will.i.am has a thing for crazy car customizations.
He even founded his own car company called IAMAUTO.
One of his builds is a modern take on every ’90s kids’ dream car: the DMC DeLorean.
But the process of creating his dream car was far from straight-forward, involving impoundment, lies, and half a million dollars.
will.i.am has teamed up with the guys at West Coast Customs on more than one occasion.
Most recently they released The Flip, a one-off inspired by the Mercedes-AMG G-Wagen.
His take on the DMC DeLorean, however, is his most infamous and controversial mod.
The singer took the car beloved by many for its role in the Back to the Future films and gave it a futuristic twist.
His brief to West Coast Customs was to redesign it in a modern way.
“It’s basically what it would look like if they did a new Back to the Future,” Ryan Friedlinghaus, the repair shop CEO said.
They started with a classic DeLorean as the base.
According to Friedlinghaus, the car was overhauled to the point that the only original pieces left were the door hinges.
They widened the body by eight inches, adding 20-inch multi-fin wheels to accommodate for the wider size.
One of the most striking features is the brake light, which is one huge LED light.
Inside will.i.am opted for wooden floors, leather upholstery and stainless steel trim, giving it a retro look.
He installed an iPad into the dashboard which, back in 2012, was a novel concept.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a musician’s car without a totally revamped sound system, and this DeLorean is powered by Beats by Dre.
He took out the old engine and put in a GM LS3 E-Rod V8 unit.
Naturally, when you mess with an old classic people on the internet are going to have some opinions about it.
“That is a Deplorean,” one commenter said.
“Some of this looks okay but why did you have to slaughter a DeLorean for it?” another said.
In total will.i.am spent $500,000 on this futuristic car, adding his own logo to the grille as the finishing touch.
But this is where things got strange.
First, the singer went on Jay Leno’s talk show and lied about how he built the car.
He said the vehicle was built from scratch using Chrysler parts.
This was a weird move considering West Coast Customs televised their customization process, clearly starting with a DeLorean DMC-12.
Next, he accidentally got the car impounded for driving without license plates or a VIN number.
Then posted on X that someone had stolen his car, forgetting that he’d given it to the valet to park.
And lastly, he just gave it away, after hearing that J Balvin was a fan of the car.
Presumably, he was fed up with all the drama.