Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Famous, Fab DeLoreans

This is the closest I've ever been to Johnny Carson. Or his ghost.
The DeLorean car show in Chicago this past weekend was a stainless steelicious sight to behold. Not only was the Pheasant Run resort crawling with DeLorean fans, owners and Back To The Future stars, but with very special DeLoreans as well. And I don't mean "special" in the rides the short bus kind of way.

One of the most famous DeLoreans of all time, known as the $500,000 DeLorean, was on display for all to see, touch and smudge their greasy fingers all over the stainless body. The car belonged to Tonight Show host Johnny Carson. After donating half a million dollars to John DeLorean to help start his automotive company, Mr. Johnny Carson was given this DeLorean as thanks. In February of 1982, while driving under the influence (of alcohol I presume), Mr. Carson was pulled over and arrested. The incident made headlines nation-wide. Johnny Carson died January 23, 2005, followed 2 months later by John DeLorean.

DeLorean VIN #1Among other incredible D's such as the various Time Machines, quietly sat this pristine example of a DeLorean. This particular model appears no different than most 1981 models, until you read the VIN number.

Editor's Note: the following info was supplied by the owner of the car, and is false/incorrect. Apologies to the DeLorean community. According to the owner, after the first 500 series cars were given to the friends and managers of the DeLorean Motor Company, this car was stamped VIN#1 (actually 1001) and was the first ever available to the public.

The car was RUSH shipped from Ireland to the car collector and DeLorean Company investor who purchased it and added it to his extensive collection of other VIN#1 cars. This automatic DeLorean was the same car shown to the United States press for the purpose of news articles, TV appearances and fund-raising events.

WHAT'S CRACKIN' HOMEY? Not THIS dashboard.Afterwards, VIN#1 was stored in a climate-controlled museum until 1994. When the owner sold his car collection he decided to keep two cars in his carpeted office. A Jaguar XK-E and this DeLorean. This DeLorean is now for sale for an undisclosed price. If you've got a couple of piggy banks full to the brim, and a mattress stuffed with your life savings and you want to spend it on a piece of automotive history, feel free to contact Jay Steinberg via email: dmchistory [at] aol.com

If you're wondering about DeLorean prices, they are all over the map. On the low end, beat-up abused D's can be purchased for as little as about $8,000 U.S. A very nice model will fetch between $20,000 and $30,000 while show cars can get upwards of $50,000 or $60,000. With John DeLorean's death, the price of these collectible cars has started to rise. Get yours now, before it's too late!

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Blogger Chana said...

so when are you buying your next one? and just out of curiosity is your wife a fan of them as much as you are? i hope she is, i hope she has enjoyed herself as much as you have.

1:34:00 PM

Blogger Rowan said...

that's quite cool really about the vin #1! it was right there in front of you -- just wow.

2:09:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

If we got another one, it would be automatic, so that I could say I have one of each. Since Suz can't drive standard, the automatic one would be hers. We've joked about that before, but we don't have room for another car!

5:48:00 PM

Blogger Rainypete said...

I keep waiting for my Hyundai to become collectible, but I don't think she's going to make it that far.

10:56:00 AM

Blogger stillfindingnemo said...

But where would I put the carseats?

How very very cool Martini!

7:49:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, almost all of that about VIN 1001 is untrue. The various owners of that car may believe it, but it's still a load of horse hockey. Several hundred cars from VIN's 000500 to 001000 were sold the public, not just "given" to friends and managers. 150 or so very early cars were used as company cars, and the first retail sale was VIN 000635 - 366 cars BEFORE this one.

2:17:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Anonymous - this is very interesting! I had no idea. How do you know all this? You should contact Sasha Skucek, editor of dw magazine, and do a story about this, because there are thousands out there who don't know this!

4:20:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Well it's pretty obvious that the fledgling years of social media have borne lots of info about the 500 to 1000 VIN cars. It's too bad the owners of 1001 misrepresented it so poorly.

3:46:00 PM


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