If you're an '80s film buff of any degree, or if you've been on social media for all of 30 seconds today, you know that today is the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown blasted through time and into a cheesy but fun Hollywood version of 2015 in 1989's Back to the Future II. Just as the film predicted hoverboards, flying cars and self-tying shoes have become near realities. But who could have imagined that the iconic film would be the subject of presidential candidates all over something called "Twitter" three decades later?
The film franchise definitely has stood the test of time with a whole generation of fans. And to our utter delight here at E3 Spark Plugs, a few of the most die-hard among those fans have spent the past four years working with Universal, producer Bob Gale and director Bob Zemeckis to restore Doc's original time-traveling DeLorean.
It began in 2011 when the car was rolled out at a Nike promotional event. The moment proved a bit anticlimactic when Gale saw the pitiful condition the car had fallen into. He quickly galvanized a team of DeLorean experts led by famed car replica fanatics Joe Walser and Terry Matalas and the group made their pitch to the suits at Universal, where the car had sat for decades on a studio backlot. A few years of full-time work and an undisclosed, but undoubtedly huge budget later, the DeLorean has been returned to its big-screen glory.
But do you know how the idea to make the car a DeLorean came about? In part, it was a solution to a production problem that had to do with the time chamber, Gale explains.
"Doc Brown had to carry it around on the back of a pickup truck. In pre-production, Bob thought, 'How are we going to do this?' There's a lot of logistics in moving this thing around, then he came in and said, 'Let's put it in the car, let's make it mobile, and that saves a lot of nuts and bolts stuff production wise.' "
But the fateful choice also had a bit of a scandalous provenance.
"John DeLorean was either on trial, or was about to go on trial for a cocaine sting," Gale said. "That put the DeLorean back in the public consciousness, because the company went out of business. Now it had this added notoriety of the cocaine bust, and that made it even hipper as an outlaw car."
We can't imagine it any other way.
To celebrate the occasion, here's a message from the eccentric but wise Doc Brown. Check it out, then post your thoughts on the enduring appeal of the Back to the Future films on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.