many of the promises failed to materialize. The bodies retained the same basic shape, finished in stainless steel, but lacked the interchangeable body panels that was shown on the concept. The frame was no longer made from stainless, but produced in conventional steel. The concept had a mid-engine placement while the production versions had a rear-engine setup. The reason for the replacement of the planned Citroen power plant with one sourced from Renault that did not have an appropriate transaxle for the mid-engine concept.

Funding soon ran out just shortly after production began and the company was forced into receivership by the close of 1982. The British government ordered the factory closed in 1983 after just 8,500 examples had been produced.

This vehicle was brought to the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $75,000 - $100,000. It was offered without reserve, which worked well for the buyer who purchased the car for a high bid of $33,000 including buyer's premium.

Delorean Prototype
This vehicle is the DMC-12 prototype, complete with stainless steel, rust-proof chassis, and mid-mounted Citroen engine. The mid-engine placement is better for weight distribution resulting in superior handling. The interior is also different from the production versions. It has a sophisticated dashboard which incorporates gauges for an air bag and tire pressure sensors.

After the fold of the DeLorean Corporation, this car was offered for sale at the Rick Cole Newport Beach Collector Car auction, in November of 1984. It was acquired by a young lawyer named William Yacobozzi who had the car put into long term storage. It was not shown for nearly 20 years.

The prototype was uncovered by Sascha Skucek, a DeLorean Owners Association member. The car had been moved a few times since the sale, but had not been started since the auction. It still had its 741 miles on the odometer.

The car was sold in 2005 to the DLOA member Tony Ierardi. Over the next year the car was restored to correct, as new specification and condition. All components, in need, were restored and not replaced.

In 2007 the car was brought to the Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $175,000 - $300,000. Though the vehicle had a reserve, the lot was sold for a price of $110,000.

By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
1981 DeLorean DMC-12 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 Coupe
Designer: Giorgetto Giugiaro
In the long and colorful pantheon of automotive moguls, John DeLorean stands out; first at GM and later at the eponymous DeLorean Motor Company. Trained as an engineer, he quickly moved from Chrysler to Packard to GM where he is credited as the force behind the Pontiac Firebird, Grand Prix, and iconic GTO. By age 40 he was GM's youngest division head and was soon running the prestigious Chevrolet Division.

To the chagrin of buttoned-down GM brass, he was also cutting quite the dashing pop culture figure. In an age when executives were low-key, sober-minded company men, DeLorean's long sideburns, unbuttoned shirts, and shameless jet-setting lifestyle did not go unnoticed. Never willing to fit GM's traditional mold for someone of his stature, and tired of battling senior management, the iconoclastic DeLorean left the GM fast track to form the DeLorean Motor Company in 1973.

In 1981 the first of roughly 8,500 stylish DMC-12 two-seaters rolled out the Northern Ireland factory replete with gull-wing doors and unpainted, brushed stainless steel body panels. The unconventional design captivated the motoring public. Powered by a Peugeot-Renault-Volvo 2.9L V6 with 130 horsepower it could do 0-60 mph in 8.8 seconds and topped out at 135 MPH; respectable numbers for that era.

Of course, the DMC-12 is justly famous for its role as a time machine in the Back to the Future film trilogy. This example has been outfitted with a 'flux capacitor' in tribute and its license plate is a movie reference.

1981 DeLorean DMC-12 Coupe
Designer: Giorgetto Giugiaro
The DeLorean features counterbalanced 'gullwing' doors, rear-mounted engine and brushed 304-grade stainless steel body panels, which are not painted and will never rust. Inside, the seats are leather, there are power windows and mirrors, tinted windows and an adjustable steering wheel. It also has air conditioning since the window openings are just about 5 inches tall.

Between 1981 and 1983, around 8,600 DeLorean automobiles were produced. After the DeLorean Motor Co. went bankrupt, the British government tried to recoup some of their investment by selling the dies that were used to make the major pieces of the DeLorean. They were sold to a company that used them as weights in the Atlantic Ocean, thus destroying the possibility of ever making any more DeLoreans.

When new, the cars sold for around $28,000. Power was from a 90-degree PRV6 engine made by Renault of Europe. It produced around 145 horsepower. The engine featured CIS Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection and a Lambda Sound catalytic emission control system.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2016
The 'Back to the Future Car.' The trio of the time-traveling movie series has sent this car into a world of its own. Unfortunately for the owner of the Delorian company, Mr. John Delorian, that he stopped selling the vehicle in 1982 before it could become famous by the 1985 movie.

The Delorian has similarities to the Lotus Esprit, and thus it should. It was designed by the same individual, Giorgetti Giugiaro of Ital Design. The car featured a V-6 alloy engine developed by Peugot, Renault, and Volvo. The vehicles slated for the European market had an engine they could be proud of. However, those going to America received a detuned version that greatly deteriorated the horsepower. The engine was placed in the rear of the car and gave the vehicle a 65/35 weight distribution. The transmission used was a Renault-derived five-speed manual. The Flux capacitor, capable of producing 1.1 Jigawatts of electricity, was added in 1985.

The body was made of stainless steel-clad panels. It was hard to keep clean; finger prints would show, that is why the manufacturer would provide cleaning materials with every vehicle sold. The Mercedes-Benz 300SL was the influence for the gullwing doors.

Production ran from 1980 through 1982. The car stopped selling poor build quality, expensive American Federal emission regulations, and lousy performance (American models). It probably did not help that the owner, John Delorian, was arrested on drug charges but later acquitted. When the company finally buckled there were still 2000 unsold Delorians.
By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2009

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