SEATTLE — So you’re walking down a sidewalk near Pike Place Market. Maybe it’s March and the sun is shining for the first time in a while. You breathe in the Sound, that funky market air, the cut flowers and think, “It’s a good day.”
On a chance, you glance across the street. You spot a 1981 DeLorean DMC 12. It’s fully decked out with lights and whistles. You spy a Flux Capacitor in the center console and a “Mr. Fusion” trash compactor in the back that seems to power the vehicle. You pause.
Out hops Marty McFly, he grabs his hoverboard and…
Well, no. You won’t see Marty McFly being chased by a gaggle of Biff’s goons. But thanks to 33-year-old Seattle resident Dave Kane, you could easily spot everything else, down to the Flux Capacitor.
Kane is the proud owner of a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, complete with a $45,000 retrofit to make it appear exactly like the famed DeLorean in Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future. More specifically, the DeLorean from Back to the Future Part II.
And when we say exactly like it, we mean EXACTLY like it. A programmable date board with a digital display. Flux capacitor. A trash compactor thing in the back that allegedly powers the car in the movie. Lights. Fog. Even a sound system that manufactures all the bleeps and bloops of the car, and can blast the Back to the Future soundtrack.
The spark to buy a DeLorean hit Kane when he was 8-years-old. Not yet with the proper funds to purchase a car or even the driver license, Kane went to the movies with his Cub Scout troop in 1989. There, he fell head over heels for the hoverboard, the weird space-age suits and Doc’s souped up DeLorean in Back to the Future II.
“I instantly fell in love with the movie,” Kane says. “The sequence, everything, was just incredible.”
But Kane’s interest remained largely dormant until two years ago when he moved from Alabama to downtown Seattle. Feeling adventurous, he went to the DeLorean Motor Company store in Bellevue.That lit a flame, and he started crunching some numbers.
“I kept calculating the costs and I wasn’t talking myself out of it,” he said.
Of course, there was one big obstacle to overcome before he could buy a DeLorean. Kane is a tall guy. The DeLorean, modeled originally as the “Gentleman’s Sports Car,” isn’t exactly roomy.
“I had to see if I could get in one first,” before buying it, Kane said. “It worked out.”
Kane purchased a running car — they usually go for between $18 – 25,000 — and drove it around for a couple of months. But he wanted more. He wanted the car he saw in his favorite film as a kid.
After some research, Kane met with a DeLorean aficionado in Los Angeles. For $45,000, the guy said he could outfit Kane’s car with everything from the film — the lights, the wires, the sound — and it would still be road ready.
How could Kane pass it up?
He sent the car down to L.A. and got it back early this summer. On his drive from Los Angeles he quickly learned one thing. People love it. Like, really love it.
“Every time I would stop for gas or a snack or something people come out and crowd around,” Kane said. “It’s like a 20 minute minimum thing because people want to take pictures and talk about it.”
Kane doesn’t mind. He figured the car would garner some serious attention from fans and interested film buffs. Sometimes, though, the attention gets a tad dangerous.
“People will drive and try to take a picture of the car at the same time,” Kane said, laughing. “The best spot to take a picture is right in my blind spot. I have to be aware. I’m constantly jockeying for position.”
After he got the car back to Seattle, Kane figured he might as well indulge others’ love of iconic ride. On top of his regular day job, he set up SeattleTimeMachine.com, where people can rent the car for rides, events and parties.
“I did a wedding last year where the bride and groom climbed into the passenger seat,” he said. “I’m doing some parades this summer.”
He expects 2015 to be an extra busy year for him and the car for two reasons. First, it marks the 30th anniversary of the first movie.
Second, 2015 is the year Back to the Future II takes place in. The year Marty McFly goes into, before going back… if that makes sense.
Yep, this year is the year of the future. While hoverboards, hologram movies and a Cubs World Series still seem like years off, a ride in Doc’s DeLorean is in Seattle.
For more information on event registration with DeLorean, visit SeattleTimemachine.com.