By on October 22, 2015

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Capitalism is just fine with me, but I have to say I was put off just a little by the glut of corporate cross-marketing tie-ins yesterday to Oct. 21, 2015, the date in the future to which Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel in the second Back To The Future movie.

Not that I have anything against the BTTF franchise: the trilogy is clever, charming and obviously inspires passionate fandom. Christopher Lloyd is crazy gifted in a Jonathan Winters manner and I have no objection to him making a few bucks appearing in ads with Michael J. Fox. Fox has a family to support, too.

I’m not naive and many of yesterday’s marketing efforts, from Nike’s self lacing shoes, to USA Today’s headline about Marty’s arrest only reflect product placement deals in the original films.

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Maybe it was just the glut, the shear volume of BTTF references and spinoffs, that got to me. Either that or I didn’t realize that I had an opportunity to exploit the situation with my own BTTF post. You see, last year I was able to get up close and personal with the star of BTTF II, the main reason why we’re discussing the movie at a car site, Doc Brown’s Mr. Fusion powered DeLorean DMC12. I remembered it while reading about an autonomous DeLorean doing donuts.

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I’ve done a few posts on movie and TV cars recently, including one on a possibly authentic Batmobile that Covisint had on display this year at a telematics conference and trade show. Cars from the big and little screens must be a good draw because, at last year’s media preview for the North American International Auto Show, Covisint had one of the BTTF II DeLoreans on display in Cobo Hall’s concourse.

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With movie and TV cars, when it comes to possible replicas and show cars, you never know if it’s real baby seal. DeLorean enthusiast and BTTF obsessive Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire questioned its authenticity when I checked with him — the tires are apparently not correct to the film. Covisint’s reps and their literature, though, insisted it was the real deal, restored to how it was in the film (other than the tires, I guess) and on loan from the Universal Studio Museum.

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When you can buy replica flux capacitors and Mr. Fusion reactors, it’s kind of cool to see the real props. My favorite touch is the “Important: This Vehicle is Negative Ground” warning plates, located near the time machine’s supplemental wiring.

Photos by the author.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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27 Comments on “The Morning After: ‘Back To The Future II’ DeLorean Time Machine...”


  • avatar
    callmeishmael

    I’m shocked, shocked, that the anniversary of a set of movies in which it’s hard to find a scene devoid of product placement was commercialized.

  • avatar
    roverv8i

    The negative ground warning would certainly be important in 1955.

    Having just returned from a conference at Google, looking at this picture made me think of it as a test mule for an autonomous vehicle. The Mr. Fusion being the laser radar on top,,,,

  • avatar

    If not for the movie, this would just be another crappy, slow, small car with a manual.

    88 MPH huh?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    So the movie car save for tires is authentic, crappy PRV V6 and all?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!

  • avatar
    Syke

    Yeah, Facebook was full of those things yesterday. At least it put a one day stop to all the garbage about the release of the final Star Wars trailer.

    I do have to admit I was amused by The Onion’s article yesterday where Chuck Berry finally admitted he didn’t write “Johnny Be Good”, but rather stole it from some white kid playing it at a high school dance after hearing it on the phone held by his cousin who’s band was playing the dance.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Allow me to be controversial; Once I was fervently capitalistic, but modern capitalism has been perverted into a twisted carnival of incessant bombardment of mostly meaningless, and far worse yet, some/many harmful products of limited to dubious value, all marketed by an Orwellian 365/7/24 media-advertising (where the lines between commercials and media of any type are obliterated, no longer really existing; today’s weather forecast sponsored by Mr. Roof) carpet bombing campaign.

    I’d take a SWAG and state that 92%+ of “things” made, marketed and sold are superfluous (George Foreman grilles, Xtenze, Chia Pets, multiitamins, etc.)’at best, yet admit that the other approximately 8% are not only useful, but necessary (forms of energy, food/water sanitation devices, certain medications, etc.).

    Mass market advertising and product placement has reached well past full-on saturation, to the point of psychosis.

    Remember to clear your “cookies.”

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Don’t you speak ill of the George Foreman Grill.

    • 0 avatar

      What gets me is the way people deify phones. They read every article and can’t stop talking about the next iPhone or Galaxy, 3 months from release. Then they stand in line on release day, and either pay $500 for the thing, or have it subsidized in a $100+ phone plan. Then, 9 months later, they are obsessed with the next model, and their former toy (god?) is forgotten. In another 2 years, it is worth less than its weight in garbage. Never mind they never needed or even used 1/3 the power of the old model (unless of course they failed to keep it clean of bloatware).

      • 0 avatar
        scrubnick

        On the phone idea, I think I have finally purchased a new phone that was not as good as my old one. I had an Xperia Z Ultra. Amazing phone, water resistant to like 30 feet, huge (6.4″) screen, super thin and light, very powerful (first Snapdragon 800 phone). It cracked in my front pocket one day and Sony said there was main board damage (bull, it worked fine other than the digitizer) and wouldn’t fix it. They have since discontinued it since nobody else ever bought it. In looking at all the new phones, none match the specs of that one. The newest Note is close, but lacks water resistance and is much thicker. And the Xperia was a Google Play edition so no bloatware.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      We’re at a point wherw people willingly watch ads, even demand ads, and demand others to turn off ad block!

      Why? So obnoxiouswhiteneckbeardgamereviewer can make 5 cents.

      Back in my day we hated ads! We didn’t care about what dough Nickelodean pulled in!

  • avatar

    “Shear volume”, should be sheer. Homonyms give me typos.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “I ee all this potential, and I see it squandered. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables – slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy sh!t we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war… Our great depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t.”

    “We’re consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don’t concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy’s name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.”

    “F**k Martha Stewart. Martha’s polishing the brass on the Titanic. It’s all going down, man. So f**k off with your sofa units and Strinne green stripe patterns.”

    “When deep space exploration ramps up, it will be the corporations that name everything, the Microsoft Galaxy, the IBM stellar sphere, Planet Starbucks…”

    “You’re not your job, you’re not how much money you have in bank, you’re not the car you drive, you’re not the contents of your wallet, you’re not your fucking khakis, you’re all-signing all-dancing crap of the world.”

    “Now, a question of etiquette – as I pass, do I give you the a$$ or the crotch?”

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I was amazed that the date in the movie made such a splash, it just seemed a strange thing for some many outlets to latch on to.

    The date wasn’t even really made important until the 2nd movie, which most would say was pretty mediocre.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Even as a BTTF fan I agree that the sevond film was a bit mediocre, too much of the first film and little character growth beyond Martys sudden trigger word.

      Chicken

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