Believe It or Not: Jay Leno Flies a DeLorean Hovercraft!
Here’s one for all 1980 Back to the Future fans out there, whether you grew up during that crazy decade or simply looked back upon it fondly, you know that DeLorean was the coolest car on the planet.
Together, the film Back to the Future and its incredible time-traveling DeLorean are iconic legends from the era, and Doc Brown’s closing speech at the end of the first movie is arguably the most famous words in all of 1980s pop culture. Sadly, an actual flying DeLorean never became a reality, but a huge superfan of the film recently built a cutting-edge top-of-the shelf DeLorean that can actually (sitting down?) hover.
Genius Inventor Matt Riese is the man behind this chin-dropping build, which was featured recently in a short clip from the reality show Jay Leno’s Garage featured on YouTube. If you want to learn as much as you can about this vehicle, visit deloreanhovercraft.com, a very cool webpage Riese set up to feature the hovercraft and yes—get this—it’s for sale. If you have $45,000, it’s yours, but a previous eBay sale for that amount fell through, so you might get a better price.
In any case, what do you get for the 45 grand? First off, it is not a real genuine DeLorean. Even a fully gutted stainless-steel body would be way too top-heavy for a functional hovercraft, so the inventor built this all from scratch completely out of Styrofoam wrapped in fiberglass. It is finished with metallic paint to give it that stainless steel vibe, and while it is not as structurally sound as an actual DeLorean, the fiberglass-encased foam should be rigid while also being extremely light.
The unique construction also enabled Riese to build this faux DeLorean as a hovercraft from the ground up. According to his engaging website, the build was based on a series of blueprints for a Universal Hovercraft UH-13PT – a very common sport hovercraft with a single lift-engine in front, and a thrust engine at the back. That’s exactly what this build uses, with a small lawnmower engine powering a 24-inch fan for lift. For speed, a larger 23-horsepower twin-cylinder engine turns a 36-inch fan.
The DeLorean shape is perfect, right down to the wheels folded up for hover mode. Even the thrust fan doesn’t look out-of-place since the movie vehicle had big exhaust ports at the rear. At night, the hover skirt lights up exactly like the time-traveling version on the big screen.
Sources: Autobody News and Associated Press