DeLoreans getting ‘Back to the Future’ makeovers
This Sept. 10, 2013 photo shows Danny Botkin, left, service manager, and Cameron Wynne, general manager, of the DeLorean Motor Company in Huntington Beach, Calif. People are having DeLoreans outfitted to resemble the car from the 1985 movie "Back to the Future."(AP Photo/Orange County Register, Paul Bersebach)
This Sept. 10, 2013 photo shows a refurbished DeLorean auto designed to replicate the car used in the film, Back to the Future at the DeLorean Motor company in Huntington Beach, Calif. The car is owned by Service Manager Danny Botkin. (AP Photo/ Orange County Register, Paul Bersebach)
This Sept. 10, 2013 photo shows DeLorean cars parked outside The DeLorean Motor Company in Huntington Beach, Calif. The cars were made from 1981-83 and were known for their stainless steel body and gull-wing doors. About 9,000 of the cars were made. People are having DeLoreans outfitted to resemble the car from the 1985 movie "Back to the Future." (AP Photo/Orange County Register, Paul Bersebach)
It may not time travel, but the DeLorean sports car is finding its way into the future even without a flux capacitor.
People are spending thousands of dollars to have DeLoreans outfitted to resemble the one that starred in the 1985 movie Back to the Future.
About 9,000 DeLorean DMC-12 cars were produced from 1981-82 before the original company went bust. About 6,500 are believed to still exist, easily recognizable with their boxy, stainless steel bodies and gull-wing doors.
The current brand owner, DeLorean Motor Co. of Huntington Beach, Calif., handles everything from oil changes to full reconstructions. But as the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future approaches in 2015, there’s been an increase in requests to re-create the movie’s iconic car, according to the Orange County Register.
“I’ve grown up around DeLoreans my entire life. I was dropped off to kindergarten in the actual Back to the Future car. A DeLorean was my first car at age 16,” said Cameron Wynne, DeLorean Motor Co. general manager. “Back to the Future has been a huge part of the business. The car is so well known from a 90-year-old person to a 4-year-old because of that movie. That shows how timeless the car and the brand is.”
Some replicas have been ordered for movie cameos, corporate appearances and even as the ride for a newlywed couple.
DeLorean Motor Co. mechanic Danny Botkin has built six movie replica cars so far, relying on photos he took when he helped restore the original Back to the Future car.
“Back to the Future is getting bigger and bigger, especially among kids who watched the movie in 1985 and now have enough money to own a piece of it,” Botkin said.
Each replica costs about $45,000. Passengers can punch in a “destination time” on the control panel and pull a lever to activate the pulsing lights of the time circuit. The parts are re-created using military surplus and other equipment, such as a jet engine oil cooler.
“We’ve never advertised that we build these,” Botkin said. “It’s just been a side thing we do. If people ask us to do it, we’ll do it.”
The current DeLorean Motor Co. was started by Wynne’s father, Stephen Wynne.
He bought the original company’s remaining parts. The parts, including 1,000 gullwing doors, fill 40,000 square feet of warehouse space in Houston, Cameron Wynne said.