Of the 9,000 DeLorean DMC-12 models manufactured, it's estimated that 6,500 still exist. And a select few go above and beyond their factory limits. Though no one -- to public knowledge -- has created a real time machine, many DeLorean owners have significantly enhanced their cars.
With its fully custom motor, Rod Blankenship's DeLorean is like no other. The Phase II Performance engine boasts chromed components, including, but not limited to, the headers, oil pan and valve covers. These chrome details match the custom-flared chrome exhaust tips.
The leather inside Rod Blankenship's DMC-12 is beautiful and fully restored. There's also a custom-made steering wheel, blue LEDs on the shifter and side panels, and more. And, perhaps best of all, it's autographed by Doc Brown himself, actor Christopher Lloyd.
Blankenship's DeLorean is a winner in every way. It took home the Best Modified award at the Las Vegas Car Show, and first place at the Benedict Castle Car Show. The car was even pictured in DeLorean World Magazine with "Back to the Future" star Lea Thompson. Head this way for more action-packed pictures of this DeLorean.
For Back to the Future Day, a group of students at the Queens University Belfast (QUB) School of Electronics built their own DeLorean with one specific difference: It's electric! They restored the body of their DeLorean and switched out the old motor for a 27-kWh battery pack and a 270-horsepower electric motor.
The geniuses at QUB aren't the only ones with an electric DeLorean. The DeLorean Motor Company presented the DMCEV at CES in 2012. It boasts a 400-volt AC induction electric motor that charges in about three-and-a-half hours. Plus, this display version has a way-cool paint job.
Flux capacitor, no. FluxPower LIfePO4 battery -- oh yes! According to the DeLorean Motor Company, so equipped, the DMCEV will roll for up to 100 miles. The car's interior is also getting an update in order to handle the latest electronics. Though the DMCEV was initially scheduled to go into production around 2013, the process was put on hold due to separate licensing issues.
In the early '80s, a small number of gold-plated DeLoreans were made in Belfast. Two are currently in museums -- one in Los Angeles and the other in Nevada -- and one is privately owned.
Creating the 24-karat cars required a special process. For example, factory workers wore special overalls with no exposed zippers or buttons. And, as if the original DeLorean wasn't heavy enough, the gold-plated version is even heavier, calling for a more robust suspension. It is speculated that these three gold cars may be worth around $500,000.
Patrick Conlon, known as DMCPat on YouTube, has fully customized his 1981 DeLorean. His is one of the first 1,000 DeLoreans manufactured, and now it's one of the more modern ones on the road today. But it still has that classic DeLorean feel.
While factory DeLoreans come with 14-inch wheels in the front and 15-inch wheels in the rear, Conlon found that replacing them with 17-inch in front and 18-inch in back made for simpler replacement and a smoother ride.
Conlon installed sealed-beam lights and fog lights with LEDs in the front of the car. There are even blue underbody lights that Patrick says he uses only for car shows. They create an ideal, illuminated stage for such an occasion.
Conlon added a wing to his DeLorean for a more sporty look. He also added a high-mounted brake light, making it easier for other cars and trucks to see when he's coming to a stop. It looks cool and it's safer. It's a win-win!
This DeLorean has blue interior lighting, blue door beams and handy footwell lighting. The seat covers are leather, and more of the interior buttons are functional, turning on fog lights and the underbody lights.
Because Conlon's is one of the first DeLoreans shipped to the US, it was missing the leather door strap that makes shutting the door easier. So he added them! He also added air vents to the passenger side.
Looking to go back in time but not interested in driving yourself? Well, you're not alone. Designer Mike Lubrano developed a DeLorean taxi in New York City to promote the Nooka fashion brand, famous for avant garde watches.
Nick Roedl took his DeLorean completely apart and rebuilt it to his personal liking. Almost every detail is new, from the brakes and exhaust to the steering wheel. He even switched his DeLorean from automatic transmission to manual!
Factory DeLoreans hit the road with V-6 engines. But despite their racy looks, DMC-12s weren't known as particularly fast sports coupes. So when Roedl put his DeLorean back together, he installed a V-8 to give his car more power.
Nick's custom DeLorean: The devil's in the details
From replacing the radiator to be sure his DeLorean didn't overheat during hellish Florida summers, to treating himself to a new exhaust pipe and chrome wheels, Nick R.'s DeLorean is one of a kind. A complete step by step of Nick R.'s process can be found on his blog.
It would be pretty difficult to pinch a DeLorean, considering the stainless steel body. Luckily, you don't have to try. This DeLorean, and many others, went green for the 2015 St. Patrick's Day Parade in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In a sense, these DeLoreans were just going back to their roots. They were made in Ireland, after all.