Not everybody knows the DeLorean was built in Ireland. As today's St. Patrick's Day, and Nice Price or Crack Pipe is not above the wearing of the green, let's see if this DMC12 lies at the end of your rainbow.
The combination of a sunny disposition and a bargain-basement price allowed yesterday's open-air Celica to chase down a bright and shiny 80% nice price win. Dark clouds apparently hung over the other 20% of you, who probably also hate happiness, BJs and puppies. Of course, at least for today, everybody loves the Irish! And while our present contender eschews the wearing of traditional green, we're going to find out if it's worth any of your green.
When John DeLorean sought out a production location for the eponymous fruit of his loins, he settled on Dunmurry, Northern Ireland. The car that eventually began trickling out of the resultant
leprechaun inhabited magic oak tree factory and onto the verdant land of cadenced speech and religious strife was far removed from the composite chassis, mid-engine GT that the drug kingpin former GM executive had initially described. Major engineering had been handed over to Lotus down in Hethel, who replaced the radical platform for a tried and true steel backbone. The PVR V6 replaced the mid-mounted Citroen CX four-banger, and as the Guigaro-design didn't allow enough space for a longitudinally-mounted V6 engine mid-ships, the car became rear-engined overnight.
While the Irish were uncharacteristically violent towards one another outside the factory, DeLorean's Belfast production line hummed along peacefully for a number of months, eventually churning out about 8,500 of the stainless steel coupes before bankruptcy and an ill-conceived diversion into the pharmaceutical business sealed John Z's fate forever.
This 1981 example has been playing rip van winkle for an undisclosed length of time, but having been recently awakened it's had its beard shaved and a new gas tank installed, among other updates. It came upon its 41,500 miles slowly as the 130-bhp six offers acceleration that could be clocked using Bergman films, and a 109-mph top end unbecoming the promise of its aircraft-like gullwings. The Renault five speed gives your right hand something to do other than changing the radio stations during the 11-second zero to sixty runs, and if you were thinking about doing something else then, well, just knock that shit off. As it already does sport a
four leaf clover five speed shillelagh, it's a prime candidate for an update to forced induction.
The stainless steel body has aged surprisingly well since the late ‘70s, and this one looks to be straight (expensive if not) and to have all its trim (very expensive if not) as well as the correct mis-matching wheels.
Inside, the driver's leather has taken on the patina that only time and farty butt sweat can create, but the remainder of the surfaces look okay, including the dash which is notorious for cracks of the non-butt persuasion. Unlike in the earlier indie car builder fiasco - the Bricklin - which had powered gull wing doors, the DeLorean requires you to pull the doors shut with a yank on a strap. Should a passenger exit the car and leave the door up, it's next to impossible for the driver to close it without getting out of the car and doing so from the other side. While not that heavy, they are awkward.
That stainless steel over fiberglass body requires that you stock up on brillo® pads as scratches are a DIY fix, and windex as it's a fingerprint magnet despite its surface being non-ferrous.
The seller - who may or may not be Irish - is asking $17,000 for his silver bullet, and, at least in the pictures, it looks as clean as a bar of Irish Spring®. The performance is no better than when it was new, and, as everything else has passed it by, that detriment may feel even more egregious today. But that's not why you buy a classic car, you get them to because their nostalgia and presence speaks to you. And this Belfast beauty is saying Buy me, I'm Irish.
So, does $17,000 make this '81 DMC12 seem like a lucky charm? Or, does that price make the seller look like an O' Tool?
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