The DMC-12 was destined to become an obscure relic of the past that only lived on in the garages of the brand's enthusiasts. However, its fate changed when it was modified as a time machine (complete with a flux capacitor) in the Back to the Future trilogy that was released in cinemas between 1985 and 1990.
A total of seven DMC-12s were reportedly modified to be used in the films, and only three are said to remain.
One of them was auctioned off in Beverly Hills last week. The seller estimated that it was worth between $400,000 and $600,000 and that figure was not far off: the final selling price was $541,200. For the sake of comparison, a standard DMC-12 is worth about $30,000 if it is in excellent condition.
Of the three cars left, the example auctioned off was the only one owned by a private party. The other two belong to Universal Studios are occasionally displayed in theme parks.
The car auctioned sat in a parking lot at Universal Studios for about 14 years after being used in the film, and was briefly displayed in the Petersen Auto Museum in Los Angeles. The previous owner had it fully restored before it went on the auction block.
Part of the profits from the sale will go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
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