1981 DeLorean DMC-12 - Manual

Lot Number: 496

1981 DeLorean DMC-12 - Manual

Just 3,790 miles and diligently maintained with bodywork re-brushed by specialists P.J. Grady UK.


LIVE AUCTION: This lot was auctioned on Saturday 25th February, 2023 at 12.00pm GMT at Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh Rd, Coventry, CV8 2LG

  • Body Colour

    Stainless Steel

  • Drive


  • Registration Number

    DWU 140W

  • Odometer Reading

    3788 Miles


Just 3,790 miles and diligently maintained with bodywork re-brushed by specialists P.J. Grady UK.


Launched in 1981, the DMC-12’s stylish coupé bodywork attracted international attention by virtue of its method of construction, a combination of fibreglass inner panels, a stainless-steel outer skin and innovative gull-wing doors. The underpinnings were engineered under the guidance of Lotus founder, Colin Chapman. Competing with Porsche and Ferrari, sales never approached projected levels and DeLorean's 1982 indictment on drugs charges (he was subsequently acquitted), brought the project to its knees. The DeLorean is now seen as highly collectable, thanks in no small part to the 'Back to the Future' movie series, and manual examples are particularly sought after.

Offered here is a rare, manual gearbox 1981 DMC-12 that had covered an indicated 3,788 miles from new at the time of cataloguing. It was purchased from a deceased estate in Pennsylvania by an experienced DeLorean collector and registered for the first time in the UK on the 11th March 2016 with the supporting US Vehicle History Report confirming that it was clear from any insurance, theft or damage losses. We would like to express our gratitude to respected expert, joint author of "DeLorean Celebrating the Impossible" and the historian of the DeLorean Owners Club UK, Chris Parnham, who has granted us permission to publish his comments from his inspection report from 2016, shortly before our vendor’s purchase:

"Vin 3707, Engine number 3387, Frame number 3435. Build date 20th September 1981. Exported to the USA by boat on 26th September 1981. Black interior, manual transmission. As it was recently purchased from a deceased estate in the USA, very little written history is available. Having myself owned several very low mileage cars and inspected many more, I have carefully inspected and driven this car and I strongly believe that the indicated mileage of 3,220 is correct. This is backed up by all sorts of physical evidence such as the condition of the switches, door seals, bodywork, chassis etc. The car has suffered some (mostly) sun damage during storage. It offers considerable further potential to become a real 'ow mileage show car.

Seeing the car’s potential as a show car, it was acquired in September 2016 by our vendor, whose company specialises in stainless-steel products for promotional use at trade shows. Requiring a level of “tidying up” they had the front and rear fascias removed and repainted, refurbished the wheels, recovered the instrument binnacle and fitted a new dash pad. All of the struts for the bonnet, boot and doors were replaced at the same time and finally, the experienced technicians at the renowned DeLorean specialists, P. J. Grady UK of Canvey Island, re-grained the stainless-steel coachwork. Stored in a heated garage and trailered to trade shows, the car was occasionally exercised on the road for classic car show appearances. In 2022, in readiness for auction, the company treated the car to a braking system overhaul, a full service, fuel-system flush, an additional fan switch and four brand new Pirelli tyres. To preserve the originality of the leather seats, the cracks to the top of the passenger seat bolster have not been attended to, likewise the small tear to the leather on the dashboard. The car is offered to auction with a history file that contains its V5C and receipts for the aforementioned works.



Lot Number
Registration Number
DWU 140W
MOT Expiry
Chassis Number
Engine Number
Body Colour
Stainless Steel



For further information regarding this lot please contact Arwel.





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