"Great Scott!" The World’s Most Iconic Movie Car Arrives at the Petersen Automotive Museum

DMC: DeLorean Motor CompanyDMC: DeLorean Motor Company

The Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1, James Bond’s 1963 Aston Martin DB5, the Batmobile from Tim Burton’s Batman.  We all know and love these famous on-screen roadsters, but no other movie car on the planet has sparked the imaginations of filmgoers like the 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future, aka Doc Brown’s time machine.  On multiple lists of the most iconic movie cars ever made, the time machine almost always comes in at No. 1, and rightly so.  It’s the one car that every ’80s kid wanted.

During the production of the Back to the Future trilogy, multiple versions of the time machine were constructed.  Sometime after the films were completed, the “A” car — the most detailed version, with all the bells and whistles — could be seen on the Universal Studios Hollywood studio tour for a number of years.  Eventually, the car succumbed to the elements as well as the occasional tourist who may have taken a piece from the screen-used vehicle as a souvenir.
Learning that the most famous movie car in the world was a grim shadow of its former self, a group of super fans and dedicated craftspeople set the car’s time circuits back and worked on it full-time for two years.  Knowing that fans would eventually see the vehicle in person, the restoration team made the time machine even more perfect than when it originally appeared onscreen.  The final result is stunning.
On April 20, the “A” car was unveiled at the Petersen Automotive Museum in front of an audience that eagerly waited to set eyes on it.  The much-anticipated ceremony was followed by a panel discussion featuring Back to the Future co-writer and producer Bob Gale.  The party didn’t stop there.  Saturday at the Petersen saw an ’80s dance party, followed on Sunday by a special DeLorean version of the museum’s monthly cruise-in breakfast.
The fully restored DeLorean time machine that took Marty McFly Back to the Future can now be seen in the Petersen’s Hollywood movie car gallery.  All photos by Jared Cowan.



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