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Thursday 27 October 2016

More 'Back to the Future' cars could be on streets as parts found in Belfast factory

Michael McHugh, Press Association

Published 07/10/2015 | 07:47

MORE "time machine" cars made famous by Back To The Future could be hitting the streets after the film turned 30.

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The DeLorean's silver gull wing door design was immortalised by the 1985 Hollywood film starring Michael J Fox a few years after the collapse of the original manufacturing firm in Northern Ireland.

It has now emerged that around 1,000 doors still exist from the factory in Belfast and they are sitting in a warehouse in the US.

Even though the "flux capacitors" used to spirit the acting stars into the past are unlikely to be included, modern manufacturers said the vehicles enjoy an enduring appeal.

James Espey, vice-president of the DeLorean Motor Company, told Xcar website: "We own all the remaining stock of parts that came out of the factory in Belfast and that comprises most of our inventory.

"We do parts sales to shops and owners all around the world as well."

File photo dated 18/3/2005 of a DeLorean gull wing car. Photo: Haydn West/PA Wire
File photo dated 18/3/2005 of a DeLorean gull wing car. Photo: Haydn West/PA Wire

Around 2,800 parts make up a DeLorean and the Texas-based company, which has no connection with the original firm nor the estate of John DeLorean, has over 99% of them. It reproduces or rebuilds the rest using the original drawings.

Mr Espey added: "There are about a thousand doors, so to speak, here in the building and the door of course being the most complicated part of the car to reproduce they are almost evenly matched in pairs left and right so about 500 cars would be the maximum."

The Back To The Future films have ensured the cars retain a cult following after the hero Marty McFly used one to travel back in time.

He accidentally transported himself 30 years into the past, to 1955, when his parents were in high school. Marty's interference with his parents' love story intervened with the chances of his own birth, pushing him to do anything to get back "home" to 1985.

When Back To The Future hit cinemas in 1985, it raked in millions of pounds in ticket sales, became the highest-grossing film of the year and landed a sound effects editing Academy Award and three more nominations.

Former US President Ronald Reagan quoted the film in his speeches.

The first film was released in 1985, three years after the closure of the original factory in Belfast. Fewer than 9,000 cars had rolled off the production line at the Dunmurry plant.

The unused stock, including millions of spare parts like nuts, bolts and washers, was sold and eventually bought by the new DeLorean Motor Company.

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