American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe scores a DeLorean
It seems everybody is talking about DeLoreans these days. We’ve been treated to not one but two movies this summer, Framing John DeLorean and Driven. We sat down with DeLorean chief designer Bill Collins, who dished about his ex-boss and the end of their decades-long friendship. We’ve reported on the rise in DeLorean values, the discovery of a fifth gold DMC-12, the original DeLorean press launch, and even a guy who built a cool DeLorean hovercraft.
Now American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe has realized his own dream of owning a DMC-12. All aboard the DeLorean Express!
In a recent Pickers episode called “Double DeLorean Delight,” Wolfe and Danielle Colby Cushman meet a New Jersey couple who purchased an abandoned 60-acre estate near Bedminster about year ago, and the two are trying to get rid of items left behind by the previous owner. The real draw for Wolfe and Cushman is the opportunity to score a 1981–83 DeLorean DMC-12, seven years after Pickers cohort Frank Fritz attempted to buy one and came up short.
“The car itself is legendary, but I’m geeking out on the engineering, the style, the design,” Wolfe says. “It’s incredible… It’s bad to the bone, man.”
The two learn that the sleek sports car—famous for its stainless-steel body, gullwing doors, and iconic role in the 1985 blockbuster movie starring Michael J. Fox—may even have a connection to its famous creator, John Z. DeLorean, who once lived only two miles away. The DMC-12 needs some serious work, but it has only 3000 miles on the odometer.
Wolfe takes some photos and sends them to a DeLorean aficionado he hopes can assess the car and give him some advice. While the Pickers wait for a reply, they check out the abandoned house and buy a few items, then make a deal for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. But neither can stop thinking about the DMC.
“The DeLorean wasn’t about horsepower. It wasn’t about speed. It was really about design,” Wolfe says. “I grew up in the ’80s, man, and I remember these cars coming out. When you saw one going down the road… it was like seeing the future.”
As if Wolfe and Cushman aren’t excited enough already, they learn that property owners Adam and Patti have two DeLoreans. The second is in much better condition than the first; thanks to some TLC and the help of friends, the DeLorean runs, drives, and appears to be in great shape. Adam suggests the Pickers take it for a spin, and Cushman seizes the opportunity to drive while Wolfe rides shotgun.
“The experience of getting in the car… the door swinging up… when you’re in the cockpit…,” Wolfe says. “It’s so damn cool.”
After a joy-filled thrill ride down a country road, the two are sold. The problem is, Adam isn’t about to let DeLorean #2 go. “There’s too much love and sweat and friendship in this one,” he says. So Wolfe’s attention returns to the first one. Adam says he thinks “it’s worth $15,000 as it sits.”
“Does that mean you’ll sell it for $15,000?” Wolfe asks.
“I guess I did say that,” Adam replies.
And just like that, the deal is done.
“I never thought I’d say this in my life…,” Wolfe says excitedly. “I own a DeLorean!”
It seems there’s always room for one more aboard the DeLorean Express.