1983 DeLorean unmolested, museum quality. As good as it gets.
- Condition: Used
- Make: DeLorean
- Model: DeLorean
- Year: 1983
- Mileage: 4,680
- VIN: SCEDT26T6DD017041
- Number of cylinders: 6
- Power options: Air Conditioning, Power Locks, Power Windows
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Manual
- Interior color: Black
- Options: Cassette Player
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1983 DeLorean DeLorean
Black interior, 5 speed
This is the DeLorean to judge other DeLoreans by. Cosmetically it is 100% original. If you want to know what a new DeLorean looked like in 1982, this is it. In fact, if you wanted to drive it to Mackinac island, stuff it in your pocket and make a wish, you might just end up Somewhere In Time'ing yourself back to 1982. In the 20+ years I've owned it, I only put air in the tires once to the tune of 3 PSI (probably due to the altitude fluctuation from where I bought it). I'd wager my first born it's still got at least 20 pounds of Irish air in the tires. Speaking of, it's still sitting on the original tires. I attribute their longevity to the fact that other than while driving, they have never been exposed to UV rays, weather of any kind, nor have they ever been dressed with silicone that would cause premature wicking. I probably wouldn't take them on a cross country trip, but I would drive it cautiously to a local car show (and have). If you're planning to 'drive it' drive it, I would buy an extra set of wheels and tires and store the originals because they're perfect in every way and you will likely never find another set in this condition. This car has never been wet, it has never been left outside unattended and no one has touched it since the 90's but me (FYI, the CarFax shows an erroneous Valvoline report - I borrowed their pit to check the fluid in the transaxle after a short drive while it was still warm. In order to pay them for the use of their facitility they had to put it in their system. I have petitioned Carfax and Valvoline to remove the report since they didn't actually touch the car). The reason I chose an '83 (besides it's condition) was the cars built in late '82 were better cars. They say 'no two DeLoreans are the same' because they were in a constant state of improvement as they came down the production line. One of those improvements were that later cars were undercoated before being put on the boat to ship to America which prevented the rusting chassis issue so many of them had from day one. If you're going to buy a DMC to keep, a rust-free late build '82 is as good as it will ever get.
I have had 3 other DeLoreans prior to this one (I even drove one to college) and completed a number of restorations. The biggest problem with DeLoreans is that for a long time they were really cheap. People bought them, drove them and never repaired anything when it broke because it was usually expensive. The cars would get sold on down the line with their accumulating problems, eventually becoming a dilapidated money pit that would make the next owner crazy and broke. After my third money pit I decided that I was going to find the nicest car I could, time or cost be damned. This is that car. I spent 2 years looking for it and it was absolutely worth the effort. I've seen a lot of restored DMCs over the last two decades and this is STILL the nicest one I've ever found. Even the super expensive DMC restorations, while nice (more or less), have had the stainless re-grained and the engine compartments over-restored and modified (often with semi-tasteless upgrades to various things like the coolant reservoir). It's only original once and a majority of them have passed through the shade-tree-resto-wringer. No bueno.
Anything on this car that was repaired or replaced was done so with an emphasis on retaining the cars originality while making it functional. For example the headliner was beginning to sag (as they all do). There is no original material to repair it with and the way it's usually done is to simply find some grey headliner that's as close as possible. I didn't care for that so I carefully removed the headliner, cleaned it, removed the backing, replaced the foam and then re-used the original material. Good luck finding another DeLorean with the original headliner in it! Speaking of original, it's also got the unused factory spare and tool kit up front as well. The paint on the bumpers is original, the louvers on the back aren't cracked, the taillights have zero fade, the torsion bars on the doors provide the correct amount of lift and all the electrics work properly (even the antenna!). The dash and binnacle are completely original and have never cracked. All of the updates and recalls have also been completed (although included, I left the throttle body cover off because this car has never been wet nor is in danger of ever becoming wet).
Anything you'd ever have to address mechanically due to age-related degradation has been covered; the entire fuel system has been cleaned and updated (new fuel pump with upgraded sending unit, the tank was cleaned, replaced all rubber lines from the tank to the fuel distributor, rebuilt the fuel distributor, replaced the injectors with NOS, as well as the warm up regulator, fuel filter and evap canister). The car has since been stored with non-ethanol 94 octane pure gas and drained/refilled every two years or less. The entire hydraulic clutch system has been replaced (slave cylinder, master cylinder and braided stainless line) and lubricated including the shift linkage. Upgraded the suspension with the Eibach springs/shock kit (which also places the car at the original European factory height rather than the odd US mandated monster truck altitude :) and replaced the tie rods due to cracking rubber boots, every fluid was replaced - including transaxle, brake and clutch fluid with the correct Castrol GT LMA. On general principal I renewed the entire engine electrical system with new OE equipment; cap, rotor, wires, coil, plugs (used the factory correct silver tipped AC Delco plugs), air filter, oil filter and I replaced ALL of the door/hood/engine struts (I kept the originals if you want them). The drive belts are new. I cleaned the fins of the radiator from the back, flushed the coolant, replaced the hoses (due to age) and refiled the system with 50/50 mix and rust inhibitor. I restored the entire A/C system stem to stern. It still has the original heater core matrix but the receiver, dryer, condenser, compressor, A/C lines, check valve and every O-ring are new. It's still an R12 system and HAS NOT been converted. (R12 is readily available just about anywhere and I can include enough to refill the system by your tech if needed.) The reason I did it this way is because R134a and R12 oils become acidic when mixed and I didn't want to destroy the original matrix behind the dash by converting it. The other reason I left it R12 is that R12 gets significantly colder than R134a and nobody wants to sit in a DeLorean on a hot day with an underperforming AC system. The AC in this car gets so brutally cold its like sitting in front of a snow machine. Lastly, I just replaced the dreaded steering column bushing.
Most of the mechanical parts addressed/upgraded are not visible aside from the A/C compressor (which was replaced with a correct R12 NOS unit from DMC). It looks absolutely 100% original and it works. Other than the braided stainless clutch line, even from underneath you'd never know all that work had been done.
The Good; Everything. Seriously. Please buy this car and put it in a museum where it belongs.
The Bad; There is a slightly cracked piece of weather stripping on the upper corner of the drivers side door sill (see pics). The previous owner somehow put a few light dimples in the hood and top of the passenger side fender (see pics). They can be easily repaired but I was afraid of having the grain get botched by messing with it. The grain on this is factory and, although minor, I don't feel the risk of repair was worth the reward. Lastly, there is a slight miss at idle I attribute to ethanol fuel-related valve build up. It had been stored in the mid-2000's with ethanol fuel and fuel stabilizer which we all know noware garbage but at the time it was accepted practice. The fuel system components have been purged of that nonsense but there is still a slight stumble at 800 RPM. There's no mixing of fluids, I scoped the cylinders and all six are as clean as can be, the plugs are clean and there is no other indicator of trouble other than a slight stumble that goes away the second you raise the RPMs above 1K. In my professional opinion the car just needs driven but in the spirit of full disclosure there is a possibility that the valve seats may need to be cleaned. The good news is that I am including in the sale the camshaft sprocket support tool that makes this job much simpler to do yourself if you're so inclined. But seriously, try driving it around a bit before you go nuts. It runs like a dream.
Included in the sale are the service manuals, the camshaft sprocket support tool (good luck getting anyone to part with one of these!), the original car cover (its as nice now as it was new) and floor mats. Also have some NOS parts like brake rotors and alternator voltage regulator, a metric ton of original dealer brochures and literature, the factory workshop manuals and most of the original worn items I replaced in case one day they ever become of value.
This DeLorean, VIN 17041, is one of the last 171 regular production cars made at the factory. Of those cars only a tiny fraction were black 5 speed cars. The way the '82 12XXX series cars were re-VIN'd to '83 17XXX, many of those cars are VIN'd out of order and many are unaccounted for. I have not pulled the interior apart to see what the original '82 MY factory VIN was (usually written in pen somewhere on the bare interior) but either way this is a very, very late build car.
If you have any questions after reading that imposing wall of text, feel free to ask!
Final note; While this car is in astoundingly good condition, it's still a 35 year old Irish car, designed by an American and made out of French parts that was built primarily so the CIA could stuff it full of contraband and entrap it's creator. Needless to say, it is sold as-is. I am also willing to sell it to any buyer, anywhere in the world as long as you handle the shipping, transport and customs yourself. Best of luck and happy bidding!