Iconic Movie Motors: Edition One

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Paul Nigh's 'TeamTimeCar.com' Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine

Films are big business and while the spotlight is typically on the starring thespians, in some cases the cars have stolen the show and became the main attraction. In this feature, we look at two of the most beloved and iconic vehicles to grace the big screen: the DMC DeLorean and an Aston Martin DB5 from the James Bond universe. Let’s get started…

Icon One: The DMC DeLorean from the “Back To The Future” trilogy

The Info

The DMC DeLorean didn’t have a great reputation in some ways and, commercially speaking, didn’t do brilliantly in its short life (1981- 1983) but the fact is, it became an iconic movie motor. Strangely, as the base of a time machine concocted by the eccentric scientist Emmett “Doc” Brown in the hugely popular Back To The Future trilogy. The car was known in the real world for not being exactly first class in some ways but as time machine material, this stainless steel sports car really won the hearts of multiple generations of film fans.

The DeLorean is considered to be one of the key staples of the Back To The Future universe every bit as much as Marty McFly and Doc Brown. The eye-catching design also adds to this car’s undeniable coolness, in time machine form or not. An estimated 6,500 DMC DeLoreans are still on the road and this vehicle still grabs your attention when you see one.

So, how does the BTTF DMC DeLorean travel through time then and what is the tech at work here (in theory)? Well, let’s start with the time machine bits. To actually achieve time travel with the wheeled contraption you’ll need some good equipment. Let’s start with the flux capacitor which is a key element of the car, that, according to Doc, is “what makes time travel possible”. Running on plutonium created from the onboard nuclear reactor, the required 1.21 gigawatts of electrical power for the flux capacitor is provided. When the car gains momentum and hits the 88mph mark, enough light is generated which becomes a stream before the car blasts out of view with a trail of flames in its wake and then the time travelling occurs.

back-future flying delorean | A Pilgrim in Narnia

There are also other key bits of technological wizardry in there too, such as time circuits which show the all-important stats: the destination time, the present time and the last time departed which are all in different colours. Other parts included were the previously mentioned nuclear reactor and power source (known as Mr Fusion) which is what gives the user the power to make time travel in Doc’s DeLorean possible. Because the vehicle runs on nuclear fusion, you need to keep track of how much of it is left and that is done by the Roentgen Meter (a sort of fuel gauge, you could say) and there’s also tech to keep the nuclear reactor cool, a digital speedometer and an alarm clock.

Later on, the car could even take to the skies due to flying circuits being added. Although there was a technical problem or two that made this time machine error-prone and challenging to use at times, eventually the repairs were made although its final film fate was less than great…

So, what else is there to say about the Back To The Future DMC DeLorean? It was a defining car of the day and you can even view it for yourself in the Petersen Automotive Museum (based in Los Angeles, America), thanks to Universal Studios Hollywood who gave them the car on permanent loan. Great Scott!

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