DeLorean: From Old and Wimpy to New and Powerful?

DeLorean DMC-12

This weekend I wanted to introduce my kids to something amazing. I thought maybe a hike through the wilderness or a special day at a local swimming pool would be nice as summer winds down, but then something else occurred to me. Something sure to alter their lives and influence their thinking for the rest of their lives.

We watched “Back to the Future.”

I can’t say for sure, but that could be the movie that started my car obsession. It’s why I desperately wanted a Toyota 4×4 pickup as my first car, why I freak out if I see a DeLorean in person and what caused my irrational fear of Libyans driving Volkswagens.

Did I succeed in exposing my children to a life-changing experience with the movie? Yes. Yes, I did.

As soon as the credits rolled, my 10-year-old son wanted a DeLorean. I wrote earlier this month about how he wanted to find a project car for the shop and, well, he wants a DMC-12. Of course, used ones are hard to come by and can demand a lot of money. We did embark on a search and found some priced anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000, which remains a bit steep for an old, underpowered nostalgia car.

The DMC-12 was designed by famed Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro and wore flashy stainless-steel body panels and sexy gullwing doors. It’s chassis showed promise, too, as Delorean contracted Colin Chapman of Lotus to develop the suspension. The third element, though, is where the car disappointed. Under that steel hood sat a 2.8-liter V6 producing just 130 hp. Pretty anemic by anyone’s standards.

Our search also turned up the DeLorean Motor Company’s website, which still sells spare parts and lists used cars for sale. Even more exciting, there’s a new build program coming. While there’s not much info posted yet, there is this intriguing line,

Whether you go “stock” or upgrade to one of our performance engine and suspension packages, other modern amenities including HD and satellite radios, iPod interfaces, satellite navigation and Bluetooth connectivity are also available.

The site says the program will be unveiled soon, but there’s no indication of cost. Surely a custom new DeLorean won’t be cheap, but maybe the thrill of cruising in one at 88 mph will be worth the cost.

If having a DeLorean isn’t for you, what other famous movie car would you want to own?


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  1. There’s actually a Delorean on the Detroit Craigslist right now, asking price is about $32K for what appears to be a dead stock, well cared for example.

  2. There is a guineas right down the road from me that builds and produces new delorians and other pricey cars. I’m not sure of price, but I do know they are essentially brand new cars, full with warranties and modern equipment.

  3. I’d enjoy having the series of Corvettes that appeared on Route 66. If only one of them, it would be the ’63 Sting Ray convertible. Back when I was a teenager a neighbor owned a ’63 split-window Coupe which I spent many a happy hour detailing, waxing and driving.

    My second choice would be the Munsters Coach built by eorge Barris. George awarded me a trophy in a model car building contest at the Detroit Autorama and several of us were photographed with George and the Munster Coach. Chuck was responsible for many scores of famous movie cars including the original Batmobile and was second to none in the business. The Munster Coach had a much higher level of detail and finish than most movie cars and was beautifully crafted.

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