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Back To The Future: 10 Fun Facts About The DeLorean

Back To The Future: 10 Fun Facts About The DeLorean
Written by Publishing team

Cars have been icons of cinema alongside the actors for generations. It’s difficult to say which movie vehicle is the most famous considering there are so many from the Batmobile to James Bond’s Aston Martin. However, usually towards the top of people’s lists is the DeLorean time machine in Back To The Future.

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The DeLorean was one slice of an overall delicious cake that is the Back To The Future trilogy, but it just might be the most delicious. Made from a DeLorean DMC-12, there is a lot to learn about the car and its history both in the movies and prior to them.

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The DeLorean Was A Failed Car

The DeLorean frozen and smoking in Back To The Future Part I

These days, the DeLorean is an iconic car, but prior to Back To The Future, that was not the case. The DMC-12 was the first and only car made by the DeLorean Motor Company and it was made by inexperienced workers in multiple countries, according to HotCars.

This resulted in many of the car’s parts being poor in quality. Customers were unhappy with the car always breaking down and parts needing to be replaced. It was not long after, when just 9,000 were made, that DeLorean was forced to close their doors. However, thanks to Back To The Futurethe car is now immortalized.

The Car Is Surprisingly Fragile

The DeLorean revving up in Back To The Future Part I

Where most vehicles have a body made from fiberglass, The DeLorean DMC-12 has a finish made completely out of stainless steel. According to Thrillistthe specific grade of steel is SS304, which is the same kind used to make kegs and kitchen counters.


As a result, DeLoreans easily dent and crumble. This also meant that it couldn’t be washed like any other car, with one method being to use gasoline and a scouring pad. Even Christopher Lloyd’s iconic Doc Brown hints at this with the line about how Biff’s vehicle would tear through the DeLorean like tin foil.

The Original Speedometer Was A Lie

Closeup shot of the speedometer inside the DeLorean in Back To The Future

Due to a mandate from US President Jimmy Carter, the DeLorean and most cars made since the 1970s were given speedometers with a maximum of 85 miles per hour. So all DeLoreans were given the same treatment, despite being able to reach up 135 miles per hour, as stated by AltDriver.

According to CinemaBlend, in order to showcase the DeLorean reaching 88 miles per hour to initiate time travel, the car used in the movie was given yet another alteration. It’s just one of many reasons why Back To The Future still holds up today.


The Car Doors Caused Issues While Filming

Back to the Future Marty McFly Doc Brown

One of the DeLorean’s key features was the gull-wing doors that open upward instead of outward. The doors are supposed to remain up thanks to gas-filled cylinders built into them, but as mentioned prior, the DMC-12 didn’t always work as intended.

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During cold night scenes such as the movie’s climax, the gas would compact, according to CinemaBlend. This caused the doors to keep falling closed, thus ruining shots and forcing crew members to keep the car warm using tools such as hair dryers.

Throwback To HG Wells’ The Time Machine

Doc Brown explaining the DeLorean's time circuits in Back To The Future

Considering The Time Machine is one of the best and earliest examples of time travel in cinema, it makes sense that Back To The Future would homage it. According to DenOfGeekthis came in the form of Doc Brown’s time circuits built into the dashboard of the DeLorean.


The time circuits represent the time periods in which the DeLorean was, currently is, and destination. Each circuit appears in red, blue, and yellow, which is also the color of the three lights in the 1960 version of The Time Machine.

Golden DeLoreans Were Made

A golden DeLorean on display at a museum

As if steel wasn’t fragile enough, DeLorean made a deal with American Express and for publicity, two DeLoreans were made from 24K gold, as reported by Thrillist. Those two sold for $85,000 and now they rest in museums, while a third was made from spare parts.

Technically, a fourth golden DeLorean was made when a man named Michael Feldman learned of the golden cars. Wanting one for himself, he had his own stainless steel DeLorean plated gold.


There Is a Surprising Connection To James Bond

James Bond The Spy Who Loved Me - 1976 Lotus Esprit S1

The DeLorean DMC-12 features a unique design, even without Doc Brown’s time travel modifications. It features a sleek chassis with a pointed front, almost as if it was designed to penetrate through walls. This was the brainchild of Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design, as stated by The Express.

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Giorgetto Giugiaro was also behind another vehicle: the Lotus Esprit, which features a similar design and was driven by Roger Moore’s James Bond during his tenure. The Lotus Esprit remains one of the most iconic cars in the Bond franchise.

Six DeLoreans Were Used In The Trilogy

The DeLorean landing in the year 2015 in Back To The Future Part II

In the first Back To The Futurethree DeLoreans were bought and used for Marty McFly’s journey to 1955 and back to 1985. One of them, sadly, was torn apart in order to get the interior angles, such as shots of the dashboard, of Marty, etc.

Three more were used across the sequels, though, with one of them being made of fiberglass. According to AltDriverit was for shots in Back To The Future Part II when the DeLorean is seen flying, especially in the not-so-accurate representation of 2015. Three of the screen-used DeLorean still exist, one of them ironically being the one destroyed by the train in Part IIIas reported by DeLoreanRental.com.

A Producer Turned Down A Mustang For DeLorean

Doc Brown revealing his facelift in Back To The Future Part II

Despite the DeLorean DMC-12 being the chosen vehicle for Back To The Future, other companies offered for their cars to replace the failed vehicle. One of them, according to CinemaBlendwas none other than Ford, who offered for the time machine to be made out of a Ford Mustang.

However, producer Bob Gale turned down the $75,000 deal and stated that “Doc Brown doesn’t drive f**king Mustang.” It was a wise decision on Gale’s part because now it’s impossible to imagine any other vehicle for Doc and Marty, much like the Ghostbusters and their trusty Ecto-1.

The Original Script Did Not Have Any Car

Doc Brown raving about time travel and Marty confused in Back To The Future

The car ended up being as much of a poster child for Back To The Future movies as Doc Brown and Marty McFly. But according to AllTheRightMovies. there wasn’t even a car in the original script for Back To The Future.

At first, it was a simple time travel chamber that would zap Doc and Marty to the past. At one time, it was a time-traveling refrigerator, similar to the TARDIS’ phone box design from Doctor Who. It was actually director Robert Zemeckis who came up with the idea of ​​using a futuristic-looking car for the time machine.


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