Scenes From a Jeep

Scenes From a Jeep

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Back to the Future

In this scene we stumbled upon a well-preserved DeLorean DMC-12. “Great Scott! 1.21 Jigawatts!” - sorry I couldn't resist. In 2012 there's only an estimated 6,500 of these still in existence. So this is a rare site on the street. This one was making a brief stop at the local repair garage. Seeing a DeLorean makes most of us children of the 1980s think of two things... the failed DeLorean Motor Company and the 80s movie Back to the Future. In 1985, the car company was already bankrupt and the movie was making campy predictions of what the future might look like in 2015. Today in 2012, we're only 3 years shy of the real 2015. Oddly, neither the car company nor the movie's future vision turned out as expected.
First, how are we doing when compared to Back to the Future's vision of 2015? At the end of the first movie, the DeLorean had benefited from a trip to the future (our present) with a new hover unit and a Mr. Fusion reactor that turned banana peels and old beer into nuclear fuel. Wouldn't that be so awesome right now? However, if this were to happen, I'd think we would still see banana peels and old beer costing $5 per gallon. I think beer already costs more than that. The high prices would have something to do with Iran trying to refine their own beer to build a keg, or possibly investor speculation in the food garbage market. So no Mr. Fusion for us. Even in the movie's sequels it was revealed that Mr. Fusion only ran the time circuits and that the car still needed gasoline. So much for that. 
We also didn't get the hover technology. Maybe that was for the better. Hover cars sound like a great idea until you take the weekend course in creative driving on the streets of New York City. Here in New York, lane markers, street signs, and traffic signals are merely suggestions and not meant to stifle the creative driving flow of those zipping around you and cutting you off. If you're going to play this game it's better to limit yourself to two dimensions. Adding a third dimension to this adventure with hover technology should not be part of anyone's grand view of the future.
Ok, so how about the bankrupt DeLorean Motor Company? Thirty years after it went out of business a funny thing happened. There's now a new DeLorean Motor Company based in Texas. They've been dealing in used DeLoreans, parts, and restorations. And get this... they are advertising that soon you could buy a newly built DeLorean like the one from the 1980s! Go figure - even here the future is not what we would have expected.

So when I saw this DeLorean, how was I to know where or when it came from? Did it zip here from the past using the flux capacitor time circuits? Or maybe it's one of those newly-built DeLoreans from the not-so-distant future making a little appearance now to whet our appetites. No, it was neither of those. It proudly displayed its New York historical license plates. The New York DMV doesn't mess around. There has to be a clear paper trail for any such vehicle before it's awarded the historical tags. No, that DeLorean got here from the 1980s the same way I did... 30 years of hard time dodging taxis and keeping oneself fit and road worthy.

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