Historic Information - Sales and Dealer Experiences
The following is taken verbatim from Jim Rose based on personal experience.
The cars were not hard to sell at all. We had a back log of customers for the first 10 months. These customers had put up $1000 deposit on a car without knowing how much they would eventually have to pay for the car. They were told by the press (enthusiast magazines) that the car would be priced close to the corvette. You have to remember that this was 1981 in the middle of the oil boom in Texas. There was a lot of money in Texas and most of it was in Houston. We see bumper stickers now on old Cadillacs which read "O LORD PLEASE SEND ANOTHER OIL BOOM AND I WILL NOT PISS IT ALL OFF THIS TIME." There was never an American-two-seat sport car sold that did not have a good resale value. A gullwing built by John DeLorean caught everyones attention. I sold all I could get for over list price for the first ten months. Our volume was about 25 or 30 cars per month. Since all the cars I got were committed for by reservation, it was nearly impossible for a man off the street to walk in a dealership and buy one. I sold the reservation by number. Say for example I sold you number 25. If number 24 backed out on buying his car it did not go to you. I sold it to a customer off the street and these guys usually paid $30000 to $35000 for the car. You were assured at having first right of refusal on car number 25. Some customers sold their reservation for a profit. Some had two or three reservations for this purpose.
It took so long for John to raise the money, build the plant, form a dealer body, and produce the car a lot was written about the car. DeLorean is a showman and he got his every move printed. I doubt if any car ever got more publicity than the DeLorean. Its introduction was high profile. Everyone wanted this car before they drove it. After the test drive, the real car buffs were disappointed. It was not fast and the first cars did not have the fine points you would find in a twenty seven thousand dollar sport car in 1981. the people who bought the car loved it and most of them were still happy with the car a year after they bought it in spite of some little problems the first cars had. About five percent of my customers were not happy with the car and that was not much different than the Buicks and Mazdas we sold.