Inquiring minds want to know, “How can I get my hands on a DeLorean time machine?”
Not because they have a few specific time-travel related goals, but more because everyone wants to own a modified version of John DeLorean’s great silver beast.
The renewed interest in the DeLorean coincides with a trend in DIY cosplay and prop reconstruction and love of Back to the Future, particularly as we pass the 25th anniversary of the films. We are beyond that 2015 future where we were promised floating anti-gravity boards but got those wheeled doohickey hoverboards instead.
Getting your own Delorean time machine can be expensive, but it is less impossible than you might think.
Here are the components and prices you will be looking at to get yourself ready to go back to whichever future.
The DeLorean Time Machine
The adventure of setting up your own customized DeLorean time machine will take you to some interesting places to acquire the 4 essential bits. To complete the project you need
- A DeLorean
- A Flux Capacitor
- A Time Circuit Display
- A Fusion source (Mr. or Plutonium)
- A surprising amount of wire
For some, this will be a home-built series of 3d-printed parts and clever cosmetic workarounds. For others, purchasable gets designed by body shops and prop designers can be added DIY or by shipping your car to a garage for a few weeks.
Let’s run down the specifics of each component.
The DeLorean Motor Company founded in 1975 by founder John DeLorean only sold 6,000 of the legendary DMC-12 models before shuttering in 1982. Getting your hands on one of these 30-year old models intact can be tricky.
Fortunately, those looking to build a DeLorean Time Machine have been given two big sources of help in the modern age. Both from the resurrected DeLorean Motor Company.
In 2016 the company announced it would produce a limited run (about 300) of the DMC-12 with a few upgrades. Scoring a newer version with a more powerful engine and non-30-year-old parts has an appeal that may prove the $85,000+ price tag worthwhile.
For those looking to maybe save some money, or who crave the original article or nothing, DeLorean also runs its own certified pre-owned DeLorean sales page.
Whichever route you manage, with the car taken care of everything else is cosmetic (except for maybe the Plutonium, depending on your Libyan connections).
The Time Bits
The other essential bits of building your own DeLorean time machine, the time machine parts. You will need the time manipulation device, conveniently housed in the interior with some fins on the back, and the circuit display to set all those destinations with.
The Flux Capacitor
It came to Doc Brown in a dream, but for you, it will probably come from a combination of plastic tubing, glass or plexiglass, and a metal housing.
LED rope lights make for a quick and easy way of shaping this iconic device, but you might also try incandescent liquid and a backing black light.
The Time Circuit Display
For some, a few alarm clocks disassembled and moved about will do the trick. For other, there are more complicated number by number rigs that can be assembled from digital number kits.
With any wiring, you want to make sure they’re shielded and connected to a dedicated circuit switch (for practical purpose and movie-style activation). Connecting the time circuits to the car’s power supply can be a poor choice.
With the essentials out of the way, you are going to want to connect all the components together and add in your power source.
Highly dangerous to handle, difficult to procure, and less practical than thorium, plutonium fusion parts can be assembled easily. 3D printed parts and a simple servo motor can make a tight seal that can ingest and inject a container. The housing can be made out of a hubcap and some rubber strips.
The far more practical Mr. Fusion creates fissionable materials from everyday garbage. The original was made with a Krups Type 223 Coffina Super coffee grinder manufactured in Germany. You may be able to snag and repaint one of these yourself, or you can always 3D print and assemble from various online downloads.
The real question is does the Mr. Fusion also power the lights and engine? For time travelers that must be nice, for the rest of us, a solid car jump starter can always be kept in the storage compartment.
Cords and Wires
Finally, everything needs to be connected with a lot of wire and some additional cosmetic bits bolted to the car. As Danny Botkin points out, you will need to do a lot of drilling to get everything to stay stable for taking your DeLorean time machine out for an adventure.
Braided cable connected with a combination of brackets and glue will keep the car from coming apart at highway speeds nearing that 88 mph you require. Makeshift parts and found items make great accessories that closely resemble how Doc put the thing together in the first place.
A Finishing Flourish
You might not live in California and you might have a hard time sporting an OUTATIME vanity plate in your state. Even if you have to settle for a bumper sticker to complete that particular effect, remember that where you’re going, roads will possibly be optional.
The Model Build
For those with a wallet somewhat shy of the $100,000 for a car and a build kit, there are a few great models being offered. You might not exactly be able to visit 1955 in a 1:8 scale car but as a mantlepiece, it is hard to beat.
Check around for detailed kits or scope out Eaglemoss Collections’ amazing bit by bit monthly delivered parts.
More Geek Projects
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