“You built a time machine out of a DeLorean?”

I’m all about preservation. Especially when it comes to preserving movie history, which is often more fragile than one would think. When people make movies, the props, sets, and even costumes are not made to last, or even made well really. They are made well enough to be shot and often just tossed. And then some items are beloved enough to be saved, even if it isn’t very well. This is what happened with the “A” car or the “Hero” car of Doc Brown’s infamous DeLorean time machine from the Back to the Future films.

First off, what does “A” or “Hero” mean with regards to movie props? Often there are more than one copy or version of props, and they are usually of varying quality. “A” means best, with lower qualities following the grading scale schools have, with “B” and “C” props being not as well done. “Hero” is another term used and means the same as “A”. “Hero” and “A” props are the ones used for close-ups and have the most detail.

The Back to the Future time machine sat on display at Universal Studios Hollywood for years. Eventually, John Murdy, the Creative Director at Universal felt like it was worth saving, and handed the task of restoring it to the beloved fans of Back to the Future, more specifically a team that had faithfully recreated Doc’s time machine with their own DeLoreans. Joe Walser was the head of the restoration, and his friend Steve Concotelli wanted in, and even though he had no technical skills to help in the actual restoration, he decided he would film it, and documented the process with his film, Outatime: Saving the DeLorean Time Machine, due out later this year.

But with a fully restored car, where should it go? Well earlier this week it found its forever home. No, not back on Universal’s backlot, but in a museum, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, and Patrick and I were there for its unveiling!

Murdy, Walser, and Concotelli, along with Back to the Future writer Bob Gale, were there to unveil the car, as well as offer their insight on the film and the car in a panel (which you can view here).

It is always nice to be reminded that there are people out there who care so much about film and film history to go through such efforts. The restoration lasted over a year, and it was worth every second, the care is phenomenal, and I can’t wait until the film is released to watch how it happen!

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