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September 15, 2013

DeLoreans getting 'Back to the Future' makeovers

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — It may not time travel, but the DeLorean sports car is finding its way into the future even without a flux capacitor.

People are spending thousands of dollars to have DeLoreans outfitted to resemble the one that starred in the 1985 movie "Back to the Future."

About 9,000 DeLorean DMC-12 cars were produced from 1981-82 before the original company went bust. About 6,500 are believed to still exist, easily recognizable with their boxy, stainless steel bodies and gullwing doors.

The current brand owner, DeLorean Motor Co. of Huntington Beach, handles everything from oil changes to full reconstructions. But as the 30th anniversary of "Back to the Future" approaches in 2015, there's been an increase in requests to recreate the movie's iconic car, according to the Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/19MDv5j).

"I've grown up around DeLoreans my entire life. I was dropped off to kindergarten in the actual 'Back to the Future' car. A DeLorean was my first car at age 16," said Cameron Wynne, DeLorean Motor Co. general manager. "'Back to the Future' has been a huge part of the business. The car is so well known from a 90-year-old person to a 4-year-old because of that movie. That shows how timeless the car and the brand is."

Some replicas have been ordered for movie cameos, corporate appearances and even as the ride for a newlywed couple.

DeLorean Motor Co. mechanic Danny Botkin has built six movie replica cars so far, relying on photos he took when he helped restore the original "Back to the Future" car.

"'Back to the Future' is getting bigger and bigger, especially among kids who watched the movie in 1985 and now have enough money to own a piece of it," Botkin said.

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