‘Time capsule’ DeLorean uncovered in barn reveals a surprising twist

  • Michael McElthattan owns DeLorean Midwest, an auto restoration company in Illinois
  • Along with his social media partner Kevin Thomas, the pair discovered a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 hidden in a Wisconsin barn
  • It came with original parts and less than 1,000 miles on the clock

Published on Mar 05, 2024 at 9:39 PM (UTC+4)
by Adam Gray

Last updated on Mar 06, 2024 at 6:30 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Alessandro Renesis

The Back to the Future film franchise has been a family favorite for decades.

So much so, the car used for the time machine often resells for up to six figures.

Now, imagine uncovering that same model – a DeLorean DMC-12 – in the back of a barn.

READ MORE! Car enthusiasts line streets of Miami with $50M worth of supercars

Well, that’s exactly what happened to Michael McElhattan, the owner of DeLorean Midwest.

Owning an auto restoration specializing in DeLorean’s, it’s fair to say McElhattan knows a thing or two about them.

But what he stumbled across was even enough to surprise him.

Hidden away in the back of a Wisconsin barn, not only did the car come with original parts – it only had 977 miles on the odometer.

Having worked on DeLoreans for 17 years, it was exciting to find a model they hadn’t heard of so close by, McElhattan said in a video on DeLorean NATION.

“It’s always cool to see another one come out of the woodwork that’s been lost to the community,” McElhattan said.

There were only around 9,000 DeLoreans built before the factory closed due to bankruptcy.

The car that featured in the “Back to the Future” franchise was a DeLorean DMC-12, manufactured for just three years from 1981-1983.

With its gullwing doors and brushed stainless steel body, its spaceship-like appearance made the car ideal for the film, the directors have said.

Although it’s clear to see where the Cybertruck drew inspiration from, the EV pickup is huge compared to the DeLorean.

There must be something about Teslas and their admiration for DeLoreans, as this Florida automotive shop built a Tesla Model X Plaid Time Machine.

Speaking to CNN, McElhattan said the parts are what really captivated him about the find.

Nothing had been changed about the car, he said, even down to the original tires.

“It’s literally like a time machine in that way, traveling back to 1981 when it was manufactured,” McElhattan said.

McElhattan believes the car had been parked up for around 20 years, and that it had started sinking into the ground when he and his social media partner, Kevin Thomas, visited it.

What’s more, there were mice dropping everywhere, which is a telltale sign of an infestation.

The two purchased the DeLorean from the owner, and plan to restore the car and get it back on the road soon.

# Tags - Cars, DeLorean


Adam Gray

Adam Gray is an experienced motoring journalist and content creator based in the United Kingdom. Using his media accreditation with manufacturers’ press offices, Adam test drives the latest cars and attends new vehicle press launches, producing written reviews and news pieces for supercarblondie.com. Before joining the Supercar Blondie team, Adam was Motoring Editor for Portfolio North magazine, North East Motoring Editor at Reach plc, and provided motoring content on a freelance basis to several lifestyle and business publications in the North of England. When he’s not behind the wheel of the latest car, Adam can be found at his local rink playing ice hockey or supporting his beloved Middlesbrough FC.