DMC12 @Delorean

At $48,500, Could This Twin Turbo 1981 DMC-12 Stainless Steel Your Heart?
// Jalopnik

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe DeLorean has twin turbos on its rear-mounted PRV V6. We’ll have to see whether or not its condition and price means the seller’s also blowing smoke up our collective ass.

I like you guys (and of course, gals.) I mean, throw 345 horsepower at you and price it in the neighborhood typically only tenanted by the likes of clapped out Kia Rios and you all get appropriately frothy.


That was exactly what happened with last Friday’s $2,500 2000 Jaguar XJR, a reaction I don’t simply ascribe to it being the opening salvo of the weekend. One of the hardest rocking Jags of its not-that-long-ago era, that hot cat took home a solid 85 percent Nice Price win for its trouble along with the froth.

According to people who actually care about such things, the age of the stainless steel appliance dominating fashionable kitchens across the globe may be waning. Whether or not that is actually the case, one place where stainless steel will likely not go out of style is your garage. That’s because most of us still covet the John DeLorean’s attempt at immortality: his own patronymic automotive marque, and that bad boy is all stainless.

Yeah, we all know the stories behind the slow rise and rapid fall of both John DeLorean and his eponymous auto company. We’re also hip to how the cars became ensconced in film legend after a starring role in the beloved Back to the Future trilogy. Because of this history, the stainless steel DMC-12 has established itself as a pop culture icon, and is today immediately identifiable by both enthusiast and average joe alike.


I want to let you in on a little secret though. Come in closer, I don’t want this to get out. Ready? Okay, your standard DeLorean is kind a “meh” car to drive, and somewhat of a pain in the ass to own.

Oh for pete’s sake, stop clutching your pearls and put down those damn pitchforks. Deep down, you know this to be true.

The issues lie with the DMC-12’s basic structure. While originally intended to be mid-engine, the final car had its engine stuck way out in back on the end of a backbone frame designed by Lotus. That mill was a 2.9-litre V6 sourced from the PRV consortium, and here in the U.S. it pumped out a measly 130 horsepower.


The fact that the weight bias is heavily rear-oriented meant different sized tires front and back and those can be a hassle to mix and match. Perhaps the most egregious factor is the tiny windowlets demanded by the door style. Let’s see you get anything “supersized” through that at the drive-thru.

Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but I want to point out that the car doesn’t quite match the myth.

This particular 1981 DMC-12 has apparently has had the power issue addressed by way of a pair of IHI turbos plumbed in and allowing the SOHC six to do some deep breathing exercises. The ad says the work was done way back in 1987 with a kit from the imaginatively named Turbo Manifold Co.. That work included a new TB and exhaust manifolds along with the two snails.


No output figures are provided for the now-blown PRV, so it would be interesting to take it to a dyno and see just what it can do. A five-speed gearbox fronts the six and adds to the entertainment factor.

The bodywork looks to be in perfectly acceptable shape, and features the optional side stripes so you can stand out from all of the other DeLoreans in your neighborhood. The door struts are new and hence hold the gull wings in high esteem, and the interior below them looks to be in decent condition with no major wear issues evident in the ad. Yes, it’s very grey in there, but that’s just the way most of them came.

There’s a clean title and a total of 37,600 miles on the clock. Also working in the car’s favor is the ad’s note of over $6,000 in maintenance work recently undertaken on the car. That included a brake system rebuild, new water pump, plus various gaskets, filters and fluids.

That’s all good stuff, and in fact there’s little apparent here to dissuade you form considering this stainless steed. That is, except maybe for the price. That’s a substantial $48,500, and while the seller claims the model’s valuation to be on the rise, that’s yet to really be seen.


What’s your take on this turbo imbued DMC-12 and that $48,500 price? Does that fell like a steel deal? Or, is that way too much despite the hot mill and stripes?

You decide!

Evansville, IN Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.


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