1981 Delorean DMC 12

The way I see it, if you’re going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style? 

Wise words from Emmett Lathrop Brown, Ph.D. Better known as “Doc Brown” by friends and associates, Brown was the preeminent pioneer in trans-temporal travel—or “time travel” as it is most referenced in popular media. When it came time to construct the earliest version of his landmark chrono-car—ah, time machine—Brown picked the distinct DMC DeLorean sports coupe as the base.

As demonstrated in the semi-biographical blockbuster Back to the Future film saga, Brown’s DeLoreans were hardly stock. After all, the gullwinged wedge’s 2.85-liter Peugeot-Renault-Volvo (PRV) V-6 was not quite up to spec for the time travel module’s requisite 1.21 gigawatts of electrical power to breach the space-time continuum. For that, Brown developed and installed a “flux capacitor” that initially pulled power from an on-board nuclear reactor running on plutonium; later iterations of the time machine featured a far more convenient Mr. Fusion reactor that converted standard household waste into power.

Though Brown’s choice of the DeLorean is inspired, it wasn’t just Giugiaro’s handsome arrow-straight lines that attracted his attention. A bit of dialogue in the first film partially reveals it was the car’s trademark stainless steel coachwork that usurped other options—one of them being a Ford Mustang before settling on the DeLorean. We say “partially” as Brown is interrupted before he can reveal the steel’s full benefit, only managing the dialog “Besides, the stainless steel makes the flux dispersal—” before being interrupted by the re-arrival of the time machine to the Twin Pines Mall parking lot.

It’s well-documented that Brown never commercialized or released the trademark on his time machine, but following the overwhelming success of the films, fans commissioned a number of replicas from standard DeLoreans, albeit less a functioning flux capacitor—and more importantly, functioning Mr. Fusion. This DeLorean Time Machine is one such replica, offering the new steward a true (chronologically locked) Back to the Future travel experience without having to deal with tricky and often fatal existential timeline disruptions.

This replica is astonishingly faithful to the real thing, with perfect scientific dressing both inside and out. The area around the DeLorean’s rear decklid is quite the showcase; the white Mr. Fusion module sitting atop the reactor is one of the first things you’ll notice, framed neatly by the pair of large, protruding reactor cooling vents. A tachyon pulse emitter sits fore of the Mr. Fusion on the rear portion of the car’s roof, supported by temporal field stabilizers—aka “Flux Bands”—that run down the B-pillar and extend the rearward length of the car.

You’ll find a set of the requisite reactor power coils and particle acceleration canisters nestled between the aforementioned cooling vents. More flux bands wrap around the front bumper, framed by a set of temporal field igniters—or “flux boxes.” Aside from this film finery, most of the car and drivetrain is as it left DMC. The 2.85-liter naturally aspirated SOHC V-6 spins out 130 hp and 153 lb-ft through a five-speed manual transmission, more than enough to scuttle the nuclear wedge to that magic 88 mph threshold.

Swing those signature gullwing doors up, and aside from standard DeLorean kit like gray upholstery and Kenwood sound system, you’ll find all the equipment a time traveler needs. The inert flux capacitor sits on the bulkhead between the seats, supported by a console on the transmission tunnel. The (inactive) dash-mounted time circuits can be operated by an array of backlit button spread between the roof spine, passenger footwell area, and steering wheel center. Two dash-mounted large white gauge readouts next to the “Plutonium Chamber” indicate flux capacitor power on the passenger side, sitting beneath a thin bundle of wires routed into the time circuit readouts mounted on the center stack. If all this time-travel techno-jargon proves difficult to memorize, everything is Dymo labeled just like the real deal.

It's only natural that you’ll want to show this faithful replica at as many events and cruises as possible; regardless if it’s a cars and coffee or BTTF fan gathering, functioning interior lighting for buttons, gauges, and readouts will thrill onlookers, as will the onboard fog machine operated via incorporated 110-volt converter and separate battery.

What’s left to say, other than:

Great Scott!


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