DeLorean time machine
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|DeLorean time machine|
Side view of the DeLorean time machine
|Plot element from the Back to the Future film series|
|First appearance||Back to the Future (1985)|
|Created by||Robert Zemeckis
|Function||Allows the occupants to travel through time along with the car|
The DeLorean time machine is a fictional automobile-based time travel device featured in the Back to the Future franchise. In the feature film series, Dr. Emmett Brown builds a time machine based on a DeLorean DMC-12 car, to gain insights into history and the future. Instead, he ends up using it to travel over 130 years of Hill Valley history (from 1885 to 2015) with Marty McFly to change the past for the better and to undo the negative effects of time travel. One of the cars used in filming is on display at Universal Studios Hollywood and the official Back to the Future DeLorean can be viewed at the Petersen Automotive Museum.
The control of the time machine is the same in all three films. The operator is seated inside the DeLorean (except the first time, when a remote control is used), and turns on the time circuits, activating a unit containing multiple fourteen- and seven-segment displays that show the destination (red), present (green), and last-departed (yellow) dates and times. After entering a target date, the operator accelerates the car to 88 miles per hour (141.6 km/h), which activates the flux capacitor. As it accelerates, several coils around the body glow blue/white while a burst of light appears in front of it. Surrounded by electrical current similar to a Tesla coil, the whole car vanishes in a flash of white/blue light seconds later, leaving a pair of fiery tire tracks. A digital speedometer is attached to the dashboard so that the operator can accurately gauge the car's speed. Various proposals have been brought forth in the past by fans of the movie franchise for why the car has to be moving at 88 mph to achieve temporal displacement, but actually the production crew chose the velocity simply because they liked how it looked on the speedometer.
Observers outside the vehicle see an implosion of plasma as the vehicle disappears, while occupants within the vehicle see a quick flash of light and instantaneously arrive at the target time in the same spatial location (relative to the Earth) as when it departed. In the destination time, immediately before the car's arrival, three large and loud flashes occur at the point from which the car emerges from its time travel. After the trip, the exterior of the DeLorean is extremely cold, and frost forms from atmospheric moisture all over the car's body.
A few technical glitches with the DeLorean hinder time travel for its users. In the first film, the car has starter problems and has a hard time restarting once stopped, much to Marty's repeated frustration. In the second movie, the destination time display malfunctions and shows random dates (mostly January 1, 1885), which partially cause Doc to be sent to 1885. In the third movie, the flying circuits (added by Doc in 2015), fuel line, and fuel injection manifold are damaged, preventing the car from moving under its own power.
The time machine is electric and requires a power input of 1.21 gigawatts (pronounced "jigowatts") to operate, originally provided by a plutonium-fueled nuclear reactor. In the first movie, Doc has no access to plutonium in 1955, so he outfits the car with a large pole and hook in order to channel the power of a lightning bolt into the flux capacitor and send Marty back to 1985. During Doc's first visit to 2015, he has the machine refitted to hover above ground in addition to standard road driving, and he replaces the nuclear reactor with a Mr. Fusion generator that uses garbage as fuel.
Although the Mr. Fusion unit provides the required power for the time machine, the DeLorean is still powered by an internal combustion engine for propulsion. The fuel line is damaged during Marty's trip to 1885 in Back to the Future Part III; after he and Doc patch it, they attempt to use whiskey as a replacement fuel since commercial gasoline is not yet available. The test fails, destroying the car's fuel injection manifold and leaving it unable to travel under its own power.
Doc and Marty consider options to reach the required 88 mph (such as pulling it with horses) but ultimately settle on pushing the car with a steam locomotive. For the extra power needed to push the DeLorean up to speed, Doc adds his own version of "Presto Logs" (a chemically treated mixture of pressed wood and anthracite) to the locomotive's boiler and chooses a location with a straight section of track long enough to achieve 88 mph.
The power required is pronounced in the film as one point twenty-one "jigowatts". While the closed-captioning in home video versions spells the word as it appears in the script, jigowatt, the actual spelling matches the standard prefix and the term for power of "one billion watts": gigawatt. Although rarely used, the "j" sound at the beginning of the SI prefix "giga-" is an acceptable pronunciation for "gigawatt." In the DVD commentary for Back to the Future, Bob Gale states that he had thought it was pronounced this way because it was how a scientific adviser for the film pronounced it.
The flux capacitor, which consists of a rectangular-shaped compartment with three flashing Geissler-style tubes arranged in a "Y" configuration, is described by Doc as "what makes time travel possible." The device is the core component of the time machine.
As the time machine nears 88 mph, light coming from the flux capacitor begins pulsing more rapidly until it becomes a steady stream. Doc originally conceived the idea for the flux capacitor on November 5, 1955, when he slipped while hanging a clock in his bathroom and hit his head on the sink. A similar, but more primitive, steam-powered flux capacitor is also seen in the chimney headlamp of Doc's second time machine, the Time Train, at the end of Back to the Future Part III.
Although the films do not describe exactly how the flux capacitor works, Doc mentions at one point that the stainless steel body of the DeLorean has a direct and influential effect on the "flux dispersal", but he is interrupted before he can finish the explanation. The flux capacitor requires 1.21 gigawatts of electrical power to operate, which is roughly equivalent to the power produced by 15 typical commercial airplane jet engines.
The instruction manual for the AMT/ERTL DeLorean model kit says: "Because the car's stainless steel body improves the flux dispersal generated by the flux capacitor, and this in turn allows the vehicle smooth passage through the space time continuum."
The Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor is the name of a power source used by the DeLorean time machine in the Back to the Future trilogy. It can be seen for the first time at the end of Back to the Future when "Doc" Emmett Brown pulls into the McFlys' driveway after a trip to the year 2015. It is a parody of Mr. Coffee machines, which were very popular at the time of filming. The appliance from which the prop was made was actually a Krups "Coffina" model coffee grinder.
The Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor converts household waste to power for the time machine's flux capacitor and time circuits using nuclear fusion, presumably cold fusion. In the film, Mr. Fusion allows the DeLorean time machine to generate the required 1.21 gigawatts needed to travel to any point in time. The energy produced by Mr. Fusion replaces plutonium as the primary power source of the DeLorean's time travel, allowing the characters to bypass the arduous power-generation requirements upon which the plot of the first film hinges. The plutonium fission reactor was most likely left installed underneath Mr. Fusion as a backup power source.
The Mr. Fusion can provide enough power to the flux capacitor but is not used to power up the DeLorean itself, which makes use of an ordinary gasoline combustion engine to reach the 88 mph speed necessary for it to time travel, a limitation that proved itself crucial in the third movie when Doc and Marty find themselves stuck in 1885 and unable to return with the DeLorean out of gas (due to a fuel leak). The vehicle's hover system is powered by Mr. Fusion and is capable of bringing the DeLorean up to the required 88 mph; the combustion engine was also probably left on board as a backup. However, the flight systems were destroyed as a result of a lightning strike, leaving Marty to rely on the original combustion engine, which in turn was disabled.
For most of the first film, the 1.21 gigawatts are supplied by a plutonium-powered nuclear fission reactor and, with the absence of plutonium, a bolt of lightning channeled directly into the flux capacitor by a long pole and hook in the film's climactic sequence. At the end of the first film, and for the remainder of the trilogy, the plutonium nuclear reactor is replaced by a "Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor" generator possibly acquired in 2015. The "Mr. Fusion" device apparently converts household waste into electrical power; the name suggests nuclear fusion. Due to a "hover conversion" made in 2015, the car also becomes capable of hovering and flight, though it lost this ability at the end of the second film.
The DeLorean returns to 1985 and proceeds to travel to October 21, 2015, to stop Marty's future son from committing a crime. While there, the DeLorean is stolen by Biff who then travels back to November 12, 1955, the same day as the climax of the first film, to give his past self a sports almanac to be used for gambling. Once Biff returns to 2015 without Doc's knowledge, the duo return to 1985, but find themselves in an alternate timeline where Hill Valley is ruled by Biff that Doc described as 1985A (alternate 1985). The DeLorean then travels back to 1955 to restore the timeline, but in the aftermath, it is struck by lightning again in the very same electrical storm, this time by accident. According to writers Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis, the lightning causes the DeLorean to spin at 88 miles per hour, and Doc later states in a letter to Marty that the bolt caused a "gigawatt overload" which "shorted out the time circuits and destroyed the flying circuits". The DeLorean then disappears from 1955, travelling back in time to January 1, 1885 (earlier in the film, Doc mentions that the time circuits are not functioning correctly; several instances in the film that show the time circuit display showed 1885 as the destination when the time circuits malfunctioned).
Once in 1885, the DeLorean is hidden in a mine because suitable replacement parts to replace its destroyed microchip will not be invented until 1947 (presumably referring to the transistor, invented in that year). Doc and Marty recover the DeLorean from the mine in 1955, and Doc builds a vacuum tube circuit assembly to replace the destroyed microchip circuitry and restore the vehicle's time travel capabilities. The tires have disintegrated in storage, so Doc replaces them with whitewalls. The gasoline engine is still functional, but the flying circuits are not.
In a letter Doc wrote to Marty in 1885, Doc states he is happy in his new life there and requests that Marty not attempt to retrieve him, but instead to return to 1985 and destroy the DeLorean, believing that it has brought them and the world nothing but disaster. However, Marty and the Doc of 1955 learn of tragedy to come Doc's way when he is murdered by Biff's grandfather, Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen, on September 7, 1885; therefore, 1955 Doc agrees to send Marty back to the Old West to rescue himself.
When Marty arrives in 1885, the DeLorean's fuel line is pierced by an arrow during an Indian attack. He and Doc patch it and attempt to use whiskey as a replacement fuel, since commercial gasoline is not yet available; the test fails, destroying the fuel injection and ignition systems and leaving the car unable to travel under its own power. Its final trip, from 1885 to 1985, is propelled by a steam locomotive that has Doc's version of "Presto Logs" (pressed wood treated with anthracite) added to the boiler to provide the extra power needed to push the car up to 88 mph; once this speed is reached, the Mr. Fusion unit provides the power required to activate the flux capacitor and make the jump through time. Doc replaces the 1955-style wheels with cast iron train wheels that fit on the track rails. He uses the old tires and a wooden support to cushion the locomotive's "cow catcher" and the car's rear end. Since each of the three "Presto Logs" fire at different intervals with increasing power, Doc installs a boiler temperature gauge on the DeLorean's dashboard to indicate when the car will experience a sudden burst of acceleration.
Once the DeLorean makes its final trip from 1885, it arrives back in 1985 and is immediately destroyed by an oncoming freight train running in the opposite direction. Marty is able to bail out of the car seconds before the train strikes. Later the Time Train, which is Doc's second time machine, appeared in the same spot where the DeLorean was destroyed.
In the films, the DeLorean time machine is a licensed, registered vehicle in the state of California, where the films take place. The vanity license plate used in the film reads "OUTATIME", a deliberate anomaly, as the maximum number of symbols on California plates is seven characters. When Doc returns from 2015, it is a barcode license plate, which implies that by that year license plates have moved to other more sophisticated means of tracking and registering.
In The Animated Series, Doc builds another DeLorean into a time machine, restoring most of its features, including Mr. Fusion and the hover conversion (Doc either rebuilds the one destroyed at the end of Part III or he simply builds a new one). He also seemingly adds the capability to travel through space in addition to time (i.e., appear at a different location from the one it departed), similar to the TARDIS from Doctor Who. The cartoon DeLorean time machine has many add-ons, including a back seat in normal two-door mode, the ability to transform into a four-door, a pop-out covered wagon top, a blimp, a rear video screen, and a voice activated time input.
Back to the Future: The Game features a chronal duplicate of the original DeLorean, which Doc Brown recovered from the timestream after the destruction of the original. This DeLorean is created at the end of Back to the Future Part II, when the original time machine was struck by lightning: while the DeLorean itself is sent to 1885, a fully functional duplicate appears (apparently unmanned and undamaged) in 2025, where Doc retrieves it with the Hover Train. He later traveled to 1931 and sent the DeLorean to 1986 to get Marty to rescue him from 1931 before he can be killed. This duplicate DeLorean is effectively the same as the Part II car, including the occasional glitches in the time controls (mostly affecting the last time departed time display), but with a new automatic retrieval feature that automatically brings the DeLorean to a set time and location of Doc's choosing every time Doc Brown doesn't return to the car in a fixed amount of time.
This DeLorean is later badly damaged (Marty crashes the DeLorean into a billboard, and after Marty gets out, the DeLorean falls through the billboard and crashes onto the ground) and then restored by an alternate version of Doc Brown who has never developed time travel technology, having access to limited notes about the flux capacitor. As such, the chronal circuits of the duplicate DeLorean become even more glitchy, accumulating errors as severe as the interval of time traveled, with increasing damage with every attempt: as such, Citizen Brown, the Alternate Doc, has to install a diagnostic console made of materials available in 1931 (appearing as a plywood box with a lightbulb and several similar bulbs placed on the coils on the outer body).
Apparently, part of the problem is chromium parts becoming unstable during time travel, according to Alternate Doc. This DeLorean is then stolen by Edna Strickland, one of the game's main villains. The more adept Doc Brown returns in another duplicate DeLorean due to earlier events in the game, although it is unknown where it came from. Then Officer Danny Parker nearly arrests Marty and Doc for allegedly having the car that Edna got away in. After they explain to him that there is more than one DeLorean, Marty explains that the other DeLorean had malfunctioning time circuits. To make matters worse, the entire town of Hill Valley disappears around them. They go to "Mary Pickford's" house and see that the other DeLorean had been destroyed. After they get information from Mary, who was really Edna, they go to 1876. After they stop the fire that would've burned down Hill Valley, they chase down Edna, who is trying to get away in the first DeLorean. Marty synchronizes the two DeLoreans and hoverboards back to Doc's DeLorean, which is flying behind the one Edna's driving. They all travel back to 1931, with Edna's DeLorean duplicate vanishing because of the time ripples catching up with them, causing "chronal decay" (i.e., since the Alternate Doc timeline ceased to exist, the alternated Clone DeLorean was folded back with the real Clone DeLorean).
It is implied that the Hover Train stays with Clara, Jules and Verne, passingly mentioned as enjoying the same nomadic life around the time-stream of Doc, but it is never seen in the game. The ending introduces a blue DeLorean and a black DeLorean, but it is unknown how these time machines were created.
In Back to the Future: The Ride, Doc, who now lives in a lab, had created an 8-passenger DeLorean that can fly just like the original DeLorean (which can be seen in the ride and in the outside display) and the Hover Train (which can only be seen in display outside of the attraction). Unlike the original DeLorean, the flux capacitor is in the front of the cockpit along with a small screen, the time circuits, and the speedometer. The original DeLorean is also shown to have its original "OUTATIME" license plate instead of the bar code license plate, but it could just mean that this DeLorean is actually a new one being built into a time machine. However, in a post-credits scene, Clara Clayton, who has built Hover Train with Doc, currently repaired the DeLorean and travels back to 1947 to a farm.
In Doc Brown Saves the World, there was a repaired DeLorean time machine which included new replacement parts from 2015. The DeLorean is also seen in a video promoting Doc Brown Saves the World, and it is unknown as to whether or not a flux capacitor was inside.
Behind the scenes
The time machine went through several variations during production of the first film, Back to the Future. In the first draft of the screenplay, the time machine was a laser device that was housed in a room. At the end of the first draft the device was attached to a refrigerator and taken to an atomic bomb test site. Director Robert Zemeckis said in an interview that the idea was scrapped because he did not want children to start climbing into refrigerators and getting trapped inside. In the third draft of the film the time machine was a car, as Zemeckis reasoned that if you were going to make a time machine, you would want it to be mobile. The specific choice of vehicle was a DeLorean DMC-12 for the purposes of it looking like an alien spaceship due to its characteristic gullwing doors (which were inspired by the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL). However, in order to send Marty back to the future, the vehicle had to drive into a nuclear test site. Ultimately this concept was considered too expensive to film, so the power source was changed to lightning.
When the filmmakers arrived at the point where the time machine would be built into a car, the art department was instructed to come up with designs for the DeLorean. Andrew Probert was the first artist to explore the subject (before Ron Cobb joined the production), but his designs were deemed "too perfect" for the look the producers wanted, which was to make it look as if it had been built in a garage by Doc Brown. The idea was that it had been constructed with parts found in a hardware and electronics store, so it couldn't look too sophisticated. It also had to look dangerous, as Producer Bob Gale noted in the DVD commentary for Back to the Future. The task was undertaken by Ron Cobb who added the coils to the back of the vehicle. The nuclear reactor was also a design choice made by Cobb. This choice proved to be important, given the direction the script had taken. Cobb complemented the nuclear reactor with one vent on the back of the car, since it was generally known at the time that nuclear reactors had vents. Once Cobb had left the production, the producers wanted to balance the design with another vent, keeping a symmetrical aesthetic. Probert was asked to step in and he brought the design to its final form. At the end of the first film of the trilogy these vents become the propulsion system for the improved DeLorean, which now had hovering abilities and could reach the time-traveling speed of 88 miles per hour flying. The production design team added other buttons and lights inside the car to make it look more appealing and complex in order for the audience to have something attractive to look at.
Different parts from three 1981 DeLoreans were used in the first film. Liquid nitrogen was poured onto the car for scenes after it had travelled through time to give the impression that it was cold. The base for the nuclear reactor was made from the hubcap from a Dodge Polara. Aircraft parts and blinking lights were added for effect. In one of the first scenes, carbon dioxide extinguishers were hidden inside the DeLorean to simulate the exhaust effect. Ultimately, five real DeLoreans were used in the filming of the trilogy, plus one "process" car built for interior shots. In the off-road scenes in the third film, a modified-for-off-road VW Beetle frame was fitted to the DeLorean with the whitewall tires and baby Moon hubcaps. A seventh DeLorean was also used in the filming; however, this one was merely a full-sized, fiberglass model used for exterior shots where the vehicle hovers above the set as well as when the actors interact with the vehicle.
A number of private auto customizers have built replicas of the DeLorean time machine. Starting with a stock DMC-12, they added most, if not all, the props used by the movie producers for the picture cars. In addition to the interior and exterior props, they feature working indicator lights and switches along with the actual sounds which duplicate the ones made by the movie car's controls when activated. These vehicles are, for the most part, roadworthy DeLoreans with stock drivetrains, and are frequently driven to car shows and Back to the Future-related events.
Replicas can range from a minimal 'obligatory mod' - typically in the form of an operational Flux-Capacitor prop on the rear firewall of an otherwise stock Delorean DMC-12, all the way through to complete replicas, as described above.
As of March 2017, some 87 DeLorean DMC-12s are known to be converted to Back to the Future Time Machines. A listing of these can be found on the Texas DeLorean Club web site, which maintains a complete list of categorized DeLorean automobiles by VIN.
In popular culture
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- In "1977 2000", a second-season episode of Get a Life, Chris Peterson investigates ways he could time travel. He is seen having a DeLorean time machine in his driveway, but decides not to use it because the turn signal is broken.
- In Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh, Crazy Steve drives into a Christmas parade in a DeLorean, from which the license plate spins and falls off.
- In the animated series American Dad!, it was revealed that Stan Smith has built his own DeLorean DMC-12 in the season 4 episode "DeLorean Story-an", but had never seen "Back to the Future".
- In Owl City's music video for "Deer in the Headlights" Adam Young is seen to be driving a DeLorean time machine.
- In the 2014 movie A Million Ways to Die in the West, Doc Brown (played by Christopher Lloyd) and the DeLorean time machine make a brief appearance. When the main character Albert Stark bumps into Brown he asks "what's that?" (referring to the time machine). Brown quickly covers up the time machine, calling it "a weather experiment," in reference to the first film.
- In the Regular Show episode "Skips vs. Technology," the character Techmo is seen driving a DeLorean. In one scene, the car appears to be traveling through time. In the episode "A Skips in Time", Techmo's stormchasing car resembles the DeLorean, with its gull-wing doors and ability to fly. At the end of the episode, Techmo and the car vanish as if they'd disappeared through time. In Regular Show: The Movie, the ball-shaped time machine invented by Mordecai and Rigby is powered by plutonium, similar to the DeLorean in the first film. Techmo's DeLorean makes another appearance in this special episode, now with laser blasters and the ability to fly.
- In the 2004 film The Polar Express, which was also directed by Robert Zemeckis, the flux capacitor can be seen in the train in one part.
- In the July 14, 2015 episode of Pittsburgh Dad, the titular character tells his kids what he would do if he had a time machine, which then goes to a "what-if" cutaway of Dad time traveling in the DeLorean.
- In the 2015 short film Movie Magic, the Fairy Godfather gives the character Cody a DeLorean to take his date to the movies.
- In Transformers: Rescue Bots, a solar-powered DeLorean is seen in the episodes "Hotshots", "The Other Doctor", "Time After Time", and "Hot Rod Bot". Invented by Dr. Greene, this version of the DeLorean features green fluid tubes around the car's body resembling the wiring on the outside, a round core connected to these tubes is in the same position as the flux capacitor, and the gauge meters in the cockpit resemble the ones (including the alarm clock) seen on the inside of the DeLorean time machine. The car was later destroyed by the MorBot in the episode "The Other Doctor"; however, in the episode "Time After Time" Dr. Greene has either rebuilt the vehicle, or made a new one. In "Hot Rod Bot", the car was involved in a test using a remote controlled device meant to speed up cars, similar to how Doc Brown controlled the DeLorean Time Machine in the first film.
- In Lego Dimensions, Lego versions of Doc and the DeLorean time machine appear in a Lego version of the 1885 Hill Valley where he meets the main characters: Gandalf, Batman, and Wyldstyle, and they help Doc load the time machine into the back of a stagecoach. Doc then departs to hide the DeLorean in the mines. A second DeLorean, commandeered by Marty, later appears in the middle of a battle between the protagonists and Lord Vortech (ramming him in the process) and picks up Doc after the battle has ended. A smaller vision of the DeLorean is also a playable vehicle in the game, as a part of the Back to the Future Level Pack, but uses a treadmill instead of the road to time travel. A miniature remote control vision of the DeLorean is playable if the player is playing as Doc Brown.
- In the 2015 animated film, Home, the characters Tip and Oh have a slushy-powered, apparently sentient car named the Slushious. This vehicle has the same flying capabilities as the DeLorean time machine.
- In the 1990 television special, The Earth Day Special originally aired on ABC, Doc Brown appears in the DeLorean time machine to report that the future is "not good" due to the environmental destruction caused by mankind.
- In the television series, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, the zucchini-shaped rocket that appears in the episodes "Pac to the Future" and "Cave Pac-Man" share a few functions with the DeLorean time machine. For example, the rocket creates a burst of light in front of it as zooms forward at high speed, and similarly leaves a trail of yellow smoke when it time travels.
- In an episode of the television series, The Librarians (2014 TV Series) called The Final Curtain, the DeLorean time machine can temporally be seen in the time machine room when the sheet covering it is lifted revealing the "OUTATIME" license plate.
- In Teen Titans Go! (TV series), the time machine built by Cyborg and Beast Boy in the episode "Staring into the Future" has a core that resembles the flux capacitor. A dark blue, weaponized version of the DeLorean appeared in the special episode "The Day the Night Stopped Beginning to Shine and Became Dark Even Though It Was the Day".
- In 2015, Jazz pianist Aaron Diehl released a composition "Flux Capacitor" from his "Space-Time-Continuum".
- In Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time, the washing machine-like time machine has several functions that are like the DeLorean, including the flux capacitor, time circuits, and the speedometer. The time washing machine also appears in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle where an accident with an invention called the SupaMerge helmet causes it to fuse the Super Mario world and Rabbids world into one.
- In the 2015 video game Rocket League, the DeLorean Time Machine is available as a playable car through downloadable content.
- The 2002 song Year 3000 by British pop-punk band Busted references a "flux capacitor" and the chorus talks about the time machine being "like the one in the film I've seen".
- In Lego Jurassic World, the DeLorean Time Machine makes a cameo appearance at the dig site in Lego Jurassic Park III. It is shown half-buried in the dirt with one of the dig site workers holding the "OUTATIME" license plate.
- In the fan-fiction story My Immortal the protagonist Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way is helped through time by "Morty McFli's blak tim machine"(as the author regularly misspells it), an all-black version of the DeLorean Time Machine.
- In one of the queue videos in The Simpsons Ride, located at Universal Studios Hollywood, Professor Frink uses a DeLorean Time Machine to go back in time to save Doc Brown from having the Institute of Future Technology closed and replaced with Krustyland and accidentally running over the banker who would have kept it open.
- In the television series, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, the akuma-transformed police car that appears in the episode "Roger Cop" has the same flying capabilities as the DeLorean time machine.
- In the visual novel Steins;Gate, the mails sent back in time are called DeLorean Mail.
- In the movie Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League - Cosmic Clash, the Batmobile-transformed Cosmic Treadmill has a few functions and designs that are similar to the DeLorean.
- In the British science fiction television series, Doctor Who, the flying vans that appear in the episode "Gridlock" have the same flying capabilities as the DeLorean, including digital clocks in the cockpits that resemble the time circuits.
- In Mater's Tall Tales, in the episode "Time Travel Mater", Mater's time traveling ability is similar to the DeLorean, except he sneezes instead of going up to 88 mph to activate the clock on his nose (which plays the role of the flux capacitor) that instantly makes him travel through time and he makes only one flash of light when he lands in the past or future.
- The DeLorean appeared in Steven Spielberg's 2018 film Ready Player One, as an OASIS mod. The version seen in this movie, inspired to the DMC-12 driven in the novel, is a 2015 version, with red lights on the front, an "OUTATIME"-like license plate with "PARZIVAL" written on. The DeLorean is also equipped with a device that collects OASIS coins, as the car is usually drove with gullwings opened. For a brief moment, it also uses the rocket wheels, but it appears like it cannot actually fly.
- In one of the Spy vs. Spy cartoons, the DeLorean time machine was used as a trap by White Spy to trick Black Spy into time traveling into the past during a drag race, only for Black Spy to alter history (literally) and trigger White Spy's defeat. This black and white version of the DeLorean has a few differences: the speedometer is under the flux capacitor and the letters DMC between the headlights are replaced with SVS.
- In the 2003 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Sewer Slider build by the turtles has an identical shape and the same flying capabilities as the DeLorean.
- In one of the Wile.E Coyote and Road Runner CGI shorts from The Looney Tunes Show, Wile.E's stolen rocket car's accidental time traveling ability is the same as the DeLorean's time traveling ability, except it goes up to 9999 mph instead of 88 mph.
- In the video game Grand Theft Auto Online, players can purchase a vehicle called the Deluxo, which is heavily based on the DeLorean from the films, barring the time travel components. It includes the abilities to hover close to the ground and fly into the sky, much like the DeLorean as it is seen in Back to the Future Part II.
- The DeLorean can be seen in the 2015 TV series The Last Man on Earth in Season 2 episode "30 Years of Science Down the Tubes".
- "Petersen Automotive Museum". Archived from the original on March 20, 2016.
- Back to the Future: 13 things you may not know, The Telegraph, October 21, 2015
- Back to the Future (DVD). 1985.
- Back to the Future Part II. 1989.
- Back to the Future Part III. 1990.
- "Back to The Future Script" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-03-08.
- "definition and pronunciation of gigawatt". Merriam-Webster Feb 2008. April 25, 2007. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
- "A Practical Guide to the International System of Units, U.S. Metric Association, Feb 2008". Lamar.colostate.edu. April 5, 2006. Archived from the original on June 13, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
- Chang, Richard S. "You Say Gigawatt, I Say Jigowatt." The New York Times blog, April 8, 2008.
- Andersen, Kent. Saving Planet Earth: A Practical Hands-On Approach, 2008, p. 101.
- From the Official Back to the Future FAQ by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis, question 1.16.
- Back to the Future: The Game, Chapter 1 – It's About Time
- Back to the Future: The Game, Chapter 4 – Double Visions
- Back to the Future: The Game, Chapter 5 – Outatime
- Zemeckis, Robert; Gale, Bob (1985). The making of Back to the Future (VHS). Universal Pictures.
- Zemeckis, Robert; Gale, Bob (2002). Back to the Future: The Complete Trilogy DVD commentary for part 1 (DVD). Universal Pictures.
- Tales From the Future (2010 DVD/Blu-ray set documentary)
- [Back to the Future Trilogy DVD, Production Notes]
- Klastorin, Michael; Hibbin, Sally (1990). Back to The Future: The Official Book of The Complete Movie Trilogy. Hamlyn. p. 40. ISBN 0-600-57104-1.
6 DeLoreans, including one 'process' car which can be dismantled for easy access, and a lightweight fiberglass model, were used in the filming.
- Klastorin, Michael; Hibbin, Sally (1990). Back to The Future: The Official Book of The Complete Movie Trilogy. Hamlyn. p. 43. ISBN 0-600-57104-1.
A lightweight, full-size fibreglass DeLorean was built, complete with radio-controlled wheels. This DeLorean was flown by wires with the aid of a crane.
- Baruth, Jack (October 2016). "The Sound of Violins". Road & Track. 68 (3): 62–68.
- "A Million Ways To Die in the West Exclusive Christopher Lloyd Clip (HD)". October 7, 2014.
- Dad Goes Back to the Future Pittsburgh Dad (July 14, 2015)
- Further reading
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- Boyd, Matt. "The Back to the Future DeLorean" in DieCastX Magazine, Spring 2007, p. 98.
- De Santis, Solange. "Steven Spielberg Builds a Time Machine" in Popular Mechanics, August 1985, pp. 84–87, 132.
- Iaccino, James F. Jungian Reflections within the Cinema: A Psychological Analysis of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Archetypes, pp. 81–89. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998. ISBN 0-275-95048-4
- Kaku, Michio. Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration Into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel. Random House, Inc., 2008. ISBN 0-385-52544-3
- McDermid, Val. A Suitable Job for a Woman: Inside the World of Women Private Eyes. Poisoned Pen Press, 1999. ISBN 1-890208-15-9
- Mowbray, Scott. "Let's Do the Time Warp Again" in Popular Science, March 2002, pp. 46–51.
- Nahin, Paul J. Time Machines: Time Travel in Physics, Metaphysics, and Science Fiction. Springer, 1999. ISBN 0-387-98571-9
- Ní Fhlainn, Sorcha. The Worlds of Back to the Future: Critical Essays on the Films. McFarland, 2010. ISBN 0-7864-4400-2
- Redmond, Sean. Liquid Metal: the Science Fiction Film Reader, pp. 115–122. Wallflower Press, 2004. ISBN 1-903364-87-6.
- Simpson, Philip; Utterson, Andrew; Shepherdson, Karen J. Film Theory: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies, Volume 2. Taylor & Francis, 2004. ISBN 0-415-25973-8
- Sobchack, Vivian Carol. Screening Space: the American Science Fiction Film. Rutgers University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-8135-2492-X