The most memorable movie vehicles of all time
Robert Zemeckis’ “Back to the Future” is (ironically, given the title) like a time capsule in movie form. It features some of the biggest stars of the day (Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Lea Thompson) wearing some of the most era-specific clothing (puffy vests, light-up shoes, holographic baseball caps), and it experiments with genres of films that were popular during the decade (goofy, convoluted sci-fi and teen romantic comedy bordering on indecency). But the most indelible thing about this iconic film is Doc Brown’s custom DMC DeLorean, which gives the film its time travel mode and perfectly captures its heightened 1980s style.
The DeLorean was chosen because it looked like what people in the 1950s might have considered space-age, with its gull-wing doors and vaguely UFO design details. However, when the filmmakers started thinking about the basic idea of ”Back to the Future”, they didn’t necessarily have a car in mind – just some household appliance. In an early draft, it was a fridge, but Steven Spielberg worried that kids would get stuck in fridges trying to time travel back home. Ford offered the production team $75,000 to use a Mustang instead, but co-writer Bob Gale had strong opinions that Doc Brown would not drive a Mustang. The plutonium-powered DeLorean, fitted with Doc’s flux capacitor, was the perfect marriage of narrative form, function, and innovation (although it had a history of breaking down on set). Simply put, no vehicle is as synonymous with the movie as the DeLorean is with “Back to the Future.”