2.27.2012

1985 in Flux: There’s a DeLorean in My Town

What do your friends keep in their garages that they don’t tell you about?
Tacky nic-nacs? Ugly furniture? Hoards of clutter? Random rodent tenants? Those are the kinds of things that your friends are justified in keeping under wraps.
back-to-the-future-delorean But what about a rare sports car that achieved worldwide fame in 1985 for its role as a time machine in Back to the Future, one of my all-time favorite movies? Do any of your friends have a DeLorean squirreled away in their garages?
Mine do!
And even though they know I am an unashamed, self-proclaimed child of the 80’s, as any regular Farris Wheel reader knows, they never name-dropped to me that they owned a time machine because they didn’t want to sound braggadocious. (I guess it’s not really a time machine, but I forgot to ask them if they had ever floored that baby up to 88 miles per hour or checked to see if there was a flux capacitor somewhere in there. Because you never know!) So they shall remain nameless in my reporting, upon their humble request for anonymity.
On Saturday morning, my friend invited me to drop by her house. I was on my way to take the kids to pick out a new feathered companion from PetSmart (more to come later on that experience), so we made a little detour. It was our first time to visit, and we were happy to be given the full tour of the premises. My friend told my 5-year-old son she had something cool to show him in the garage.
The three of us accompanied my friend and her husband and their son through the doorway, and there before us was some kind of vehicle under a drop cloth. I could tell it was going to be some old car, but I’ve never really been a car person, so I was prepared to be unimpressed. Cars get me from point A to point B, regardless of their coolness…or lack thereof. But what 5-year-old boy is not into cars? So of course, my son’s reaction was the focus of everyone there.
Slowly the drop cloth was removed, and the air got sucked out of the room. At least, it did to me.
Underneath was THIS.
I stood there slack-jawed, looking at this DeLorean with stainless steel exterior and gull wing doors, as if 1985 had just reached out and tapped me on the shoulder to say hi. Totally rad! I think I did a little jumpy-dance. “It’s the Back to the Future car!!!” And that was probably the moment that the attention shifted from my son’s lackluster reaction to my…exuberant one.
I knew DeLoreans were rare, but later I found out how rare. Wikipedia says: “A large number of the original cars are still on the road after over 25 years; most estimates put it at 6,500 cars surviving out of just over 9,000 built.” The DeLorean Motor Company was founded in 1975 but did not begin producing the cars on assembly lines until 1981, then closed in 1982.
bttf car And that is why I have never seen one on the roads before. I have only seen the one driven by Marty McFly in his yellow plutonium suit. Have you ever seen one in real life? (10 points for you, if you have.)
But the most totally radical part of this 80’s overload was that I was invited to sit in the driver’s seat. That’s when I geeked out a little bit and looked at the console area, hoping to see the digital readout screen that would display November 5, 1955. Thankfully, no Libyans were in sight, since I would not have had time to ask my friends if their plutonium supply was well-stocked before blazing a fire-trail outta there. And I would not have had the luxury of a flyer telling me the exact date and time that lightning would strike the town courthouse here, God forbid.
This couple expressed to me what a treasure the car is to them…both of their fathers, now deceased, were very much into DeLoreans. My friend’s husband, who has only driven the car once in his life, told me that this particular car was his dad’s. So it is a great remembrance for both of them to have.
Not only that, but their crazy little 80’s friend, who may have gone home that night to watch her DVR’d version of Back to the Future, appreciates it way more than they thought she would.
And now, back to 2012.














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