The past two years have been far more auspicious for the gull-winged De Lorean cars than they have been for the entrepreneur who brought them to the public. While John Z. De Lorean has been in the headlines with his trial for alleged cocaine dealing, his stainless-steel sports cars have been racking up revenues.

Consolidated Stores Corp. of Columbus, Ohio, bought De Lorean Motor Co. after it went into receivership in 1982, and some 2,500 De Loreans from model years 1981, '82, and '83 were shipped to Consolidated's lot. Since then, more than 95% of the silver roadsters have sold for an average of $21,000 apiece.

Despite the fact that the carmaker is bankrupt, though, at least one car-business custom still holds true for De Loreans: the annual price rise. As of May 15, the 165 remaining cars were tagged at $22,500.