This Pristine 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 for Sale Has Only 3,161 Miles on It

Most people know of the DeLorean DMC-12 from the popular Back the Future film franchise from the 1980s. While the iconic car wasn’t around long, it was one of the most visually distinctive cars on the market. Recently, a pristine 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 model with only 3,161 miles was listed on the duPont Registry and sold quickly.

Need a refresher on this dynamic car? We’ll tell you all about the DeLorean DMC-12 and specifically about the like-new model that was recently sold.

That car from ‘Back to the Future’

A 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, the one used in 'Back to the Future.'
1981 DeLorean DMC-12 | Getty Images

In the popular 1985 film Back to the Future, the DeLorean DMC-12 ultimately served as Dr. Brown’s time machine. Initially, the time machine was supposed to be a pickup truck. Eventually, the truck idea was abandoned in favor of the DeLorean, which was popular at the time.

As they were changing the script, John Z. DeLorean was busted in a controversial drug trafficking sting. In reality, the car couldn’t achieve 88mph and was made of stainless steel with an eye-catching appearance. It just wasn’t a suitable vehicle.

Producer Neil Canton was alleged to have said that the car was “cool-looking,” but it wasn’t a good car. The actors described it as tight and uncomfortable. Canton explained that there was a reason the DeLorean didn’t go on to be a success.

A rare 1981 DeLorean DMC-12

It’s not every day you find a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 that’s practically new with just over 3,000 miles on it. But such a model appeared on the duPont Registry recently. It sold not long after to some lucky investor, and it’s no longer available.

The car was listed as beautifully preserved from new with just 3,161 miles on it. The listing said it had just been released from a private collection. It included original sales documents, documentation, an original window sticker, and a never-opened factory polish kit. The DeLorean was produced in late August 1981.

The rare 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 was listed as “one of the best, well-preserved DeLoreans on the planet.” The asking price was given as $79,900. 

Every DeLorean produced, according to MotorTrend, left the factor without any paint or finishing. The raw steel of its body was left open, giving it a unique look. While the upward-hinged doors weren’t new, the DeLorean made them famous. Still, as striking as the car was mechanically, it was a lot less impressive.

It was powered by a 2.8-liter PRV V6 engine that managed 130 hp and an underwhelming 153 lb-ft of torque. When you consider the car’s curb weight was 2,700 pounds, it’s not surprising it took a full nine seconds to achieve 60 mph. And that’s with a five-speed manual transmission.

The DeLorean was only in production for two years, with 9,000 cars made. Only its star turn in the popular movie franchise saved it from obscurity in automotive history. Even though this unorthodox vehicle wasn’t around long, it’s still considered iconic thanks to the films.

Other vintage 80s vehicles


DeLorean Factory Tour Is A Trip Back In Time

If you’re disappointed that you missed out on the rare 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, you’ll be happy to know there are many other iconic upscale cars from the 80s available at the duPont Registry

Recently listed there for sale was a 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera and a 1986 Lamborghini Jalpa. The latter is listed as having the popular Rossa Red paint with tan leather interior. Like the DeLorean, it’s described as like-new with just 4,685 miles. Also listed there was a 1984 Ferrari 512, a 1988 Porsche 911 Turbo, and an incredible 1984 Ferrari 512 BBi with only 5,534 miles. 

If you’re looking for an iconic collectible vehicle like the 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, duPont Registry is a good place to watch.