I totally understand people who are obsessed with Back to the Future. I saw the movie when I was seven, and in my little-kid brain I had Michael J. Fox confused with Michael Jackson and was shocked when the protagonist turned out to be a cute white kid (who knew this confusion would be prophetic?). In retrospect, my love of all things sci-fi, especially when time travel’s involved, can be traced back this movie’s introduction into my life. Later, in graduate school, I studied the script — in my screenwriting class it was regarded as a textbook example of three-act structure, and we marveled at the organic yet perfectly paced progression of events and character development. As an adult, I love the film on levels unimaginable to my seven-year-old self. But I’m unremarkable compared to the legions of Back to the Future fanatics out there — particularly those who have bought DeLoreans and turned them into time machines.
Lenny Hochteil, who lives in a suburb of Los Angeles, built this incredible replica of the DeLorean time machine, including essential components such as the flux capacitor. Hochteil owns two DeLoreans, and starred in a documentary (video below) in which we see the car in action. It costs a little over 20K to buy a DMC DeLorean, and it costs about as much to outfit it to look like a time machine. Hochteil was motivated by his son’s love for the movie, and the two shared the dream of replicating the awesome time-traveling car.
Hochteil wanted to surprise his son and the rest of his family, so when he got the DeLorean he sent them a cryptic note telling them to show up at a restaurant at a particular time. He then arrived in the car, dressed in Back to the Future III old west garb. Needless to say, his family was shocked, and Hochteil’s bad-ass dad cred skyrocketed.
He got a flux capacitor and new seats, but he couldn’t bring himself to alter anything else about the car. That’s when he decided he needed a second DeLorean that he could fully convert into a time machine. He found one that had been wasting away for upwards of a decade just outside of Chicago, and it was the perfect car to bring to life as a time machine. Of course, riding in the car is even better when one dresses like Doc Brown or Marty McFly, which Hochteil has been known to do.
Hochteil’s not the first person to convert a DeLorean into a time machine. There’s one for sale here if you happen to be in the market or need a getaway from terrorists. There was also one sold on Ebay back in 2009.
I don’t think you’ll find Hochteil selling either of his DeLoreans anytime soon. Maybe the coolest aspect of the project is that Hochteil now feels that “time travel is possible, whether it’s in the mind or real.” So say we all!