September 9, 2016

How to Buy a DeLorean

Here is the process by which I achieved my dream of owning a DeLorean.


Determine if a DeLorean is the right car for you

Before you begin dreaming about owning a DeLorean, make sure having one is going to be all you think it will be. Here are some questions you should consider:

  • Are you under 6'6" tall?
  • Are you in a financial position to put down a substantial down payment and make the monthly payments?  Auto loans for classic cars are a little trickier than for your regular new/used car.  They have higher interest rates and tend to require a much higher down payment.  I had to put $9,000 down on my $29,000 car.  If you've got the cash, is that $30,000+ you have lying around best spent on a classic car?  Would it be better spent on a family vacation or eliminating poverty in a small African village?  Is owning this car going to bring your family and friends closer together or pull you apart?
  • Are you at least a shade tree mechanic--or are you excited to learn?  The DeLorean will make a casual mechanic unless you have enough money to pay your mechanic to learn how to work on the car.  How do you react when your car breaks down?  Do you enjoy the challenge of figuring out what's wrong, or does it leave you depressed and despondent?  If the latter describes you, use your money for a down payment on a condo and simplify your live, don't complicate it.
  • Do you have a decent place to store the car?  A garage is ideal, but can you at least get it off the street and under some sort of cover?  Many DeLoreans suffer from broken door locks, so you might not be able to lock both doors at once (you can always lock one from inside the car and exit through the other door).

Insurance

One of the pleasant aspects of owning a DeLorean is that they're actually cheaper to insure than your regular daily driver.  Either because DeLorean owners don't drive their cars much, or because they  rarely crash them when they do, insuring a DeLorean won't break the bank.  If you don't drive your car in the winter, insuring it while it sits in your garage or driveway can be almost free.  High performance sports cars that cost significantly less can be far more expensive to insure.


Call up the DMC location nearest you

I strongly recommend trying to buy a DeLorean through one of the DeLorean Motor Company locations.  They have their own DeLoreans listed for sale, but they tend to be expensive.  See if they have a car for sale that's in your price range, know of a car for sale by an individual, or would be willing to do a pre-buy inspection for you and what it would cost.  The car I bought through DMC Midwest was not listed for sale anywhere online.  I only found out about it when I called them to ask about a pre-buy inspection on a car for sale near them.


Get spare parts and all the shop manuals

A single fuse kept my DeLorean from starting for days.  Once I figured it out, it was simple to swap out the fuse--which I only had because it was part of a spare parts kit DMC sold me at my request when I bought the car.  If you buy a DeLorean through DMC, or even if you don't, ask them for a spare parts kit with belts, fuses, and an important relay that can leave you stranded if they fail.