NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- The two DeLorean prototypes used by former automaker John De Lorean to promote his gull-winged sports cars, were sold at auction Sunday for a total of $58,000 to two collectors.
The prototype automobiles were sold at the two-day 15th Newport Beach Collector Car Auction attended by about 4,000 people, a spokesman said.
Newport Beach attorney Bill Yacobozzi bought prototype No. 1, a car he said was manufactured at a cost of about $1 million, for $37,000.
Yacobozzi who has defended numerous drug case defendants, said he bought the car because he likes the looks of it and wanted to add it to his collection of 11 other classic cars.
But there was another reason.
'De Lorean, himself, means something special to me,' he said. 'About 3 years ago the government tried to indict me,' on a drug charge. He referred to the indictment and trial of De Lorean on charges of dealing in $24 million in cocaine to finance his then failing car company.
Yacobozzi said the auto needs some servicing but is a driveable automobile.
The second prototype was purchased by collector Don Williams, head of the Blackhawk Collection, a private auto museum in San Ramon, Calif.
'I have a museum I'm putting together and I've been thinking about getting a DeLorean. Whether you like them or hate them, it was probably the last new venture in mass producing cars,' he said.
'It's a prototype of the last hurrah. All the major manufacturers will control it (car manufacturing) from now on,' he said.
Williams said he paid $21,000 for the car. 'I think I stole it.'
He said he had seven other prototypes in his museum, which is the theme of his collection.
'For a regular DeLorean I wouldn't have paid more than $5,000.
Saturday, the first day of the auction, an Aston Martin, the only one of its kind in the world, went for $18,000.
Joe Molina, a spokesman for the auction, said they expected to sell about 45 percent of the 450 autos on the auction block and expected to take in about $1.3 million, butthe final figures will not be available until Monday.
The two DeLorean cars were turned over to auctioneer Rick Cole from the DeLorean bankruptcy trustees in Detroit, Mich., and were stored for two years in Orange County.
Molina said there were several other stock DeLoreans in the sale.
The current market for DeLoreans is between $14,000 and $18,000, he said. When new, the cars sold for about $26,000.
Also sold Sunday were a 1939 Packard for $18,000 and a Rolls Royce Silver Spirit for $68,000.
Among those that failed to sell was a 1948 Buick Sedanette once owned by singer Rick Springfield, offered at $4,500.