The DeLorean hovercraft was a project undertaken by Rich Weissensel, using a shell of a parts car and a modified hovercraft which Rich obtained locally.
Although the parts car had seen better days, the project was a success, as the picture above shows.
Later on, Rich was approached in order to run the same project again for an episode of ‘Monster Garage’ – which was screened on the Discovery channel on October 13, 2003.
The basic concept was to take a hovercraft, and place a DeLorean DMC-12 shell on top. The key point being to keep the weight down, as the hovercraft’s capabilities weren’t designed to be used in this way – and there were questions early on about the output of the engine.
In general, the DMC-12 components were stripped back as much as possible, including the removal of all additional door parts, window glass and other unnecessary weight increasing parts.
Rich Weissensel was involved with the televised build project, along with the shows Jesse James, from West Coast Choppers, Rick Gendreau, Mark Hannah, Casey Heller, John Rago and Don Steger – of the DeLorean Motor Centre in California.
The original design for the car called for the build team to just cut off the top of the old DeLorean and stick it on top of a functioning hovercraft. But Jesse came in and stopped the build altogether and changed the direction of the project. But Rick had problems with Jesse's taking charge, and walked off the build. That, coupled with too much weight and too little power saw the project doomed to failure.
To seal the deal, Jesse James piloted a Marine AAV (Amphibious Assault Vehicle) over the failed project and crushed the failure under the treads. A sad ending to two DeLoreans, in the name of television - DeLorean fans everywhere hate to see anything relating to their cars destroyed – maybe it brings back bad memories of Back to the Future 3!
Thanks again to Rich Weissensel for providing us with pictures and information about the project.