Great Scott: A look at the timeless appeal of the DeLorean automobile

(WXYZ) - When it comes to cars that have withstood the test of time, you could say one zips past the rest at 88 miles per hour. 

Joe Vitale is a Delorean enthusiast, whose collection of Back to the Future memorabilia is almost as impressive as his own gull winged beauty.

"I was probably 9 years old and I told my mom 'pull up alongside that car, I want to see that car.' I mean this was before Back to the Future, this is when they were new. I wanted one when they hit the roads," said Vitale.

He finally bought one in 2007--and shortly thereafter installed a flux capacitor.
But even if Joe could use it to zip around various decades, one thing is for sure--he always would have bought a Delorean.

In fact, it's the Delorean that introduced him to his girlfriend, Laura Joswiak.

"I peeked my head in the door and I said, 'could I have a ride just for a little while' and the driver--and that was Joe --said 'OK, you can get in, just be careful because the flux capacitor was knocked over," said Joswiak as she smiled.

Not only has the Delorean shaped the future of Joe's life, but also the auto industry as a whole.

"Stainless steel body, halogen headlights, gull wing doors, a lot of safety innovations went into the car," said Vitale reflecting on some of its special features.

Byron Cancelmo, another metro Detroit DeLorean enthusiast, managed to convince his parents to buy a DeLorean right after it came off the assembly line in 1981--he was just 12 at the time. It was a trip to a dealership that sealed the deal.

"She took me there one afternoon and she liked the car…but it wasn't obvious that we were going to buy it or anything, I sat in it in the showroom-- a couple weeks later they drove home," said Cancelmo.

It's been a part of the family ever since--an iconic reminder of the past yet somehow still a vision of the future.

"It speaks for itself when you just look at it, everywhere you go people are hanging out of windows to take pictures and look at it...something completely unique, it's like a little UFO riding around, it's timeless," said Cancelmo.

Who knows? Maybe in 30 years someone will figure out how to make it fly because it'd be awesome to say: 
"Roads, where we're going, we don't need roads." 

Follow Alexandra Bahou on Twitter @alexabahou and on Facebook at

Print this article Back to Top