Project 10 - Building a Back to the Future External Replica Kit
The Back To The Future project was a massive undertaking; one of the main problems faced was which car to copy? There are so many conversions and even the car displayed outside
Universal Studios is not the one featured in the films.
It was decided after studying many different Back To The Future conversions, that the only reference material would be the actual films themselves. This page covers the Back to the Future project undertaken by Chris Nicholson.
The project started with lots of design work and templates, with Chris constantly altering them until the shape, size and contours where matched the films as close as is physically possible. Once the templates had been approved, it was time to start work with the stainless steel! In total three kits were started from scratch and developed consecutively – making best use of the materials available.
The main problem with many conversions is that access to the engine cover is restricted – making it difficult to perform regular maintenance on the DeLorean without having to remove vast amounts of mountings, etc. The criteria from the owners who requested the conversion was not to damage the DeLorean in any way, and also to make the kit as true to the film as possible. With that in mind, Chris Set out to make everything as accurate and authentic as possible – even designing the system such that it is possible for someone to be able to pour Coca Cola into the ‘Fusion Reactor’!
In the picture (above) you can see the box section fixed to the funnels. Inside this frame sits a tray which collects water, food or anything else you choose to pour into it. The engine itself has also been taken into account with plenty of air ventilation to avoid overheating.
With a project of this magnitude, problems kept building up. In total the project run for over 7 months from paper design to finished car.
With the rear of the car looking good, it was time for the details - fabricating the base for the fusion reactor, or the ‘krupps coffee grinder’ for those who deal in reality! It was reasonably straightforward to fabricate, but extremely hard to pick up the fine details from the film. The design of the kit changed over the course of the three films! Ultimately the Back to The Future 3 kit style was the chosen design.
It took time to achieve the best results and what you see above took time to get the design just right. In the picture (below) you can see how starting with a round section of stainless steel, Chris was able to fabricate up the piece to match the film.
With the rear almost complete, it was time to finish the metal bands that run down the side of the car... A job in itself not to damage the car in any way!
The front piece was not an overly complicated design, but the real problem was that the wall thickness of the stainless steel tubing was only 0.5mm thick! Bending this material to match the required contours proved very tricky – as did welding such a delicate piece of thin metal. But when finished, all welds were polished flat and mesh material best matching the films was used. The mesh was all TIG welded up, so unlike the car shown on the left at Universal Studios, the mesh on this kit will never droop or fall off.
Once the kit was completed and all problems had been resolved, it was time for the conversion to be outfitted. Chris Parnham (the Secretary of the UK DeLorean Owners Club) was the first to receive his kit - as he had patiently waited for many months for its completion. It was his intention that with Chris
Nicholson's help, that he would help promote the Back To The Future car at various car shows and public appearances. Chris Parnham was true to his word, and both his car ‘Backy’ and Chris
Nicholson's replica kit has done the DeLorean proud.
PJ Grady Europe are pleased to offer these replica Back to the Future exterior kits for sale. Please follow this link for
further details and pictures of the kit, or visit
our shop to find out how you too could own one of these limited run replica kits for your DeLorean.