DeLorean 1/24 Scale - Ultimate Edition

Kit: Ertl/MPC Back to the Future II
Pros: My Favorite Car, most complex model I've ever built
Cons: Almost overworked at this point, few minor technical errors
Verdict: Display for life

All I can say right off the bat is "it's about time" This model has a long history. It was first completed in 1994 when I was only 16, and it initially took a year and a month to build.  Literally hundreds of hours spent either building or working out solutions in my head. The idea was to build it to such a quality that I'd be proud of it when I turned the ripe old age of 25 which at the time was a good 10 years away. Seemed like a long way off at the time. It spent about a year or so "on tour" at various fairs, contests and events until I moved out of the house to college.  It spent the next 4.5 years in a safe deposit box near my folk's house, and I checked on it every 6-12 months just for kicks. Time eventually took its toll on the finish and it needed a little freshening up, so in 2003 at the age of 25 I started to restore it and finish it to my current standards. Not that I wasn't proud of it, but the idea now is that I'd be proud of it at age of 40 and beyond.

The model features:

Opening Doors, Hood, Engne compartment/louvres

19 working lightbulbs (Headlights/tail lights, turn signals, side markers, dash, interiors, backups, trunk light, engine light, door lights)

4 speaker stereo system

Removable Scratchbuilt Frame

Working Suspension

Fully wired engine/frame

Adjustable seats

Fully detailed trunk/spare area

From here you have three options:

1. Skip to pictures

2. Skip to Restoration Process.

3. Keep reading (backstory on model)

Thanks for continuing to read! I'm a freakin' DeLorean nut. Anyone who's known me since elementary school could tell you that. Basically as soon as ERTL released the BTTF kit in 1991 I was all over it. You can read about my previous disasters elsewhere on the site. My first attempt at a regular DeLorean model was around mid-1992. Basicaly it was the shell and interior components, partially filled with materials like popsicle sticks, toothpicks, foam and other bits of crap that either warped or rusted.  It didn't look too bad from afar but it was pretty messed up under the shell. It did have some electronic marvels though, like a 3v electric system with BRIGHT headlights/taillights (maglite and LEDs) and interior lights that shut off when you closed the doors. The switch for that did eventually melt and almost set fire to the dashboard though. Anyway it took 2nd place in the Arizona State Fair in 1993 so I was pretty happy with it.  Except for the little crack in the T-panel on the passenger side door. Long story short I ended up stepping on the door while it was off the car, thus triggering the downfall of the model altogether. Rare as it was for me to take pictures of stuff like this at the time, I do have just a few shots of this model undergoing its rebuild.

Car with new roof possibility and T-top. I carved off the old roof and T-section entirely to try to replace it. Baaaad idea.  And yeah, I know, the pics look like ass but they're scans from old negatives.  The red things were uh, tailpipes but you could hook up the power/speakers to them via some shoddy plugs that I made.  I also seem to recall the engine attaching with Legos to the chassis.  The louvres, now gone, were made from shaved popsicle sticks.

I used to "heat warp" the parts together to get them to fit by leaving them taped down sitting on my back porch in the Arizona sun in June/July. This, to my surprise, actually warped the dashboard, just like on a real car. Duh. I made a new one with a glove compartment and everything.

My nasty brown table.  I used to hammer/drill/set things on fire on that thing, must've been made by NASA.

Heeyyy, is that my BTTF 3 car I spy on my old receiver?

Ok, enough home movies for now. Basically this thing got worked on until it never looked right again, and I scrapped it.  The chassis/interior platform came out so nicely that I still have it, and some body panels made it into a baggie. (See Below) Eventually this will be the base for a "skin off" version of the car, which I've been sort of planning to do since, well, since I put the body panels into a baggie :)

So after this poor thing which I, as noted, spent almost a year of my life with went belly up I decided to make the next one with absolutely no shortcuts, nothing I'd regret later in life. I bought another $25 BTTF II kit and very carefully began to shave the cords off the fenders.

It hit me one afternoon while watching the movie "Rudy" on HBO that I could make a chassis from scratch using something new to me at the time called styrene. This now is my modelbuilding lifeblood. As Dr. Emmet L. Brown put it, "I had a picture in my head, a picture of this!"

I still have this torn wrinkled piece of paper after 12 years. Unreal. It took me the rest of the movie, but I had a rough version of the frame glued together in about an hour. I've since built a second one for the previously mentioned skin-off DMC that hasn't been messed with or painted.  They are actually interchangeable to my surprise. Here's some pics as it sits today:

Well I'll keep this short since there aren't any pictures of my progress for that entire year and a month, though the memories are vivid.  I would spend 5-8 hours a day on it for weeks, then it'd sit there for a week untouched while I worked something out. The doors were troublesome, I wanted to design them to have a torsion bar like the real thing, and this involved finding suitable materials as well as a latch system. The Internet was nonexistent to me at the time so I relied on photos I'd taken at my 1 DeLorean Expo in 1993, and all the magazines/books I'd collected over time.  I had a few good shots of the separated frame which I based all my construction on. For those who know the kit, the body shell eventually had to be mated to the underbody, and that was scary as hell because there was no turning back after that.

Once it was completed (I spent like 10-12 hours a day rushing it through for the AZ state fair in October 1994) I showed it off pretty good. I built a display stand that featured the lights, frame-off and mirrors for the underside. It got some ridculous thing like honorable mention in the fair that year but I figured they had no idea what they were looking at because it wasn't a muscle car or BTTF. Anyway in 1995 (I think) I took it to a DeLorean Owner's Association Expo in Vegas and got to show it off at the main evening event.  I got to meet SFX supervisor Kevin Pike and got some pics of us and the model together. I also entered it in various local shows and events with good results.

Page Two - The Restoration

Page Three - The Gallery

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