Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and the most famous car ever to be built in Ireland is the Delorean. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe DMC-12 is red rather than unpainted stainless steel, but let’s see if its color and low miles make it a lucky charm.

Do you want to know who I think should buy yesterday’s 1996 BMW Z3 once owned by Derek Daly? I think Daly’s son, Connor should buy it and then give it to his old man as a surprise Father’s Day gift. Few of us would be gifting even ourselves the little German Roadster however, not with a 65 percent Crack Pipe loss at least.


Éirinn go Brách. For today at least, we’re all Irish, and by Irish I mean given license to drink until our livers raise a white flag and cause us to answer every “Maidin mhaith” with fisticuffs. Yep, St. Patrick’s Day is a wonderful excuse for a bacchanalia of Irish stereotypes all undertaken while wearing green.

Patrick of course, is one of the patron saints of Ireland, being most famous perhaps for Donald Trumping all the snakes from the land. Despite its snake-free environment, Ireland is not the idyllic verdant land you perhaps might imagine. In place of the snakes it has seen its share of famines, religious conflicts, and more recently crushing unemployment, all of which are bad but in my mind are a fair trade off for the snakes. I don’t like snakes.


Into this melieu rode John Z DeLorean to build his eponymous sports car and forever after provide the world with jokes about cocaine and the Back to the Future movies. DeLorean had originally planned to build the DMC-12 in Puerto Rico, but was swayed by the promise of a massive influx of cash from the Industrial Development Board for Northern Ireland. Hear that Puetro Rico? You gotta’ step up!

The cars that ended up being built in DeLorean’s Dunmurry factory sported Lotus-designed chassis, PBR PRV V6 engines, and, in every case except for three gold-plated editions, bare-ass stainless steel bodies.


Now, stainless may make for a sleek and attractive kitchen appliance, but for a car intended to be an embodiment of its wealthy owner’s sense of individuality having them all look exactly the same was perhaps not a winning strategy.

This 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 does not look the same. That is because someone has painted its stainless steel body a luscious Ferrari Red. Now that’s no mean feat as painting stainless steel presents a number of problems. Considering how nice this DMC-12 looks apple’d up, I’d say I’m glad someone took the effort.


There are a lot of reasons NOT to buy an old Delorean. Performance is tepid, wheel sizes (they’re different front and rear) are hard to come by these days, and parts availability is a little sketchy.

I’m guessing none of that matters to many of you because of… GULL WING DOORS. We had a set of those on the Bricklin we featured earlier this week, and while those didn’t work, and that car was overall a turd needing a ton of work, those doors still emanated a siren’s song. In contrast, this DeLorean looks to be turnkey and almost factory fresh, albeit in a non-factory coat.


The car is offered by a Grand Rapids Michigan specialty dealer that’s not into providing detailed information about their wares. They do seem however to actually do a decent job of detailing them, as the car looks freshened inside and out.

It has a claimed 1,646 miles on the clock which is astounding and alarming if accurate. Has it lived in a museum most of its life? Was it bought and then immediately forgotten by a foreign potentate? Who knows. All we can say for sure is that the damn thing looks impeccable. It’s also worth noting that the DMC-12's Giugiaro-designed styling has likewise held up well over time.


Look, DeLorean prices are all over the place these days. There were only about 9,000 cars built in total, and of those about 6,000 remain on the road today. Some of those, like this crapwagon perhaps shouldn’t be. This one, on the other hand, seems to be an excellent example, as well as one of the few to wear paint. Whether that’s for better or worse is up to you.

Also up to you is whether this one is worth the $41,000 the dealer is asking. What do you say, and please vote before celebrations get too out of hand, is this DeLorean’s price a fitting tribute to its Irish roots, even if it’s red and not green?

You decide!


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