17th January 2024

Great Scott! Mark’s Back to the Future Replica

As one of the most famous film cars ever, there can be few vehicles that need as little introduction as the DeLorean DMC-12. It’s right up there with Bond’s DB5, the Italian Job Minis, and the Bullitt Mustang, and deserves the (often overused) adjective ‘iconic’.

The DeLorean is something that many a film fanatic has dreamt of owning, but very few have actually achieved. So it should come as little surprise that once someone has got their hands on a DeLorean, they would go about turning it into the famous Back to the Future time machine.

It’s something that Mark D Elliott has done to his, having owned the car for seven years. For three of those years, it was a standard DeLorean DMC-12, but Mark then spent two years building a Back to the Future replica. It is, in Mark’s words, 85% completed, but as with all classic car restorations, let alone a film-based conversion, there’s the sense that this is almost a never-ending project.

Mark said: “I started the conversion on the very first day of lockdown – 27th March 2020. I was still working full-time, but as there were no car shows to attend, I knew the DeLorean would be sitting unused for a while… so the project started.”

It’s a car that has been given plenty of care in recent years. It’s known provenance is that it came over to the UK from Texas as a non-runner, and underwent its first rebuild between 2014 and 2016 by its previous owner. Since then, it’s been rebuilt again by Mark, including a completely overhauled engine, electronics, and fuel system.

“All the work on the Back to the Future conversion, as well as the engine, transmission, and electrics, has been completed by myself,” continued Mark. “The only thing I didn’t do was weld the rear vents, for the time machine equipment.

“The car is completely standard underneath. I originally bought the DeLorean as I love the car, and the story behind it; that’s what attracted me to buy one. I love the Back to the Future Film as well, so being able to put the two together makes the best of both worlds. But at the same time I didn’t want to damage the car in any way. So to complicate the build, all of the time machine equipment has been bolted onto the car using DeLorean original bolts, studs, screws etc. It’s completely removable, and has not damaged the car in away.”

Mark initially trained as an Electrical, Electronic, and Mechanical Engineer, but quickly moved into a video broadcasting role, and then into Project Management, so I had not used those skills for more than 30 years. He’s used that initial training to make the DeLorean his own, replicating the car from the original Back to the Future film.

Mark based the build on the ‘A’ car – what the screen car was called – which can be seen in the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. That car was fully rebuilt 2013-2015, having been left outside Universal Studios for more than 20 years. He has converted his DeLorean as faithfully as possible, using original DeLorean parts everywhere possible – especially mechanically.

Components for the time machine include a 1969 Dodge Polar wheel cap for the reactor core cover, a turbine exhaust ring from a GE Turbojet Engine as rector core lid), 1950-1970’s aircraft gauges, aircraft oil separators, medical heatsinks, military radio cooling vents, aircraft hydraulics, and high pressure gas relays connected to gas vacuum tubes made up the Flux Capacitor.

600 meters of cabling was used in Mark’s time machine to re-create the wiring looms from the film car, including the correct wiring colours, and are fixed to connectors as seen on the Back to the Future DeLorean. In total, around 5,500 hours have been put into the car to make repairs to the DeLorean and add the time machine equipment!

Is it your dream to own one or are you a fellow Delorean owner? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!