Marty McFly: Hey, Doc, we better back up. We don’t have enough road to get up to 88.
Dr. Emmett Brown: Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need road.
The famous sci-fi comedy trilogy Back to the Future, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael J. Fox as the unforgettable Marty McFly (a.k.a Calvin Klein), is up there on our list of most iconic, must-see movies for car fans. The Back to the Future car, the DeLorean, is more than just a car; it’s a very, cool time machine.
Marty McFly: Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Doc. Ah… Are you telling me that you built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?
Dr. Emmett Brown: The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some *style?*
The car used in Back to the Future has become one of the most loved movie cars in Hollywood. This was reiterated when it made an appearance — albeit a random appearance — at the 2017 Academy Awards. But just why was the DeLorean chosen as the official Back to the Future car?
Well before we get to that, let’s have a closer look at the famous and very beloved Back to the Future car and the history of the DeLorean itself, pre-fame. The BTTF car is one of the most important props in the series, but before it sped into movie history, the DeLorean was less than popular.
The DeLorean with an Uncertain Future
The DeLorean DMC-12 was named after the General Motors exec, John Z. DeLorean (1925-2005), who also was the visionary and father of the GTO muscle car. After moving on from GM and onto his own endeavors, DeLorean sought to create what is described as an ethical sports car; a car that was right between the Corvette and Porsche 911 that would have a limited production while still making a profit. Thus, on October 24, 1975 in Detroit, Michigan, the DeLorean Motor Company opened its doors and he began designing his brainchild, the DeLorean DMC-12.
Even though DeLorean had high hopes for his gull-winged sportscar, the road to success was an unpaved and pot hole ridden road that lead to a dead end. The company struggled during both development and production, which led to a poor quality automotive that wasn’t worth its expensive $25k price tag. Only 3,000 units sold. Hitting the dead end of the rough road in 1982, the DeLorean Motors Company operation and production ceased, explains Car and Driver. CEO, DeLorean also ran into some drug-related issues at the same time, which really didn’t help the situation. Yikes!
Why the DeLorean Was Chosen as the Back to the Future Car?
So how did the ill-fated DeLorean make its way out of the shambles of a failed company and on to the big screen in 1985? Originally, the time machine was envisioned to be either a pickup truck or even a refrigerator, but mobility of the time machine was a big issue and Zemeckis thought of transporting the thing in a car. This is when, like a nuclear reaction with 1.21 gigawatts of electricity, the DeLorean came back to life, shot straight for the future, and reached stardom.
Besides the fact that seeing the ostracized DeLorean on screen was ilarious, co-writer of Back to the Future, Bob Gale opted for this vehicle as its looks suited the eccentric nature of Doc Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd).
Perhaps even funnier is the fact that Doc Brown’s time machine could’ve potentially been a Ford Mustang. You see, Ford was pushing for their Mustang to be featured in the series; they were even going to pay for product placement. But Gale wouldn’t have anything to do with Ford and their Mustang. Gale said in an Adweek interview in more or less words that, “Doc Brown doesn’t drive a … Mustang”. You might recall this quote as it has been printed on t-shirts following the interview.
And so, Doc Brown drives the Back to the Future DeLorean and the car went from a massive failure to Hollywood legend. At this point, I can’t even imagine the car to be anything other than the DeLorean, can you?
A Blast from the Past: The Car from Back to the Future Has a Bright Future Once Again
The car has come a long way from its original creator and designer, John DeLorean. While it seemed like its fate was sealed and the doors closed on DeLorean Motors Company, the car is back from the dead and has solidified its future as one of the most iconic cars ever.
Even though it has been since 1990 that the third Back to the Future movie came out, it is still up there on the list as favorite among millions. And for all the franchise fans out there, the BTTF DeLorean could be back from the past. CNBC reports that the once-failed, automotive company is planning on building around 300 BTTF DeLorean replica cars that may be available in 2017.
Now, that’s heavy!
Love reading about iconic movie cars? We have more where this came from! Check out 7 Memorable James Bond Cars & Rooger Moore Movies