A gold plated DeLorean has been located in America and could net its owner a half a million dollar fortune - after years on the missing list.
The iconic car, made famous by the Back to the Future movies, has intrigued enthusiasts for years.
The County Antrim factory, owned by American entrepreneur John DeLorean, built three gold-plated models of its famous DMC-12 model in the early 1980s.
The Sunday Times reports that two of the cars are housed in American museums, one in the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and the other in the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada.
The location of the third gold plated DMC-12 has remained a mystery until now and its owner could be in for a cash windfall according to the paper.
Various commentators had claimed over the years that the third gold-plated DeLorean was a figment of the entrepreneur’s imagination.
Another story claimed it was smelted down after the company’s collapse.
But the Sunday Times has now traced the car to a remote part of Maryland where 81-year-old owner Carl Winters says he bought it in 1999 via a newspaper advertisement.
Winters said: “As soon as I saw the ad for it in the newspaper, I told my wife, ‘Kid, pack your bags — we’re going to get it.”
The American enthusiast has kept the car under covers at his home and exhibited it periodically in local shopping centres.
He is now considering selling the collector’s item which has only 642 miles on the clock while its tan leather interior is in mint condition.
He has already received offers of $150,000 but believes the car could be worth up to $500,000.
The report says Winters paid $49,500 when he bought the car from a John Papa of Gloversville, New York, who had bought the car shortly before from a motor dealer in Wisconsin for about $25,000.
Original owner Charles Greene won the car in a raffle run by Consolidated International who had bought the assets of DeLorean when the company went bust.
Greene only decided to sell after failing to find affordable insurance for his gold car.
DeLorean had planned to build 100 limited-edition gold plated cars as part of a major marketing deal with the American Express corporation.
But only three were ever made before the factory closed in 1982 when owner DeLorean was involved in an alleged drug dealing scandal.
Negative publicity about DeLorean prompted the British government to withdraw financial support for the project even though he was later cleared of any wrongdoing.
Here’s the scene from “Back to the Future” where the DeLorean is unveiled:
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