The DeLoreans used in ‘Back to the Future’ had a strange life after the film

  • The DeLoreans were made iconic by their inclusion in Back to the Future
  • The trilogy saw them travel from 2015 to the Wild West
  • But what happened to the seven cars used when filming wrapped up?

Published on Jul 10, 2024 at 4:34 PM (UTC+4)
by Ben Thompson

Last updated on Jul 10, 2024 at 6:51 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

If you have passing interest in movies, chances are that you’re familiar with the DeLorean.

The car was made famous through its use in the Back to the Future trilogy, which ran from 1985 to 1990.

In the series, the car was used as a time machine by the eccentric Doctor Emmett Brown and his part-time lab assistant Marty McFly.

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How Marty McFly saved the DeLorean

Released in 1981, the DeLorean had a troubled history from the start.

It was built in a part of Northern Ireland where the workers were inexperienced, leading to it falling behind other cars of the era.

CEO John DeLorean was accused of drug trafficking but was ultimately found not guilty.

By that point however, the DeLorean Motor Company had gone bankrupt.

Appearing in the Back to the Future films saved it from complete obscurity.

The cars were now a collectors item – of the 9,000 that were made, 6,500 survive thanks to their film status.

Seven of the DeLoreans in question were used in the trilogy.

All but one are still around thirty years on from the series’ conclusion.

The fate of the DeLoreans

Car ‘A’ was the main car used in the first film and was carefully guarded by Universal Pictures due to its polished exterior.

It now sits at the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles.

The ‘B’ car, used in driving scenes, also survives – despite being destroyed by a train in Back to the Future Part III.

Car ‘B’ is now part of Bill and Patrick Shea’s private collection in Massachusetts.

The third car was disassembled during filming for some interior shots, with the remaining parts being turned into a replica.

This was then sold by Universal Studios Japan to a private Japanese company.

The ‘Oxnard’ DeLorean, which was equipped with train wheels for rail scenes in the third film, lives at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

It was briefly on display before going into storage.

The two DeLoreans which were modified for desert scenes have had similar fates to other cars – one became part of the replica sold in Japan and the other was put in a private exhibit.

And finally, the fibreglass DeLorean used for flying scenes in Part II was destroyed by Universal Studios.

For a car widely derided at the time, it had a lot of durability – taking on 1955, 2015, and the Wild West!

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Ben Thompson

Ben got his start in journalism at Kennedy News and Media, writing stories for national newspapers, websites and magazines. Now working as a freelancer, he divides his time between teaching at News Associates and writing for news sites on all subjects.