The May Sale 2017

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1981 DeLorean DMC-12

Lot No.: 362

Registration: PHH 363W
Chassis Number: SCEDT26T2BD004526
Engine Number: TBC
Number of cylinders: 6
CC: 2849
Year of Manufacture: 1981
Sold for (£): 35,438

The DeLorean DMC-12 was a ground-breaking, innovative sports car manufactured by John DeLorean's 'DeLorean Motor Company' for the American market from 1981-83. The car featured gull-wing doors and an unusual fibreglass chassis and underbody structure, along with a brushed stainless steel body and is probably most widely known for its appearance as a time machine in the 'Back to the Future' film trilogy. It was designed by the talented Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design and built on a chassis engineered by Lotus with a 2.9-litre V6 engine sourced from Peugeot-Renault-Volvo.  These unique cars are relatively rare, with only 8,583 examples leaving the Belfast factory and approximately 6,500 surviving today.

The car offered here was manufactured in 1981 and presents today in an exceptionally well-preserved condition.  This rarer, 5-speed manual example has had just two previous owners, being bought new buy a car collector in Washington State.  He used the car sparingly, but was a true marque enthusiast, having amassed a number of in-period magazines and books relating to the DeLorean.  Such was his interest, there are even some magazines from the late 1970s, showing the car as a concept.  

Our vendor, having searched for an example in such condition and with such provenance, imported the car into the UK in 2016, getting it UK-registered.  Today, the car has recorded just 26,000 miles, which is supported by condition, invoices and a CarFax check (the US equivalent of HPI) showing a mileage of 24,885 miles before being exported to the UK, plus all-clear markers next to total loss and accident damage.

The car has been dutifully maintained, with our vendor utilising marque specialist PJ Grady (Europe) in Essex to carry out a recent comprehensive service.  PJ Grady were very impressed with the car, telling the owner it presented like a car with significantly fewer miles than 26,000.  Prior to this, items that are known to tire with time such as window motors, door struts, the speedometer cable, and flexible fuel lines, have been replaced, with OE parts sourced through DMC North West.  A new clutch master cylinder with braided hydraulic connectors has also been fitted.  Since this time, the car has been used infrequently, being SORN’d and kept in temperature-controlled storage.

The car has some minor and very subtle upgrades, including a Bluetooth compatible music system (the original radio and set-up are still in situ and were simply bypassed, which could easily be reinstated) and the ability to use a remote door release fob which allow you to unlock the doors from afar (hence not having to insert a key into the known fragile lock mechanism).    

It's accompanied by all the literature collected by its first owner, its original handbook in the DMC branded folder, the original tool-kit and numerous invoices for maintenance and servicing.  It drives and performs as well as you would expect, making the most of its 130 bhp with its manual gearbox, being able to accelerate from 0-60-mph in 8.8 seconds.  Although, these cars are not defined by their outright performance, but are revered for their style and iconic status in this recent period of automotive history.    

We are delighted to be able to offer such a fine example of the DeLorean, a car that continues to gain momentum in the collector's car market on both sides of the Atlantic.