October 21st, 2015 has come and gone. In a perfect world, that date would’ve shown a post on the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future. But I knew that I wasn’t going to make it. But with the purchase of a very informative and entertaining book on the franchise,-a perfect complement to my 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray collection– it was a good thing I didn’t. Inspired to write and armed with new information, I can now write the post that this machine deserves.
Even if one has managed to somehow avoid watching the movie re-runs (particularly throughout the franchise’s 30th Anniversary celebration back in 2015), everyone knows this car is the Back To The Future Time Machine, whether they know what a DeLorean is or think it’s strictly a made-for-movie prop. Take it from me: as a kid I thought it was either a modded Fox-body Mustang, Isuzu Impulse or a MkII Volkswagen Scirocco (I would later learn how the latter two had some connections with DeLorean, design-wise)! In the back of my mind I wanted to know more about the car with the horizontal wheels. Not knowing what the movies were called and having yet to master the English language, I just knew about the car through the occasional picture, including a stranger’s T-shirt and a non-working franchise-themed pinball machine. It took the rental of a deteriorated VHS copy to finally put my questions and curiosity at ease. It wasn’t until I caught History Channel’s Great Blunders in History that I learned about the DeLorean itself, though.
Mr. Nelson (Ed Prentiss) is in a heck of a tough spot: a rocket test containing his fuel veered off-course and claimed the lives of innocent townsfolk. The least they could do is relocate. The problem is that one does not simply relocate rocket fuel; it has to be transported by land, in its three base ingredients. To make matters worse, the only route they’re permitted to drive through are old, treacherous back roads. Truck driver Mitch Barton (Brian Keith) knows that Mr. Nelson needs drivers ASAP, even gambling that he’ll be taken in even though he wasn’t exactly sent there by another company (he got fired). Mr. Nelson takes the risk of hiring Mitch, briefs him on the cargo and route, then sets him to recruit drivers and assistants for the three trucks.
In the Southwestern highways, a convoy of paramount proportions have garnered national interest. When government officials ask around in rolling interviews as to why, the answers given vary as much as the individuals taking part! So who is spearheading the effort? That would be Martin “Rubber Duck” Penwald (Kris Kristofferson). But the truth is, all he wanted was to get out of Arizona. Why? Because he wouldn’t take the abuse dished out by corrupt Sheriff “Dirty” Lyle “Cottonmouth” Wallace (Ernest Borgnine) against two of his trucking friends Bobby “Love Machine” “Pig Pen” (Burt Young) and “Spider” Mike (Franklyn Ajaye). Having beaten the crap out of him and his fellow officers, the trucking trio made a bee-line out of the state, followed by more truckers that aided and abetted them.
Let’s face it, we’re emotional when it comes to vehicles… that’s why we’re here! Usually positive yet sometimes not, but we definitely have feelings about them. So, what about that moment when we’re caught off guard and so surprised (maybe even shocked) when we see something on the road that grabs our attention.
The initial surprise is soon taken over with either happiness, gloom, or hate… or all three. Maybe the vehicle has wings. Or gull-wing doors. Or suicide doors. Or sliding doors. Or no doors at all. But for whatever reason(s), it has a certain something that gets one’s attention. Continue reading →
Discovery Channel and TLC were one of the first cable TV networks with dedicated car programming that I was exposed to. On both channels, one painter consistently blew my mind, and that was Mike Lavalle. He never said much, he just got to work, letting his art do the talking.
Mr. Lavalle passed away on April 14 at the age of 60 due to complication from a stroke he suffered earlier, not the tragically fashionable COVID-19. News of his passing news arrived to me this morning when my YouTube feed showed a clearly distraught Chip Foose delivering the news.