Behind the Back to the Future DeLorean Restoration

Posted by David Konow

Long time readers of TGD know that a team of dedicated car fanatics have restored the original Back to the Future DeLorean, and BTTF’s screenwriter, Bob Gale, helped bring it all together. Now in a new article, written by yours truly, the gang behind the restoration talked about the challenges they faced, as well as how all the work and effort finally paid off. 

In writing this story for Tested, I learned quite a bit about Back the Future I didn’t know already, like the fact that making Doc Brown’s car a DeLorean was Robert Zemeckis’s idea. Zemeckis and Gale liked the fact that the car looked futuristic with the gull wing doors, and the cars were made of stainless steel, which kept them from rusting. 
 
Universal tried to talk Gale into making the car a Mustang, because they could have closed a cool product placement deal with Ford, but Gale was adamant: “Doc Brown doesn’t drive a f*cking Mustang!” 
 
Gale decided to get the car restored when Universal brought it out at an event in 2011. It was in horrible shape, and car replica fanatics Joe Walser and Terry Matalas went to work. 
 
“Physically most challenging part of restoring the DeLorean was the flux bands,” Walser told me. “They’re a very complicated thing to do – nobody ever gets them right. I wanted to absolutely nail it. I believe I got as close as anyone’s ever gotten before. It took forever and it really hurt. There were times I just laid on the cement floor of the shop and moaned. Got it done, though.” 
 
And indeed, this was no easy job, but as Walser continued, “The pain fades while the perfect car remains.” It took a year to get it right, but now the car is restored for future generations to look at and admire for years to come. 
 
“The most amazing thing to do now is to go to Universal and just stand there in the room with the car and listen to people,” Walser continues. “I could do it all day long. It happens all day long. Amazement. Excitement. Disbelief. It’s pretty magical.”