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Thread: Please read before posting “I want a cheap DeLorean” or “Project Car Wanted” threads

  1. #1's #2 Mike C.'s Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Huntersville, NC

    Posts:    1,402

    My VIN:    16336 (SOLD)

    Please read before posting “I want a cheap DeLorean” or “Project Car Wanted” threads

    Hello! Thank you for your interest in DeLoreans and the desire to become a DeLorean owner. Over the years, we have had tons of people asking to buy a “cheap” DeLorean, or wanting to buy a “project” DeLorean. Before posting these kinds of threads, please know that most of these ‘feeler’ threads are not taken seriously not because we do not believe your goals, but because we see them time and time again. The most common requests we get are the following:

    “Looking for a DeLorean with a bad engine/trans for an engine swap”
    “Need a cheap project car to slowly restore”
    “Looking to buy a D in 6 months, I almost have my down payment…”
    “Looking for a cheap project that needs minimal repairs”

    There is no such thing as a “cheap” DeLorean. Sure, there are project cars out there, but none of them will be easily restored for a couple of thousand dollars. When these cars pop up and people pick them up with the incorrect intentions to restore the car to drivable conditions cheaply and with minimal effort, the cars will usually end up for sale again within a couple of months when people realize how over their head their goal to restore a $4k car for $2k in parts really was.

    "I want a car with a blown engine to swap in a......" requests

    Engine swaps are another thing. Yes, there are a few cars running around with different powerplants/drivetrains. These were NOT plug and play swaps. Many took major fabrications. There have been tons of topics of people attempting to do swaps and then giving up halfway through, only to have ruined a perfectly good D that now needs major restoration. If you think you are just going to swap in an LS2 motor and go drifting through downtown LA at 2 a.m., think again. There are HUNDREDS of better cars for you to do motor swaps.

    What I want to pay vs. what is realistic

    A “rule of thumb” for D’s was established years ago, and for the most part it is still applicable. “What’s the difference between a $20k and a $25k DeLorean? About $10k.”

    What will you get for your money? In most cases, you will find the following true:
    - $2k - $4k: A car with rot, not running, interior destroyed, sitting for years - - possibly decades… more times than most—a parts car. This car will take MAJOR $$ and time to restore
    - $5k - $10k: a project car that has been sitting forever, MAYBE it starts, more than likely it doesn’t. MAJOR updates to electrical, cooling, brake, fuel system have to be done.
    - $11k - $13k: a project car that starts, moves. Can be made into a daily driver with some work. The list of MAJOR updates to electrical, cooling, brake, and fuel system may have been started.
    - $14k - $19k: a project car that has had some work done, starts and runs, drives, but needs work. A lot of daily driver D’s fall into this category. Higher side of this category are project cars that need work, but all the big things such as the cooling system, fuel system, electrical system have been mostly sorted out and updated. Body should be in good condition, some blemishes or minor work can be expected. Car can be driven with confidence for the most part, but some things are still being sorted out.
    - $20k to $26k: There are a lot of D’s in this category. These are a lot of the well-known cars that spend a lot of time in a garage, have been basically rebuilt and updated, body is in excellent condition, everything works, car can be driven with confidence virtually anywhere. NICE D’s.
    - $27k to $35k: This range is getting harder and harder to find as the economy has changed over the past few years. At the upper end of this range, you would expect to find things like concourse cars. When the economy was good, VERY NICE D’s were in this range, but in the past few years this has changed with the economy. The majority of nice cars you will now find in the $25k range.
    - $36k+ : These are the unicorn cars. More than likely you are spending this kind of money buying a car from a vendor, or an older person who thinks the car is a Ferrari. If you are looking at a privately owned car in this category and the car has no substantial history (i.e. Right Hand Drive (RHD), Johnny Carson owned it, etc…), you can do better. Vendor cars usually have full inspections/some kind of warranty in this price range.

    Please note, these are GENERALIZED figures from what we have all seen time and time again. Yes there are exceptions to the rules.

    "I've Restored classic cars/ muscle cars before..."
    "....I'll just put some fresh gas in with a new battery and fire her up!"
    There is a difference between a classic American car and a D that has been sitting for years. Unlike most muscle cars, you can’t just put new gas in the car, change the oil, and turn the key to make it run. This is the major misconception about these cars. When things go wrong, do not expect to take a DeLorean to your local mechanic. 9 times out of 10, they will just end up doing more damage than repair.

    I'm looking at an ad that says: "This car was used in BTTF!" or "This car has a rare history"

    No, it wasn't, and more than likely no, it doesn't.

    "...I plan on having my funds in 6 months and am looking now"

    That's always a good thing, but PLEASE post your thread in 6 months when you have your financing or money completely secured. Posting on someone's For Sale ad when you don't have the funds yet is not helping the person sell their car. We know you are excited about buying one soon, but a lot of people start out the same way, and we never hear from them again.
    If you are looking to buy a cheap car, take our advice: SAVE YOUR MONEY AND BUY A BETTER CAR! Just because you only have $4k saved up doesn't mean you HAVE to buy that $4k car. You are NOT going to like that $4k parts car if you are looking for a driver!

    Hopefully you have a more realistic look at what it will take to get a “cheap” DeLorean. By no way is this an attempt to dissuade any potential owners. It is more of a guide to show you what you are REALLY in for.

    Before making that post, please take time to look around the board and ASK QUESTIONS. Many of us have been on the boards and in the DeLorean community for a number of years, and we have lots of insight as to what you can realistically expect. Once you have researched and you have secured all of your funds, feel free to look for that perfect DeLorean you have been waiting for.
    One of's original admins

    Mainly lurking, just passing through. Still enjoying reading about everyone's progress.

  2. #2
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jun 2011

    Location:  North GA

    Posts:    6,090

    Club(s):   (SEDOC) (DCUK)


    Prices have changed since the above post.

    Please review the prices DeLoreans have recently sold for in the For Sale Section and information on the internet etc to set realistic goals before placing an ad.

    Check out the ongoing DMCTalk Member's Poll: Average-cost-of-the-AVERAGE-DeLorean-Daily-Driver-In-Today-s-Market


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