Motoring

Published: January 20, 2020 | Updated: January 21, 2020

Great Scott! Classic DeLorean goes back to the future as all-electric thanks to auto repairer

The iconic DMC DeLorean PRV V6 sports car which has been regenerated as an all-electric vehicle by Castleman Auto Repairs of Poole. Picture courtesy of Autocar.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A classic DeLorean sports car of the type which starred in the hit movie Back to the Future has been regenerated as an all-electric vehicle by a Poole auto repairer.

The iconic DMC DeLorean PRV V6, the same model as the star of the 1985 blockbuster, is now reborn for the 21st century as a zero-emission electric dream machine.

Picture courtesy of Autocar.

Record producer and lifelong petrolhead Phil Wainman bought the car in the United States.

He had it shipped back to the UK and approached Castleman Auto Repairs on the Creekmoor Trading Estate to help him realise his dream.

Their first job was to restore the original stainless steel finish.

Phil, who created a string of chart topping hits for the likes of The Sweet, Bay City Rollers and The Boomtown Rats, said: “It had been painted red, which happened a lot in the States.

Picture courtesy of Autocar.

“Clint Townsend and the guys at Castleman keep my collection of petrol cars on the road, so I know they are the best.

“They can do anything, but even they took a sharp intake of breath when I told them what I wanted to do so I said: ‘Come on, let’s learn how to do it together’ and piece-by-piece we did it.”

The electric motor, batteries and control systems are all from Tesla.

Castleman made new mounts and brackets in order to fit the gear to the DeLorean with the batteries split and stowed in the back and the front.

New software has been designed for the dash display.

There’s even a sampled voice built in which proclaims ‘Great Scott’ – a catchphrase used by Christopher Lloyd’s character Doc in Back to the Future as the car hits 88 mph, the speed at which the DeLorean travelled through time in the film.

Phil designed and built the decidedly lo-tech gear selector himself using a piece of nylon drainpipe with machined nylon arms and a chrome crossbar.

The interior of the new all-electric DeLorean. Picture courtesy of Autocar,

He said: “In the film the DeLorean travelled through time and should have come back as an electric car – it’s 30 years overdue but now it has!

“Cars have been my passion for as long as I can remember and I just wanted to see what would happen if a classic sports car was converted to electric so I’m absolutely thrilled.

“It’s one of those revolutionary ideas that actually works.

“I’m amazed with the result.

Clint Townsend, Director, Castleman Auto Repairs at the wheel of the DeLorean. Picture courtesy of Autocar.

“The original DeLorean looked great but was heavy, underpowered and not a lot of fun to drive.

“Now, forty years after it first went into production, the electric DeLorean is the car it always appeared to be.

“I was an early adopter of electric vehicles and joined the Electric Car Association back in the 1980s.

“If the UK is to be carbon neutral by 2050 the only way we can keep classics like this on the road is for them to be electric.”

With the DeLorean finished and ready for sale there’s a second project now ready to follow.

But Phil’s next classic motor regeneration is arguably the most classic of all British sports models – the E-Type Jaguar.

“It’ll be the world’s first E-Type E… and I can’t wait to get it going!” said Phil.