Going back in time with a documentary about the Delorean

This is a car we all know and love well currently Owen Gormley from Northern Ireland is making a new documentary about the car based on its cultural impact especially to Ireland where is was originally produced, I caught up with own to ask him a few questions and find out a little more about his project.

David :What started your love for this car?  

Owen :My love for the car  started at very young age because I remember trying to make a DeLorean out of cardboard boxes and circular biscuit tins; I’d like to think I wasn’t too old when I tried that. It had to be ‘Back to the Future’ that first sparked my interest.  I probably saw the film for the first time when I was five years old. I wore out the VHS copy and then started renting it from the local video shop on a regular basis. From then onwards I’m not sure if it’s the car or the film I have loved more.  



David :To this day do you think that the DeLorean is one of, if not the most iconic cars in the world?  

Owen: It has to be in the top three at least. For me it is the number one movie car, edging out James Bond’s Aston Martin and Lotus Esprit. I think the film can contribute a lot of its success to the car. I read that the original idea for the ‘Back to the Future’ time machine was a fridge but the producers were afraid that children would start climbing into refrigerators and getting trapped inside, I would have been one of those children. I would place it as the most iconic car in the world simply because everyone knows a DeLorean when they see one and it always turns heads, even if you’re not a petrol head. The design of the car is beautiful, and even if you don’t  agree it’s iconic status is enhanced due to it’s association with Back to the Future. 


David :What is the major aim of the movie that you are making?  

Owen: I have seen many DeLorean documentaries over the years, the majority of which were informative and entertaining but they all tended to be rather negative. The car did not sell as well as  hoped and the man behind it all, John DeLorean had his problems to say the least. But I want to get away from all that and make a fun documentary that gives a real insight into what it is like to own the car. I want to tackle some questions regarding the car’s performance and if it is possible to have it as an everyday car. I am considering testing this idea by following an owner as he takes the car for a weekly grocery shop, I’m sure that is more interesting than it sounds due to the attention the car must attract. I want to hear the stories that come with owning the car, the impact the car has had on their and their family’s life, the design of the car, and of course what is unique to an Irish owner. My main objective is to make it fun and entertaining regardless of whether you are a fan of the car or not. I think with the help of my colleague, Neil Emerson, I can achieve this.  


Me now

David: Are there many DeLorean owners across Ireland and do they ever collectively meet up?  

Owen: It’s not too often you see a DeLorean on the road but there are more owners than I initially thought. There is an Irish DeLorean owners club with an active online forum and my sources tell me there are approximately 100 cars and 85 owners on the island of Ireland. They do collectively meet up, one owner told me of a meet up that occurs every five years in Belfast, the last of which was two years ago for the car’s 30th anniversary. I remember seeing photos online, amazing! There are other meet ups and I hope to find out more about them, and if I am lucky, attend one!  

Belfast meetup


David: I myself am a huge fan of the car, stemming from a love for the Back to the future so when ever I see one I do still find myself with a bit of awe and excitement, what about yourself?  

Owen: Absolutely! even when I watch the film today. When the car is revealed, backing out amidst the smoke and panning to the front with the shot of the DMC badge, I get goose pimples. And when I see the car in the reality it’s almost too much for my brain to fully comprehend, I think “Am I actually seeing this?”  

David:You mention on your kickstarter talking about weird experiences that happened while driving, what’s the weirdest thing that you have ever heard happen to someone?  

Owen:That’s what I hope to find out, I’m expecting for some great stories. I’ve only scratched the surface so far but the DeLorean owners I have met to date are wonderful, fascinating people. They have told me how they have met friends for life through owning a DeLorean, there seems to be a real camaraderie amongst them. 


David:Given how the car ended do you feel it has a positive or negative relation with Northern Ireland? 

Owen:This is a question I hope to tackle in the documentary. I am still rather undecided on this one and hopefully by the time I’m finished production I will have a concrete answer. I think due to the documentaries I have seen to date it is swaying towards negative. There is a great deal of pride with the Titanic being built in Belfast, despite it sinking on its maiden voyage. However there is almost an element of embarrassment about DeLorean and the Dunmurry factory, I hope to turn this around. The car is still loved after all these years by many people all over the world and that has to be something to be proud of.  

David:Finally, out of curiosity, just for kicks, if you found yourself behind the wheel of one of these machines would you put the back to the future theme on and drive at 88pmh (or maybe just at the speed limit)?  

Owen:Without a doubt I would have to do it at least once, I don’t think I could resist. I would probably go so far as to get some friends to dress up as Libyan terrorists and chase after me in a Volkswagen van while I get up to 88mph in the DeLorean.

 If you are a fan of the Delorean and want to see more check out the project page here and donate . 

Just to remind everyone what made this car so famous I added in the classic Back to the Future trailer.

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