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Thread: Number of DeLoreans Left: Time for Some "Expert" Opinions

  1. #11
    EFI DeLorean dmc6960's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevedmc View Post
    About 9,000 Deloreans were built.

    About 6,000 Deloreans still exist.

    About 3,000 Deloreans are drivable.

    About 1,500 Deloreans get regular use.
    I stand corrected, 88% of all statistics are made up.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevedmc View Post
    About 9,000 Deloreans were built.

    About 6,000 Deloreans still exist.

    About 3,000 Deloreans are drivable.

    About 1,500 Deloreans get regular use.

    End of story. Sean, can you please close this thread?
    I still disagree with that and say it's:

    About 8,000 that still exist.

    About 2,000 are drivable (at least 100 miles, not around the block).

    About 500 see regular use.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
    I still disagree with that and say it's:

    About 8,000 that still exist.

    About 2,000 are drivable (at least 100 miles, not around the block).

    About 500 see regular use.
    I'm lumping daily drivers and weekend cars in the same bucket. I'm sure there aren't many daily drivers at all.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevedmc View Post
    I'm lumping daily drivers and weekend cars in the same bucket. I'm sure there aren't many daily drivers at all.
    That makes more sense, but it also shows why there should be some sort of measurable standard for these cars. Since the body never rusts away, there are bound to be a good number of intact cars sitting in garages that people bought back in the '80s and left sit, but due to no registration and the lack of an actual account of production number, there are bound to be more potentially-restorable cars out there. It seems like there's at least a car a week being found and restored.

    I'm going to do a little number-running here. The "6,500 Left" number has been around for about 20 years; sort of odd that so many would be suddenly wrecked, but that's another debatable point. Let's say that, on average, one car per week is restored to a semi-usable condition. Does that increase the number or leave it stagnant? Supposedly, "Left" meant intact, so let's say that the discovery of one car per week would add to this since the car was previously unknown. That would mean that 52 cars are added per year, or 1040 in the last 20 years. Now, subtract one a month for accidents and cars being parked. That would remove 240 cars. There would still be a net gain of 800 cars; putting the number at 7,300 cars "left."

    Inversely, to get to the "6,500 cars left" one has to assume that in the first 10 years of their existence, 28% of the DeLoreans ever built, total, were gone. I don't believe that to be accurate

  5. #15
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    Interesting thread... but all these numbers are still guesses. I'd love to get an accurate count based on research, but wouldn't know where to begin. I suppose individual states would have registration records, but do all state require non-operative cars to be registered as well? Would other countries have similar records?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
    The "6,500 Left" number has been around for about 20 years;
    I remember this number from when I was a kid reading the DML back in the late 90s. Hence my updated number being 6,000 left.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalDMC12 View Post
    Interesting thread... but all these numbers are still guesses.
    My estimates are just as valid as Car Sagan's estimates on how many class M planets are in the universe.


  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalDMC12 View Post
    Interesting thread... but all these numbers are still guesses. I'd love to get an accurate count based on research, but wouldn't know where to begin. I suppose individual states would have registration records, but do all state require non-operative cars to be registered as well? Would other countries have similar records?
    Exactly the main point of this. Where does one even start? Registration is only good to an extent. If a car isn't registered or it's sold and not registered; case in point, I have yet to register 1265 because I see no reason to do so before I get the motor in the car. Due to me being online, it now shows that the car is in WI, but it was recorded as in Oklahoma before. If it had bounced around from a couple owners, instead, it'd be lost from all records, but still intact.

    I suppose the best thing to say would have been that there are 6,500 KNOWN DeLoreans, but that's not entirely accurate, either.

    What would be useful would be a list of all the cars parted out, scrapped, totaled, etc. Cars that can never see the road again. Those are the only ones to subtract to get the number of DeLoreans "left" if you follow my train of thought on the subject.

  8. #18
    Senior Member SoCalDMC12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
    What would be useful would be a list of all the cars parted out, scrapped, totaled, etc. Cars that can never see the road again. Those are the only ones to subtract to get the number of DeLoreans "left" if you follow my train of thought on the subject.
    That would be good list, but it would probably be tough to get accurate info from which it could be built. Do all states (and countries) keep records of totaled/scrapped cars? (I bet that no records exist for cars that are in the process of being parted out.)

    Assuming all vendors keep VIN records for the cars that received parts, perhaps a reasonable estimate of the number of running cars could be created (assuming that all running Deloreans would need a Delorean-specific part if in service for X years)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
    I suppose the best thing to say would have been that there are 6,500 KNOWN DeLoreans, but that's not entirely accurate, either.
    I'd probably phrase that "6500 Deloreans are estimated to still exist" since that number's accuracy isn't verified.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Jonathan's Avatar
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    Just so we have a crystal clear starting point, what again is the agreed to number of DeLorean's originally manufactured?

    I'm sure we can put some sort of statistical analysis on it to predict how many should be left over 30+ of history... but need to know what we started with.

    Some thoughts on the 30 years since they were made:

    - I don't think we are going to be able to nail down an exact account of every single car out there. Whether it's looking at how many we know to exist, OR how many we know to be lost.
    - What do you think is a conservative estimate on the number of cars per month/or year that are destroyed? One per month globally?
    - I like to think that many more are being repaired and made driveable in the past (10?... 15?) years since Stephen put DMCH back in business. So while we are getting more back on the road, we've also increased the number getting into write-off collisions, transportation fires, etc.
    - Off setting that last decade or so of increased use would be the decade before that where many cars sat rotting away from lack of parts or expertise availability.
    - Just throwing this out there, say it is 1 per month that is lost. In the 30 years prior, that would be 360 months, or 360 cars lost. That seems pretty low. Are 2 per month lost? 10 per month?
    - I like to think it is along these lines of 9000 --> 6500 --> 2500 --> 500 or whatever, but I think there are a ton of cars out there that are just not "in the loop" of the DeLorean community. Judging by what we know here on the forum is just a fraction of what is out there IMO.

    I think the best chance we have of knowing how many cars are out there lies within the customer databases of DMC themselves. I'm pretty sure they have a real good guess on how many cars exist. Their financial business plan would surely factor that in, in all likelihood. I mean, today's a good day for some conspiracy theory right? It's November 22nd afterall
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalDMC12 View Post
    I'd probably phrase that "6500 Deloreans are estimated to still exist" since that number's accuracy isn't verified.
    My entire problem with that phrase is that it seems to me that someone pulled it out of the air and it stuck because I could never find any backing, but it's quoted as part of the dogma of the DeLorean community. Boy, I'm starting to sound like Bill when I question things that are taken as fact...

    The best guess to how many DeLoreans were made is based, primarily, off of VIN information and shows it to be right around 9,000. For the sake of ease, it's a nice number to remember and when prefaced with an "about" it works well.

    Realistically, I'd say that one per month lost since 1981 is a pretty good estimate of the rate of loss of DeLoreans. MOST aren't driven often and are stored in garages, so they have very little chance of being destroyed. The winter months mean that the northern portion of the US parks their cars, if they drive them to begin with, so it reduces the number of cars on the road from November to June.

    If there were a high rate of DeLoreans being destroyed, that would be one thing that the internet can track fairly well. Most actions publish the information of what vehicles are being offered and the internet has made it very easy to see when a wrecked car is going up for auction. Even so, it's typically 3 to 4 months time in which you'll see a thread about it. I'm sure there was also the initial spike in DeLorean wrecks when the cars first came out, but the fact that most painted cars seem to be hiding some form of damage means that a high number of the cars weren't destroyed.

    So let's run a few options by here: 360 months since the DeLorean came out to work as a base line. For the generally-accepted 6,500 number, it would mean that 6 DeLoreans had to be destroyed, per month, every year since 1981. It's not infeasible, however, it still seems high. I'd say that 3 cars lost per month seems like a fair average. The 6,500 number has 1 DeLorean being destroyed every 5 days, which seems high.

    Let's say that 3 DeLoreans have been destroyed, per month, since 1981. That means that at least one car has been wrecked every 10 days. It's not perfect, but it's an entirely plausible (if a very unpleasant) possibility. That would mean that 1,080 DeLoreans have been destroyed beyond the point of salvaging. By that numbers, Around 7,920 would still exist, even if the cars aren't drivable.

    I feel confident enough to say that over 7,500 DeLoreans still exist today.

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