The iconic time-travelling sports car that was almost a refrigerator.
Jay Leno recently took an in-depth look at one of the most recognizable movie cars of all time, the DeLorean DMC12. Bob Gale, the Back to the Future co-creator was on hand to dispense some great insider info too. He reveals how, while the stainless-steel British sports car seems like the perfect fit for its role, both it and many other details in the movie could have turned out very differently. For one, the script was rejected over 40 times, the time machine was originally a refrigerator and Marty McFly was played by Eric Stoltz for the first five weeks!
The car in the video is not the actual movie car, that one is at the Petersen Museum, but this one has many original parts from the trilogy and looks just about perfect. Terry Matalas and Joe Walser restored this particular car and according to Bob, they were so good that he got them to restore the original one as well.
As to why the car had to reach 88 mph to travel through time, ‘because it was easy to remember’ says Bob. With only about 130-hp on tap from the 2.85-liter V6, it was unlikely to be capable of much more anyway. Interestingly, US Laws of the time only allowed for an 85 mph speedo so this had to be changed for the movie car. Despite the cool looks and electric gullwing doors, it was too slow and expensive to sell well, under 9,000 eventually found buyers. Jay was actually a big fan until the controversy surrounding the owner was exposed. While the time-travelling add-ons are clearly not based on any scientific fact, some aspects like the cooling exhausts for the nuclear reactor were well-researched to look more ‘real’.
They even got professional advice on how the Doc should insert the Plutonium into the car. In an age of endless sequels, it is refreshing to hear that the chance of an episode four is totally off the cards so the DeLorean is likely to remain the ultimate time-travelling sports car.