Many people have probably dreamed about building the flying DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future II, but one man has actually done it. Kind of.
A hovercraft, designed to resemble the famous DeLorean movie car, is now for sale on auction website Bring a Trailer.
It represents the opportunity to acquire one man’s dedicated work of almost five years, and possibly one of the most dramatic ways to arrive on either water or land.
“We don’t have enough road to get up to 88!”
San Francisco resident Matt Riese created the DeLorean hovercraft using blueprints from the popular Universal Hovercraft UH-13PT design kit. However, the vast majority of the construction is completely custom, and testimony to Riese’s personal dedication.
Styrofoam was used for the hull to ensure it remains afloat, with the remainder built from a combination of plywood and fiberglass. The DeLorean-inspired bodywork is said to be in scale to the original car, and features working headlights and gullwing doors.
The recently refreshed exterior paintwork mimics the brushed stainless steel bodywork of a real DeLorean, whilst the hovercraft skirt is made of translucent material. This helps further the illusion of the DeLorean body ‘flying’ unsupported across water or land.
“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!”
Power for the DeLorean hovercraft comes from a pair of Briggs & Stratton engines. A single-cylinder unit provides the 24-inch lift fan with the ability to raise the craft off the ground.
At the back, a two-cylinder 23 horsepower engine powers a 36-inch thrust fan, which pushes the hovercraft forward. Whilst it may not be a V-6 motor, it means this DeLorean replica is at least rear-engined, like the real thing.
Riese states that a top speed of 31 mph is possible, falling some way short of the infamous 88 mph target in the Back to the Future films. Hovering in rough or choppy water is also discouraged, meaning this craft is best saved for calm days.
Fire up the Mr. Fusion reactor
Inside, Riese has created seating for two, and a full-width dashboard that houses all the switchgear. Switches on the central stack include ones labelled ‘Flux Capacitor’ and ‘Mr. Fusion’, helping add to the DeLorean Time Machine impression.
The rear fan rudders are controlled by a conventional steering wheel, whilst a foot pedal operates the throttle. Real instrument gauges are mounted on the internal A-pillar.
A removable windshield helps keep occupants dry, although Riese notes that it can hamper visibility. The iconic gullwing doors do close, but water still enters the cabin around the door seals.
“Synchronize your watches. The future’s coming back…”
Along with the DeLorean-shaped hovercraft, the lucky winner will also get a custom-designed trailer to transport their new toy. Recent work done to the hovercraft in 2019 includes a replacement battery, revised wiring, new fuel lines, and an updated engine cover.
This incredible ‘craft was featured on Jay Leno’s Garage, with Leno taking a short trip in the DeLorean. The video from that experience, plus other videos, can be found on the Bring a Trailer listing.
Riese previously advertised the hovercraft for sale on eBay, but an offer for $45,000 fell through before the sale completed. Judging by the number of comments placed on Bring a Trailer, bidding could be intense for this unique creation when the auction ends on November 4th.