Undoubtedly, the epitome of coolness in geek culture is none other than Doc Brown’s time machine, the DeLorean from Back to the Future. The car is so iconic that it’s featured with Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) in all the posters.
The 20-inch metal body, made of stainless steel and equipped with a flux capacitor, is adorned with cables and lights. Despite a rocky start, the DeLorean became a beloved symbol thanks to the Back to the Future films.
According to the documentary 88MPH: The Story of the DeLorean Time Machine, six DeLoreans were used in the making of the Back to the Future films. The special effects department at Universal Studios made modifications to three cars, designating them as primary cars and labeling them as A, B, and C.
The “A” car, a.k.a. the “Hero Car,” featuring the most gadgets, was the most screen-used of the vehicles. Sadly, after filming, it ended up at Universal Studios Hollywood. Fans visiting the theme park couldn’t resist snatching souvenirs, leaving it a bit worse for wear.
In 2012, Back to the Future co-writer and producer Bob Gale helped restore it. Since 2016, it has been on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. In May 2021, the Hagerty Drivers Foundation recognized it as the 29th vehicle on the National Historic Vehicle Register due to its cultural significance.
The Fates of the Remaining ‘Back to the Future’ DeLoreans
The car used for the driving sequences in Back to the Future Part III was affectionately called the “Wreckage” car, as it met its demise at the hands of a train. Interestingly enough, the “B” car has managed to survive and is now proudly housed in a private exhibit owned by Bill and Patrick Shea in Massachusetts.
During the filming process, the “C” car was carefully disassembled to capture interior footage. The remaining components were then utilized to construct an authentic replica. It was subsequently sold by Universal Studios Japan to a private Japanese company.
The last three vehicles were specialty cars for production. One called the “Oxnard” car had train wheels and was used in all rail scenes in Part III. It had been on display at Universal Studios Orlando since the early 1990s. However, according to DeLorean Rental, it was replaced with a replica. Meanwhile, the original reportedly awaits restoration.
The last two cars, known as “Desert Car #1” and “Desert Car #2,” were specifically used for the desert scenes filmed in Part III. “Car #1” is essentially a combination of parts and panels from the “C car,” along with some new additions. Although it was displayed in a few locations, it was eventually sold by Universal Studios Japan to another Japanese company. However, the second desert car is currently owned by the Shea family. It’s showcased in their private exhibit located in Massachusetts.
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