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How Much Does a Back to the Future DeLorean Cost?

Last Updated on May 7, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

The DeLorean DMC-12 is an automotive icon, thanks largely to its starring role as the time machine in the “Back to the Future” trilogy. For many fans of the franchise, owning a DeLorean replica or a movie-accurate customized version has become the ultimate dream.

In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating history of the DeLorean, examine the costs associated with acquiring and owning one, and get into the cultural significance and collectible value of these remarkable vehicles.

How Much Does a Back to the Future DeLorean Cost?

Purchase Price of a Standard DeLorean DMC-12

Due to the limited production run of the DeLorean DMC-12, with only around 9,000 units manufactured, these vehicles have become highly sought-after collector’s items.

The price of a standard DeLorean DMC-12 can vary significantly depending on its condition, mileage, and provenance. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere between $25,000 and $50,000 for a well-maintained DeLorean in good condition.

According to HotCars, a DeLorean DMC-12 in mint condition can cost around $75,000. However, prices can vary based on the condition of the car, with damaged ones potentially selling for $25,000 to $30,000 and those in good condition fetching $50,000 to $60,000.

HuffPost writes that an original DeLorean DMC-12 used as a time machine in the “Back to the Future” movie trilogy was sold at auction for a high price of $541,000.

MotorTrend notes that a replica of the DeLorean time machine from “Back to the Future” was estimated to sell for upwards of $60,000 to $70,000 at an auction.

Additional Costs for Movie Accurate Modifications

For true “Back to the Future” fans, simply owning a DeLorean may not be enough. Many enthusiasts opt to have their vehicles modified to replicate the iconic time machine from the movies.

These modifications can include adding flux capacitor props, installing time circuit displays, adjusting the suspension for that signature “hover mode” look, and replicating the intricate interior details seen in the films.

Depending on the extent of the modifications and the quality of the workmanship, these customizations can significantly increase the overall cost of ownership. Professional movie car replica builders may charge anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 or more to create an accurate BTTF DeLorean replica.

The DeLorean DMC-12 Overview

History and Design of the DeLorean

The DeLorean DMC-12 was the brainchild of automotive engineer John DeLorean, who envisioned a revolutionary sports car with a distinct stainless-steel body and gull-wing doors.

Manufactured in Northern Ireland between 1981 and 1983, the DeLorean was a true engineering marvel, featuring a lightweight yet sturdy chassis, a rear-mounted V6 engine, and a sleek, futuristic design that captured the imagination of car enthusiasts worldwide.

The DeLorean’s Role in Back to the Future

It was the 1985 release of “Back to the Future” that catapulted the DeLorean into pop culture stardom. In the film, eccentric scientist Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown converted a DeLorean DMC-12 into a time machine, complete with a flux capacitor and the ability to travel through time when it reached a speed of 88 miles per hour.

The iconic gull-wing doors, stainless-steel body, and the distinctive sound of the DeLorean’s engine became instantly recognizable to audiences worldwide.

Finding a BTTF DeLorean

Buying a Pre-modified BTTF Replica

For those who want to skip the customization process altogether, there are companies and individuals who specialize in creating and selling pre-modified BTTF DeLorean replicas. These vehicles are meticulously crafted to capture the exact look and feel of the time machine seen in the movies.

The prices for these turnkey BTTF replicas can range from $50,000 to $150,000, depending on the quality of the build, the authenticity of the materials used, and the reputation of the builder.

Commissioning a Custom BTTF DeLorean Build

Another option for those seeking the ultimate BTTF DeLorean experience is to commission a custom build from a reputable movie car replica builder or automotive restoration specialist. This approach allows the owner to have direct input into the design and customization process, ensuring that every detail meets their exact specifications.

The cost of a custom BTTF DeLorean build can vary greatly, depending on the complexity of the modifications, the sourcing of original or replica parts, and the labor involved. Prices can range from $75,000 to $250,000 or more, making this a significant investment for serious collectors and enthusiasts.

Ownership Considerations

Maintenance and Insurance for a Classic DeLorean

Owning a DeLorean, particularly one that has been extensively modified, comes with its own set of challenges. Regular maintenance and care are essential to keep these vintage vehicles in top condition. Finding knowledgeable mechanics and sourcing original parts can be costly and time-consuming.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a Batmobile, Lamborghini, or Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato.

Additionally, insuring a classic DeLorean, especially a heavily modified one, can be more expensive than insuring a standard vehicle. Specialty insurance providers that cater to classic and collector cars are often the best option, as they understand the unique needs and value of these vehicles.

Legal and Practical Aspects of Owning a Modified Vehicle

It’s essential to research and understand the legal requirements and restrictions surrounding the ownership of a modified vehicle like a BTTF DeLorean replica. Certain modifications may not comply with local or state regulations, potentially leading to issues with vehicle registration or legal operation on public roads.

Practical considerations, such as the ability to enter and exit the vehicle comfortably, the availability of parking spaces to accommodate the DeLorean’s gull-wing doors, and the vehicle’s overall drivability, should also be taken into account.

The Value of Nostalgia and Investment

The DeLorean as a Collectible Investment

Back to the Future DeLoreanBeyond the emotional appeal of owning a piece of cinematic history, the DeLorean DMC-12, particularly those associated with the “Back to the Future” franchise, have proven to be solid investment vehicles.

As the films continue to gain cultural significance and attract new generations of fans, the demand for authentic DeLoreans and movie replicas is likely to increase.

Well-maintained and correctly documented DeLoreans have seen significant appreciation in value over the years, with some examples selling at auctions for upwards of $100,000 or more. For collectors and investors, the DeLorean represents an opportunity to own a tangible piece of automotive and pop culture history that may continue to gain value over time.

The Cultural and Financial Appreciation of Movie Cars

The enduring popularity of the “Back to the Future” franchise has also contributed to the overall appreciation of movie memorabilia and iconic vehicles used in famous films.

From James Bond’s Aston Martins to the Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1, vehicles featured in popular movies have become highly sought-after collectibles, commanding premium prices at auctions and attracting enthusiasts worldwide.

The DeLorean’s role in “Back to the Future” has cemented its status as one of the most recognizable and beloved movie cars of all time. As long as the franchise maintains its cultural relevance, the DeLorean’s value as a collectible and investment is likely to continue growing, making it an attractive prospect for both enthusiasts and investors alike.

Final Words

Owning a DeLorean, especially one that has been transformed into a faithful replica of the time machine from “Back to the Future,” is a dream come true for many fans of the franchise. While the acquisition and ownership costs can be substantial, the joy and pride of possessing such an iconic piece of automotive and cinematic history is truly priceless.

As the DeLorean DMC-12 continues to capture the imagination of enthusiasts and collectors worldwide, its enduring legacy as a symbol of innovation, design, and pop culture significance is assured.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan seeking to relive the magic of the movies or an investor looking to capitalize on the DeLorean’s growing collectible value, the opportunity to own a piece of time has never been more exciting.

If you’re considering purchasing a DeLorean or commissioning a BTTF replica, we encourage you to explore the vibrant communities of DeLorean and “Back to the Future” enthusiasts. Join online forums, attend car shows and conventions, and connect with reputable automotive restoration specialists and movie car replica builders who can guide you through the process.

Remember, owning a DeLorean is more than just a financial investment; it’s a chance to become part of an enduring legacy that transcends mere transportation and enters the realm of cultural zeitgeist. Embrace the journey, and may your adventures in time always be as thrilling as those experienced by Marty McFly and Doc Brown.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the new DeLorean going to cost?

The DeLorean Motor Company, which acquired the rights to the DeLorean brand, has announced plans to produce a new generation of electric DeLorean sports cars. While official pricing has not been revealed yet, industry experts estimate that the new DeLorean models could have a starting price range of $100,000 to $150,000.

How many DeLoreans are left from Back to the Future?

It’s estimated that around seven DeLorean vehicles were used during the filming of the “Back to the Future” trilogy. Of these, only three are considered “hero” cars, meaning they were the primary vehicles used for close-up shots and featured prominently in the movies. These three DeLoreans have become the most valuable and sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts.

What is the rarest car in the world?

There is no definitive consensus on the rarest car in the world, as rarity can be subjective and influenced by various factors. However, some of the contenders for the rarest production cars include the 1962 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Testa Rossa (with only two examples built), the 1939 Porsche Type 64 (considered the first Porsche sports car, with only three built), and the 1995 McLaren F1 LM (a limited edition of just five cars built).

Remember, rarity is not the only factor that determines a car’s value; historical significance, design, performance, and provenance also play crucial roles in assessing the collectibility and desirability of rare automobiles.

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